Digital marketing guru John Rampton has a simple formula for how small businesses can turn online activity into offline sales.

The key, he told Big Questions with Cal Fussman, is to “give away the farm” in your blogs and social media posts – to reveal all your intellectual property to existing and potential customers.

Rampton says that if you focus on continually helping people:

  • 1 in 10 will help you back
  • 1 in 100 will become customers
  • 1 in 1,000 will turn into million-dollar relationships

Keep giving value, keep giving value, keep giving value

The secret of success with small business marketing, then, is to continually provide valuable content to your target market. Examples might include:

  • A lawyer writing a blog that explains how to file a patent application
  • A plumber recording a video that shows how to unclog your garbage disposal
  • An accountant publishing an ebook that reveals how to minimise your taxes

A lot of small business owners are scared to give away the farm. “If I show people how to file a patent application or unclog their garbage disposal or minimise their taxes, why would they pay me to do it for them?”

But life doesn’t work that way.

Often, we outsource work not because we can’t do something, but because we either want to dump the problem on someone else or we want the reassurance that comes from consulting an expert.

The reason you hire a cleaner isn’t because you don’t know how to dust, mop and vacuum – it’s because you’d rather spend time on other activities.

The reason you visit a doctor isn’t because you’re unable to search online for medical information – it’s because a professional with years of training is likely to know things you don’t even realise you should be searching for.

People do business with people they trust

True, some people will watch the plumber’s video and decide to unclog the garbage disposal themselves.

Most, though, will outsource the job, either because they can’t be bothered doing it themselves, or because they fear that if they tinker with the garbage disposal, they’ll somehow make it worse.

And which plumber will they call?

The plumber who they feel they know and trust, because they’ve just seen him prove his expertise? Or an unknown plumber?

The moral to the story is this: the small business that helps the most people wins.

Want to dump your content marketing problem on an expert? If so, contact Hunter & Scribe at [email protected]