Giving it All Away

Last Update: October 14, 2013

I've just read a very inspiring blog by Bob Calhoun:

He speaks of the need... well, I'll let you read the article!

It moved me to recycle some thoughts on a post I read last week, and responded to, in which the poster expressed concern about "giving too much away" on his website. We all have, or soon will have, our own areas of expertise. We'll guard these jealously, lest anyone absorb our knowledge and reduce or remove the need for our services. I was one of those people too.

Last year I made a discovery.

I discovered that the more help I gave, the more interaction I got, and the deeper into clients' consciousness I got, the more likely I was to be turned to if paid help was needed.

The reality is that you can't give too much help. Knowing what to do isn't always the same as being able to do it. Take my field. I can give away every writing technique I know from my website, but I'll have two groups of readers:

1. Readers who want to have a stab and are using me as a resource.

2. Readers who read what I write, say to themselves "Nope, I still don't get it".

The first group would never have hired me because they were DIY fans. Hopefully I've helped them to do it better. The second group may use me because there's a genuine need for help, and a genuine desire that someone else does the work.

But the first group isn't dead in the water; not yet at least. Many people who think they can write are suddenly faced with the reality that they're not quite as proficient as they think they are. So where do they go for help. Yup, to the person/website who or which was helping them for free.

If you're a French polisher, you can give all the help in the world, but few will try to do it themselves. If you run a review site, maybe smartphones, you're giving all you know away for free anyway, and people will buy from you. If you run a catering business, show your clients every recipe you know. Yes, they'll try to cook it for their (possibly) grateful spouse, but not for 60 people at a wedding. They'll ring you, especially once they've tried your recipes.

We give help here, all of us. We do it because we like to. But that doesn't mean we can't be helpful for business purposes too, whatever we do.

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georama Premium
Tks for the inspiration.
OldCodger Premium
Thanks very much for another inspirational post, Paul.

Bob's blog was indeed also inspirational and I recommend that all should read it as a supplement to your post. Significantly, enhancing the lives of others, as we try to do here, will be the most rewarding experience. We don't do it for our own monetary gains. Should something I say in helping or encouraging someone results in their success, then I will be well pleased. The Golden Rule is alive and well.

:) george
oilean Premium
Totally agree!
famous Premium
Paul, I feel compelled to say. When you add video production, social media, and gain more confidence. You're going to be a "dangerous" internet marketer!
Paul Dean Premium
Why, thank you m'am. I do make the odd video and I'm fairly active on some of the major SM platforms. I dunno about dangerous though. The most dangerous thing in our house is the odd undiscovered piece of Lego from my grandson, waiting to be discovered in the dark when I go for a barefoot nocturnal wander.

I do love the online world though. Writers and "creatives" are famously insular, and I'm no exception. Gregarious online, but I can live without people most of the time, apart from my family, of course!
MikeyB Premium
hear you on that one
famous Premium
Funny you should talk about this. I have already put you on my resources list and will probably ask for paid help. On the other side of the coin, lately I've given away hours and hours of my time. Just to find out later they were abusing me.
Paul Dean Premium
Unfortunately, there will always be those who take somebody else's good nature for granted.

I see this site as a form of exchange. I know some stuff that others don't but others know a lot that I don't, and offer it freely. I'm talking about the community rather than the boys, because it's their living (or part of it). I certainly feel that I'm a net gainer here.