Do you ever worry that giving your prospects free advice and information will cause them not to need you?
As it turns out, top marketers feel the opposite is true.
One of the best reasons why was summed up this morning in an email from copywriter, Bob Bly. He quotes Internet marketing consultant Wendy Montes de Oca, as saying:
"Your free content tells your readers what to do. Your paid content tells them how to do it.
He also quotes Internet marketing guru Terry Dean, who says "You can also tell people how to solve a minor problem when you're selling the solution to a bigger problem."
Now these three marketers are not in real estate. The message was intended for copywriters and Internet marketers, but the same principle of sharing applies to real estate and related service occupations.
You aren't offering paid content, but you are offering paid services - with multiple steps that require know-how.
For you, sharing "just enough" free advice can serve two purposes.
- It shows that you have the expertise to get the job done.
- It exposes the fact that most people do need that expertise.
For instance, my set of FSBO prospecting letters outlines a numer of tasks that FSBO sellers need to accomplish in order to be successful. The letters that do tell "how" let them know that they're in for a lot of work.
Take pricing. One letter shares ideas on how they can find out list prices, days on the market, and what other homes have sold for when they don't have access to the actual data from MLS. (It takes a lot of work!)
Another tells the importance getting their listing information "everywhere" on the Internet (also a lot of work if you don't have an agent's connections), while another warns of the danger of letting "lookers" into their homes without first knowing who they are and if they're qualified.
Stagers and inspectors can use the same method.
- Stagers can tell prospects what they need to do to attract buyers faster - without telling them how to do it.
- Inspectors can warn of hidden defects - without revealing how to discover them.
So to apply Wendy Montes de Oca's quote to real estate sales, staging, inspecting, etc. the statement would change to:
"Your free advice tells your readers what needs to be done. Your paid service gets it done."
And Terry Dean's statement that "You can also tell people how to solve a minor problem when you're selling the solution to a bigger problem." can apply as well.
For instance, you can tell FSBO sellers to take multiple photographs to post online. But that doesn't tell them how to easily get those photos and their information broadcast to all the real estate sites.
So go ahead - share part of your expertise. It might get you a few new clients.