It seems like years ago that I created and then uploaded my Online Marketing Document to the Mulley.ie website. Since I uploaded the document six months (ish) ago it’s been downloaded and emailed about 1000 times. It’s been reused by people who might class themselves as competitors, it’s been used as additional reading material in college courses, it’s been linked to by a lot of people, people who needed it found it useful to their business and I generally point it out at every talk and conference I do. Goodwill does come back.
It has also helped me get business, be it as the icing on the cake or the ice-breaker with potential clients. I’d estimate that I’ve gotten at least €10k of business from what is now a slightly out of date document. Given I keep saying giving away your company blueprints gets you business, the document was me putting my money where my gob is. If a company has to hide away knowledge to get business in a world where there are millions of webpages that directly compete with them then they’re losing a battle in a war that’s already lost. A document will never ever replace the knowledge and more importantly skill you have so why make it the lynchpin of a business? This document that I gave away for free has proved to have huge value to me. Interesting, no?
I also hope (it’s just a matter of time and resources) to give away the documentation for the Online PR courses I’ll be doing. Of course this is one strand of doing business, I work my ass off in other areas too which also drive business my way but that’s another blog post in itself.
Interesting stuff. Have you ever read “Free” by Chris Anderson? It also relates to giving stuff away and the benefits companies and individuals reap from this.
Free is part of my Inverse Library
“work my ass off in other areas too” You work you’re ass off in every area as far as I can see 🙂
It the converse of the Hoary old Chestnut “Information wants to be free” – “Knowledge wants to be expensive” and always will.
Totally agree with this ethos Damien, both working one’s ass off and also giving stuff for free. In our game this has always been something to hold back on, but today it is so different. Where you have hit the nail on the head is that it is ‘knowledge, skill and I also believe hands on experience’ that is what business buy and that is what cannot easily be replicated. Good luck.
The PR industry has for too long been too closed to sharing of ideas and material. Much of it is driven by the belief of valuable IP which most of the time is unfounded. I base this on working for multiple PR companies and seeing small deviations in the magic ingredients. The reality is that most information is available somewhere (slideshare for example) and you are saving people time in editing, research and identifying what is important and what is just interesting. More sharing would really help innovation. When you first released your doc lots of others promised to do the same. Did that ever materialise.
As per DublinDoc on Free – really makes you look at the industry differently.
“If a company has to hide away knowledge to get business in a world where there are millions of web pages that directly compete with them then they’re losing a battle in a war that’s already lost”
Damien, couldn’t agree more. Ultimately given a choice a client looks across the table at any of us as an option to work with them and makes a judgment based on the evidence of their eyes, ears etc.. If you have it and you show it, it doesn’t matter what documents your competitor has, s/he won’t top you. If you didn’t have it in the first place, or if you don’t perform…