If you've ever created content online, you know that probably the number one rule for building a loyal audience is "add value". The problem with that is getting caught up in the idea that "adding value" means giving something away for free.
Here's the thing: you are so much more valuable than the information you hold in your head. There are other ways to become a "thought leader" then just regurgitating everything you know. In fact, that's not being a thought leader at all - that would require having a new thought.
And here's another thing: constantly educating, and repeating the same facts as everyone else does nothing to show your audience who you really are and why they should work with you, over anyone else.
And giving away your knowledge for free is just one way of adding value. There's also inspiration / aspiration and entertainment.
Think about your favourite content creators, whether that's on IG, YouTube, TikTok... wherever. Why are they your favourites?
Is it because of all the facts they share? Or is it that they've given you a different way to think about things? Or given you an insight into their process? Or helped you to feel less alone about something that's been upsetting you? Or even just that they take pretty photos?
Recently I conducted some market research on my Instagram. It was nothing in depth; I mostly just wanted to find out why people were following me.
Less than 10% of respondents cared about my educational posts. More than 80% said they found me relatable, and they enjoyed my chatty ramblings.
If I take a look at my most successful content, I see the same thing; people like me because I'm relatable, not because I give away my knowledge for free.
So really, as a content creator I'm providing the most value by being inspirational / aspirational and entertaining.
And that still counts. That still converts.
My three favourite accounts I follow on Instagram very rarely give away their knowledge for free. But for all three of them, I have ended up paying them for that knowledge.
Why? Because I like them! Because I trust them, because whether they've taught me something or not, they've provided me with value in other ways.
So how are you providing value?
Until next time, be kind to yourself!
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