I remember my first job many many years ago. I was just one month into my career and hit my first moral wall. I had a boss that I thought you can only hear about on legendary myths. I asked her to teach me how to do something she learned in the US in a special certification for expert-system simulations and her answer baffled me:
“That is part of my know-how, if I teach you that, I won’t be unique and you will be my competition in the future, and I don’t want that to happen.”
I can’t find a scenario in which someone would do that, besides pure egocentric and selfish reasons, and these are never the right reasons in my book. Why wouldn’t you share your knowledge with your team? That experience touched me deeply and I tried my best to do the opposite since then, and I will continue doing the opposite in the future.
But only a couple of years ago I discovered the marketing dimension of sharing your knowledge and I tested it with a horse business I created called Ecuestre Alemán de Limache. I spent almost 100% of the marketing efforts creating content about horses, teaching the different aspects of the field and sharing tips and tricks that we would teach in our horse riding lessons. Only a few months were needed to start having millions of viewers of the content I created and getting requests that sometimes converted into sales. The test was really successful and I understood the value of adding value:
- You gain a lot of trust and your clients become more comfortable with trying out the services you provide.
- Clients engage more with the business by using the content online.
- Accelerated word-of-mouth effect through the viralization of the content.
- Being contacted by potential partners or getting interviews and media coverage.
- And probably much more…
The thing is that nowadays, companies are not obsessed with their customers. They don’t share their knowledge. They don’t spend time creating valuable content. And for that reason, when you do it, you become already quite unique.
Today as a freelancer I am contacted by people all over the world based on the content I put online and by helping others in different communities with knowledge and information. Clients seeking for help trust me because I’m one of the only ones doing it. I think this puts me in a very advantageous position compared to any potential competition.
So… what are the ways in which you can share your knowledge online?
- Video Format – Youtube Channel, a course in an e-learning platform
- Written Format – a blog, articles in magazines, a book, a wikipedia article
- Audio Format – a podcast, an audiobook
- Graphic Format – cartoons, images, leaflets
- Community Format – StackOverflow, forums, interest groups
- Social Format – meetups, conferences, seminars
- Other Formats – be creative, there are too many ways in which you can share to the world. Find the format you find comfortable to you and use it
I am currently exploring different formats. I have this blog, online courses, a couple of Youtube Channels, I participate in communities online and offline. And I still feel I’m not doing enough.