Trade Secrets vs. Engaging Content

I’ve got a question today – When you think of web content, where do you draw the line between trade secrets vs. knowledge that could entice clients to buy from you?

Many B2B and B2C marketers (People to People in any relationship remember!) struggle with deciding “What can we say without our competitors gaining an advantage”. The focus is on their competitors rather than their clients as people. 

The bar is being raised in terms of what clients expect to understand about your services, company and product before they will buy from you. 

The real question I think is what blunt nosed hard hitting tank of a post can I get out that others can’t mimic or compete with. Then how do I keep that freight train of great content rolling.

Sheffield Station Museum

The line varies by market maturity and your position in the market. Let’s talk about consultants or freelancers. I’m going to take a mid level early years (or early months in tech) market in this case.

Here’s some first steps I’d recommend.

Give them an idea of the detail you go to by providing some truly insightful first steps and research they can use. Here’s some examples:

  • How do you approach X
  • What’s your first steps with clients
  • Answer the ten questions your clients most ask when you first engage them
  • Consider timely posts related to the seasonality of your industry (annual reviews, audits, salaries, price updates)
  • Give your take on recent breaking news in the industry

Next take the above and segment it by your experience. If you offer a number of services, double the posts in areas that you’re tying to break into. Tweak the posts destined for areas where you’re an expert and move them to areas you need to grow.

If you’re an expert in one segment or industry, tell them about it by showing a case study or research you’ve done. You may even want to consider a special rate for clients that agree to help tell the story of their experience with you.  

In segments where your company is trying to grow, push the boundaries and give away your weakest trade secrets. If you’ve got the capacity and systems to leverage those secrets quickly, even if your competitors are awake enough to follow your blog/site/tweets, your competitive advantage will endure!

Being the first with an idea, if you have enough followers, and fans will overpower those who are hesitant.

“Oh yeah, we do X too” is never as powerful as being the first out there saying and doing something well. 

Here’s some more content types and ideas to keep you going on content.

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I would love to hear your views!

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