My family loves going to Disney Springs. It’s actually one of our favorite things about having moved to Florida, minus the warm weather and sunshine!
Every time we go to Disney Springs we have to stop in Ghirardelli. We learned early on when we used to vacation at Disney that they hand out free chocolate. And, we love getting our free chocolate!
Now, here’s the thing — they give out a full chocolate square. They aren’t handing out broken up pieces of a chocolate square or some special, smaller giveaway piece of candy. And, it’s not just the chocolate flavors that people aren’t wanting to buy. We’ve had several different kinds but mostly it’s been filled with caramel which just so happens to be my favorite.
Aren’t they throwing money away?
Now, as a business person, you might let your brain start to think about how much money they’re losing on that free chocolate each day. There are thousands of people visiting Disney Springs each day. And, I know that they don’t all go into Ghirardelli, but every time we’ve been there, the store has people constantly heading in.
And, here they are just giving away their profit in free chocolate, right?
It might sound like that, but here’s the thing – we buy from their store. Because we love their free chocolate samples and because we get a reminder every trip of how much we like it, we spend money there.
It might be an ice cream sundae, a bag of chocolates, or a jar of fudge sauce to take home for our own homemade treats. What we buy and the price point varies, but I can assure you that we’ve spent more at Ghirardelli than we’ve received in free chocolates.
So what does all this free chocolate have to do with your marketing?
You’re probably thinking, OK enough of the chocolate talk already. Here’s the lesson, Ghirardelli is giving something of value away for free and because of that, we spend money at their store and we plan on buying more from them on future trips.
At first glance, it might seem like they are giving away their profits, but what they’re really doing is making an investment into their potential customers. This is what your content marketing needs to do for you.
Your customers don’t care to hear all about your business. They care to hear about the “yummy” things your business can do for them.
This is where your website messaging, social media, and blog posts need to be focused.
I’ve shared before about the photographer client I had that refused to give away valuable tips about how to take better photos at home of your baby. She was worried that giving away this valuable information was going to lose clients for her. But, she was wrong.
Don’t be afraid to create valuable content
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If someone is willing to pay money for a service, they aren’t going to all of a sudden choose not to just because they can do it on their own. Parents that will spend hundreds of dollars on photos of their baby aren’t going to decide to take the DIY route. There was no reason for her to be afraid of this.
If you’re trying to hold back the valuable knowledge that you have so people will pay to work with you, you’ve got it all backward.
You have to show them the value first. You have to hand them that free chocolate bar and let them enjoy it. It’s a long-term investment that you’re making in your business growth. Be the one person in your industry that’s willing to spill the beans. If someone takes the information and decides to go the DIY route, they weren’t going to be your customer anyway.
But all your real customers are going to be impressed with the level of information that you’re sharing. They’re going to think things along the lines of, “If this is what they’re giving away for free, imagine what they would provide for me if I work with them.”
Valuable content in action
Here’s what this looks like: If you’re a business coach, share content that helps people start getting wins in their business. Provide them with an easy to follow plan that lets them see positive results. This is going to give them that craving for more of what you have to offer.
If you’re a therapist that works with women with anxiety, share real tips on what women can do to start addressing their anxiety in order to overcome it. Help them see that you can lead them down the path to overcoming anxiety in their life. Don’t just write a blog post saying that you know how to help them, actually give them something that helps them.
I know that coaches and mental health professionals have a real passion for their work. You want to help people and hate when people aren’t able to afford your services. Providing this free valuable content gives you a platform to offer free help to people that can’t afford to work with you while also helping build your authority and credibility with the people that can. It’s a win-win.
Ideas on how to share free valuable content:
The trick to creating valuable content is to really think about what you have to offer. Don’t just mimic what someone else is doing. I’ve given you some ideas below, but really take some time to determine how to incorporate your knowledge and experience into it.
Answer frequent questions
I heard someone say before that if you need to have an FAQ section on your website because you’re asked the same questions all the time, then you need to do a better job of content creation. And while I don’t agree with that 100% (I do like FAQ pages as a place for new prospects to get their questions answered quickly), I do agree with the basic principle.
When you constantly hear the same questions over and over again, it’s a clear sign that you need to create content around that question. It could be a landing page on your website or a thorough blog post. Either way, create some type of content that gives a thorough example to help people out.
Answer it in full. Hold nothing back.
Give people a way to experience a quick win
As your lead magnet for your email list or webinar to build attention around your products, create a plan that subscribers can follow that gives them a quick win in their life. It needs to be directly connected with your business and what you have to offer. Use it as a way to show your expertise.
I once saw a promotion that the Female Entrepreneurs Association was running for a free webinar about planning for the upcoming year. When I attended the training, the information provided was incredible and delivered on the promises they made. I got so much out of it that I joined the membership and have been a part of it now for several years. The free value provided pulled me in because I knew what was waiting on the other side of becoming a member was going to be even better.
Create a challenge
Create a challenge that walks participants through a series of activities to lead them to real results. For example, if you’re a fitness coach, this could be a 7-day challenge to clean eating. It allows people to see that you’re a part of their success and get a feel for all that you offer as a coach.
If you deliver great value during this challenge, people will want to keep working with you to experience greater results.
Go big or go home
Let’s be honest—this isn’t a new message. Everyone’s being told to provide free tidbits of information in order to build authority in the market. That’s why you need to take it up a notch.
I’m not talking Costco or Sam’s Club free samples where they give you a chunk broken off a granola bar to try. I’m talking about Ghirardelli giving that full, yummy chocolate square.
Go big and pair it with a strong call to action, and you’ll reap the rewards the same way Ghirardelli keeps reaping my hard-earned dollars.
If you think there might be something to this strategy, but are having a hard time seeing how it can play out in your business, schedule a call to talk content strategy. I’d love to point you in the right direction or see how we can work together to create that high-value content for your audience.
Until then, I’ll be enjoying my bag of chocolates.