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The magic of ideas: How you can give them away and keep them at the same time

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 | By Linnet Hunter

In these days of content marketing, many knowledge workers are aware that they need to share their hard-won experience and ideas with the world. Many people I speak to have questions about this, and an inbuilt defence that says:


If I give it away I won’t have it anymore. My ideas are my livelihood and I don’t give that away for free. And maybe someone will take my thoughts and go and make money out of them behind my back…


But it’s not so. Unlike what you mother told you about trying to have your cake and eat it too, you can do both these things plus give some away to others. It’s the magic of you that makes it impossible for someone else to run off with what you do best, especially if you are canny about what, how much and where you share.


To do this, think about 10 things people who don’t know about your topic need to be aware of. These might be ten problems or challenges they face. So far, all standard marketing stuff. But what you can do now is choose one of these and work your wizardry around it.


Write a sort piece focusing on how this affects your clients. Elaborate on the situation a bit to show what might happen if the problem is not solved. Then you give them a titbit, just a taste of the solution that you offer and how to implement it. Make it really solid useful, practical advice.


This will make it clear that:


  • you know their situation
  • you know your stuff
  • there’s a lot more where that came from
  • to get deeper, more extended, richer conversations about solutions , they need to employ your services.


This might end up being a blog post, a short article a podcast or even all three. Sharing these with your networks via social media, online article sites or even in an publication such as this one will demonstrate your specialist clout in many more ways than three paragraphs on your profile saying how good you are.


Offer it to others to use as long as they say where they got it. After all why shouldn’t your admirers be part of your marketing team?


When you have written a few of these you will end up with a collection of useful articles that can be turned into a free eBook to offer to prospective clients – you know that eBook – it’s the one you don’t have time to write. This way you will.


My experience is that far from others taking my stuff and applying it (which they are welcome to try by the way), the opposite has happened. People refer to me on these topics. You are unique and only you can apply your ideas the way your clients need you to. So go ahead and share your spells – there’s more to your magic than just that.


(With huge thanks to Gihan Perera who taught me how to share.)