There’s an article by Mack Collier over at The Viral Garden covering the power of giving free information away as an incentive to entice potential customers into future purchases. As I discussed here, giving away free items or services is a great way to interest potential customers into doing business with you. Mr. Collier’s article follows his change of impression over a convention due to the recommendation of a friend and the quality of the free knowledge being provided by the convention’s website. The fact that the presentations from the convention were available for free on the convention site and the quality of those presentations made Mr. Collier actually want to attend the convention next year.
This is one of the strengths of sharing knowledge. You can convince potential customers to purchase from you in the future. The example with Mr. Collier shows that the shared knowledge convinced a customer who is very successful and knowledgeable as a marketer in his own right, to want to do business with the convention. The convention doesn’t lose anything by showing this year’s materials, since the materials for next year would most likely be different. But in sharing that knowledge, they connect with potential new attendees. One of the interesting notes that Mr. Collier makes is the following:
This is why free works. When you make your knowledge and ideas as easily accessible as possible, you win. Don’t think of how you can monetize your knowledge, think of how you can share it.
That is the point of all this. If your ideas are strong enough, then you can make money from them, even when you share them. By showing some of what you know, you can entice customers into doing further business with you since they already know how knowledgeable you are.