In business there have always been people trying to get something for nothing. If you’re a consultant you probably know what I mean. The “Hey, can I buy your lunch?” which is just another way of saying: “Can I pick your brain for the cost of lunch instead of your regular consulting fee?”
On the social web there’s plenty of valuable, professional help and information out there for free.
As a content marketing strategy, it’s often in your interests to make some of your knowledge and skills available for free online. As any online marketer will tell you, it can be a great way of showing what you can do, who you are, and generating genuine interest in your business.
As the social web matures it seems to me that just being a friendly business online is an open invitation to ask for a free consultation, free advice.
In the last year I’ve been asked to:
- go through a stack of Excel files by a PR agency to pin point the weakness in a campaign for a pharmaceutical corporation “because it might be of interest to you”
- review at least five business websites and give “a few tips on how to incorporate social media”
- provide feedback for a major, massive British brand about how they’re using social media.
From the outset the person who contacted me signaled that they were just looking for a bit of free and friendly advice. Because social media is social, right? [Read more...]