A Unexpected Call
Yesterday I got an email from a design firm thanking me for our great content on construction marketing, websites for construction companies, and more. In the email, he requested a call. I didn’t know him personally, but I was aware of them because I received alerts when he downloaded our white papers on various topics. Honestly, at first I was upset when I saw him downloading the white papers. We spent a lot of time crafting and creating content for our prospective clients and a competitor downloaded them as a cheat sheet. I quickly got over it and I’m glad I did because we had a great conversation.
During our conversation, he praised my team for our dedicated niche in construction marketing and he valued our expertise. He also realized that our content was the tip of the iceberg and we actually know a lot more than what we share for free (that is why I don’t stay upset when competitors find our information). We got to know each other better and started to build our professional relationship. He also asked if we’d consider consulting with him and his single construction client because we have the expertise and experience to help both him and his client.
Why am I talking about all this? One of the biggest push backs we get regarding content marketing is giving away too much information. A resource for my industry who consults with marketing firms nationwide, David Baker, said it well during a conference in 2012. He said (paraphrasing because it was two years ago), “I give away everything I know in my blogs, presentations, books, and articles. People hire me to help them execute all those ideas and to hold their hands.”
Also, many executives are scared they will educate their competitors. First of all, most of your competitors are not going to read your marketing materials because if they’re learning from you then they properly aren’t your competitor. Secondly, you’re not going to give away everything even if you tried. What David Baker and my team do is talk in generalities. Even if I tell you a specific story, it doesn’t exactly apply to you. Part of what you offer clients is your expertise in your field as well as seeing their specific problem and applying a very specific solution to it.
I’m not the only one that has experienced this with content marketing. My wife who is a presentation coach (Speak Simple), wrote a book on crafting technical presentations. For $25 her prospective clients can learn everything she knows (not really, but you see where I’m going with this). She doesn’t lose out on prospects because they buy her book, the opposite happens. They hire her because they see the value in hiring an expert and because she has the experience to guide them to success.
This works especially well in construction because you can tell me how to construct a building in extreme detail, but I still do not have the knowledge to build my next office. I do not have the skills, tools, resources, or even the permits to attempt it. Don’t be scared to share. You could have a less seasoned “competitor” ask you to help them by consulting as well as prospective clients hire you. The best part of content marketing in construction is that it moves construction companies out of the commoditized, low bid arena and to negotiated work.