It’s the first thing you hear when you start marketing your business online – “provide value!” But then after you start putting in hours and hours creating educational content, the pendulum swings the other way…
“You need to sell, not teach!”
“Tips and tricks won’t get you clients!”
Everyone has their own take on educational content, how much to create, and how much “value” to give. Many of these tips are passed down as rules you must follow to succeed online, and quite frankly, I’m not here for it.
Spoiler alert: I don’t think there is such a thing as “too much value” when it comes to free content.
Sure, you have to balance the time you spend and I don’t want you actually to be working for free, but the fact of the matter is that the information is already out there.
If you’re anything like me, you probably bootstrapped and Googled your way into a successful business, reading and digesting anything with a $0 price tag.
Why would we then turn around and (over)charge for that info?
That being said, I wanted to tackle some of the common myths I hear when it comes to educational content and how to provide value in your marketing.
6 Myths About Educational Content and Providing Value in Your Marketing Strategy
Myth 1: You should only focus on sales content when you’re starting your business
People like tips and tricks. They want the how-tos and quick wins. That’s just the truth.
That kind of content is probably always going to get traction, especially on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest.
So if you’re starting a business and are trying to build an audience, share the educational content. It helps show you actually know what you’re talking about and it gets engagement. Yes, it’s important to sell as well, but it’s possible to do both.
Myth 2: Everyone’s sharing the same information, so why should you add to the noise?
First of all, the things that you think are common sense and self-explanatory probably aren’t to your audience.
Secondly, even if the information is already out there, maybe your ideal client needs to hear you say it.
Trying to be perfectly unique is a waste of time, because what sets you apart from the competition is you. No one else is going to bring exactly what you do to the table or phrase the information in the same way.
There is value in your unique perspective, and that’s enough to make the educational content worth sharing.
Myth 3: Educational content only attracts DIYers
Truth: People who want to DIY will, and they’ll find the information from wherever they can. But there’s another group of people who, even if they have all the information, still don’t want or don’t have the time to do it themselves. Those are your ideal clients, and those are ultimately the people who will hire you, no matter how much educational content you do or don’t post.
As an online service provider, even if you’re currently focused on booking out your 1:1 services, there are lots of different ways you can still serve and make money from those DIYers. Whether it’s a smaller, done-with-you service or a digital product to make some passive income, those members of your audience are just as valuable.
Myth 4: If you post too much educational content, you’re not reserving anything special for your paid offers
I’m here to tell you from first-hand experience this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve had multiple clients tell me that they booked me because of all of the content I shared on Instagram. It usually goes to the tune of something like this:
“If the free content is this good, imagine how good the paid offers are.”
That educational content builds trust. And because I’m such an open book and share so in-depth, my clients trust that the service I provide will be even more valuable.
Myth 5: You’re teaching people to do what you do
One piece of advice I’ve heard to circumvent this myth is to “share what to do, not how to do it.”
On the surface, I think this can help distinguish what kind of content is too educational and is sharing too much, but it also doesn’t mean a lot.
If I said that to be successful on Pinterest, you needed to optimize your account, do keyword research, and pin consistently, but never went into more detail on how to do those things, I would (1) run out of content pretty quickly, and (2) leave my audience with a hell of a lot more questions.
This also brings us back to Myth #2 and the reminder that you quite literally can’t give away your “secret sauce.” You could walk someone through exactly what you do for your clients, but it still won’t be you.
If it was that easy to duplicate ourselves and get the same result, I would’ve done that a long time ago…
Myth 6: Educational content is the only way to provide value
“Value” is such an ambiguous word. Most people hear value and assume it means education – tips, tricks, tutorials, etc.
While most of these myths focus on the misconceptions around educational and how-to content in the online business space, I wanted to remind you that it’s not the only thing.
There are so many different ways you can provide value to your audience. You could share an inspirational quote or message they need to hear. You could share your story or make a funny reel they relate to that makes them feel seen and understood.
I’m obviously very pro the free sharing of knowledge, which is why I try and share so much on Instagram and here on my website. To prove my point, here are all the free resources you can find on Pinterest marketing. You can tell me that I’m giving away too much, but that won’t stop me 😉
Read the blog. Oh, hey, you’re already here! If you liked this, there’s more where it came from.
Check out my favorite free tools & resources. I’ve got a whole page where I’ve collected the best resources for online business owners, many of which are totally free!
FREEBIE! Pinterest Marketing Checklists. If you’ve ever wanted to know exactly what to do to maintain your Pinterest marketing, you’ll love these.
FREEBIE! Pinterest Funnel Audit Guide. Make sure your Pinterest efforts actually turn into conversions by auditing your entire Pinterest funnel, both on and off the platform!
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