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Honesty vs. Transparency: Why It’s OK to Give Away Your Secret Sauce When Blogging

March 13, 2017
Rick Iorio

Opening up about yourself is painful.

Opening up about your business? Even moreso, I’d wager.

We’re so obsessed with protecting the image and competitive advantages we’ve carved out for ourselves that the idea of laying bare our secrets to success seems unthinkable, even dangerous.

But what do you do in a world where old school marketing doesn’t work (unless you’ve got millions to throw at advertising) and, even then, most consumers are wise to the game?

You tell a story. You share some knowledge and answer some questions.

You get out there and blog about who you are and what you do.

Consistent Blogging Works, Period.

Now, I’m not going to regurgitate a bunch of facts and figures about how effective blogging is at attracting leads. It works, and it’s applicable to almost any industry.

In my day-to-day, it’s rare to come across a business that wouldn’t benefit from a consistent content strategy. But when the time comes to talk about blogging with a prospective client, that first conversation inevitably taps a geyser of anxiety and questions.

What should I blog about?

Who cares what I have to say?

How will this get me customers?

Won’t I be helping the competition?

Why would I want to give away my secret sauce for free?

Let’s talk about that last one first. Inviting people to learn about you and your products or services is important, but blogging is about sharing industry knowledge, not critical business information or critical trade secrets – if they’re imperative to your market share or margins.

Share your knowledge and expertise, not your business’ ‘X-factor’. Every business needs to keep some things under wraps, but you’d be surprised how much your company can share with the world and still reap the rewards.

Let’s dispel two thing things right away:

  1. Your readers are not likely to yell, “I don’t need you anymore!” just because you show them what you do or how you do it. Instead, they’re probably going to trust you more and recall your brand when they need you most.
  2. Your competitors will not use your blog to surpass you, either. By simply blogging, you’re communicating to consumers that YOU’RE the thought leader in the market, not them. Let the competition read your content – you’re already operating on another level.

Of course 100% transparency into your business doesn’t make sense while blogging, either.

But 100% honesty? That’s sensible.

When blogging:

  • Don’t sugarcoat the truth.
  • Embrace your company’s personality.
  • Tell real stories, even if they feature mistakes or missteps.
  • Keep it real.
  • Keep it fun.
  • Keep it consistent.

Blogging Cuts Through the Noise

We’re living in an age of sharing and honesty for businesses of every size, which is great for consumers and terrible for old school marketing departments who cling to overused slogans, taglines, and carefully crafted marketing messages.

The internet has leveled the playing field for smaller businesses ready to go to market, but we can never underestimate consumers’ ability to recognize, and summarily ignore, marketing white noise. It’s nearly impossible to grab someone’s attention online unless you’re speaking to them directly – and honestly.

Blogging is your chance to do just that and stand out amongst your competitors.

Blogging is about sharing knowledge, educating the masses and introducing yourself to potential customers by talking about what you and your company do best!

Embrace the discomfort and start writing.

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