Share What You Know: Co-operation is Lead Generation
06 Jan 2012
Online there is a conflict on how to market in the most successful way. Some of the guru’s and marketing magicians on the scene today suggest that intriguing potential customers into viewing your products and services are the way to go, protecting your price points, business model and unique abilities as you go along.
A more recent theory states that when you give some things away for free you end up earning more in the long-run.
The Benefits of Sharing
There are a host of benefits that arise from being an open and honest sharer online. Here’s a few of the benefits you get from sharing what you know.
Generate Some Buzz
Every time you share some useful information for free people take notice. As consumers, when we find things for free we tend to grab as fast as we can while the getting is good. No one knows how long your 100% off sale will last so chances are they’ll tell all of their friends. This snowball can grow mighty fast so be ready for a swell of new users and followers, all of whom you can passively sell to for years to come.
Grow Your Audience
We just eluded to it in the previous point. Having a large audience is almost like cash in the bank. Just look at Facebook and Twitter for inspiration. For the longest time they have been giving away valued services free of charge. What’s in it for them you might ask? It’s simple. They’ve built a massive audience and that’s massive marketing leverage. They can instantly access all of those users with passive sidebar ads that entice users through to purchases. How much can you charge for an ad that hundreds of thousands of people will see on an hourly basis? Our guess is quite a lot.
It’s no different for you and your business. The larger your base audience the higher the chance you have on capturing sales.
Backlink Opportunities Abound
When you start to share what you know you’ll invariably run into others who are doing the same. Each one of you is already on the same page mentally so there’s no reason you can’t take this opportunity to gather some powerful backlinks. Your content or subject matter is already similar so creating connections should be easy. Everyone wins when you support each other with links.
Grow Your Professional Community
Similar to the point above, consumers won’t be the only people you reach. Other businesses are doing the same things. After making a connection you can forge simple partnerships that benefit everyone.
Let’s say you sold water bottles in Ontario. A customer from Alberta finds your website and wants a bottle but you only service Ontario. You can’t help him, but someone in Alberta could. If you connected with the equivalent business in Alberta you could send them that lead, free of charge, with the proviso that Ontario based leads that find the Albertan business get sent your way.
One hand scratches the other and everybody is better off. The customers got what they wanted, and you either made a sale or garnered positive favour from an associate for the future.
People tend to gravitate to honesty. If you and your business are always handing over useful information, answering questions when asked and providing real solutions you’ll gain the respect of your peers.
Trust goes a long way. Show your audience that you’re not holding back. You’ll be recommended more often and the first stop on the list when people are after what you sell.
Sharing Begets Sharing
We were all taught the concept of sharing when we were children. It’s a straight forward idea. When you give something to another person that helps them out, free of charge, you gain a friend. When you share freely in business you can gain a contact or a lead.
What’s even better is the people you share with tend to share right back at you. When you show you’re online to help and that not everything has a price tag on it others want to return the favour.
Feedback for Improvement
There will be times when you’ll get negative feedback, no matter what. Think of it as a sort of crass advice that you can use to improve. Every comment your users and customers make is helpful, positive or otherwise. Complaints help you weed out weaknesses in your business processes.
The more you’re out there talking and sharing the more people will come to recognize you and your business. Remember that out of site is out of mind. If nothing else, putting yourself in the thick of conversations keeps word of mouth moving and your products and services fresh in the mind of consumers.
All this social clout comes with time. There’s no tricks or quick fixes but if you put in the time and effort your results can look like magic.
Stay honest and in the conversation and your lead generation will increase!