Give away your knowledge

Why giving away your expertise for free is good for business

What’s in it for you?

This question’s popped up a lot lately after we launched a competition to offer a year’s free marketing to two charities. And our response was often met with more than a hint of disbelief that we could possibly be doing this purely for good. Surely we were trying to get something out of this?

Sorry to disappoint, but no. At least, not really.

When setting up STORY22 we did so with a passion for helping people achieve success with the knowledge we had. So it seemed natural to try and help the most needy in our society. (Honest, there is no dark side to this! No tie-in clauses, not contractual traps!)

The Ethos of StoryBrand

When we certified as StoryBrand Guides, one of the big takeaways from our training was to invest in your clients’ success and be as generous as you can with the knowledge you have. And behind the scenes, the StoryBrand ethos of generosity really is practised through and through – from the incredible support offered within the tight-knit StoryBrand guide community right the way to the top of the organisation, with Donald Miller, DR JJ Peterson and Koula Callahan regularly sharing insights and offering their time for Q&A sessions and webinars. They give all the ingredients to their secret sauce away freely at every chance they get.

This ethos of generosity is one thing we love most about being a part of this amazing tribe.

But apart from the obvious feel-good factor that doing a good deed brings (which has priceless benefits for the soul of course), there are obvious benefits for your business as well, which are often overlooked.

Brand generosity reaps rewards

When your brand is known for generosity …

  • You’ll build up your audience, or fan base, more easily
  • You’re more likely to stay front of mind for when people are ready to purchase
  • You’ll be talked about positively and more likely to be referred to others

Won’t giving away my secrets ruin my business?

Clients often ask us this when we encourage them to share their expertise for free. Naturally, there is hesitance. Often they have spent years and invested significant sums developing their products and services – so it might feel at odds to just hand it all over. But the truth of the matter is that almost everything worth knowing can be found on the internet these days, provided you look hard enough. People no longer expect to pay for information – but they will pay for implementation, and this is where you can win.

So we would always advise organisations to share as much of their knowledge as they can – this not only builds trust and a sense of reciprocity, it also allows you to set yourself out as the expert in your field.

How can I be generous with my brand?

There is no straight answer here as each business will differ, but here are some of the ways we try to be generous with our brand, in case this help inspires you too:

  • Offer a free introductory session – we offer a free 30-minute strategy session to any new enquirers
  • Deliver an online seminar – we regularly hold messaging and marketing webinars which people can book onto for free
  • Collaborate with other organisations
  • Provide tips and advice in your social media posts and emails
  • Give away free resources through your website (don’t forget to collect people’s email addresses in the process so you can connect with them again in future)

So, in answer to the original ‘What’s In It For Us?’ question, we’re giving away our time because we are committed to helping others. And if a consequence along the way is for our brand to be seen in a positive light, then that’s no bad thing really is it?

STORY22 co-founders Julie Firth and Sonya Whittam are certified StoryBrand Guides delivering effective marketing that is proven to work, following the renowned StoryBrand messaging framework. If you need help with your marketing, schedule your free 30-minute strategy session today.