I am sure you’ve heard someone say, “sharing is caring” in the past. When it’s the flu, it’s meant as a cruel joke. But when it’s something awesome, people are really glad you shared.
I encourage my clients to find great articles and videos from other experts and companies in their industry to share on social media.
Usually, they hesitate to do it because the potential to lose customers to competitors seems high. Sharing their competitors’ work is like doing marketing for them, right?
Wrong. And here’s why.
You’ve probably heard a few of these before:
“If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
“Working with people who are better than you will make you better.”
When you approach the work you do as a collaborator and peer in your industry, everyone wins.
You couldn’t really do your best work without other smart people sharing what’s working and what’s not, so they aren’t the enemy.
They are collaborators and part of the community of experts you learn from and grow with.
This is a mindset shift that’s worth making.
Sharing their stuff doesn’t make you look bad, it makes you look GREAT (See point #2).
When you share other people’s stuff and tag them in it (i.e. @melindathomascreative or #melindathomascreative) you are letting them know you like and respect their stuff. So much so, that you want your followers to know about it.
It shows that you are up to speed on the things that are changing and aware of all the good players in your field, sharing any good info you find with others in case they missed it and giving credit to the creators of that content. Everyone loves to be acknowledged.
Sharing will attract new customers.
The “competitors” will see you as a colleague and resource. Someone they can refer people to when they are too busy to take on another client or project or when a prospect needs a different type of expertise than they offer.
I refer people to other marketing agencies or experts when I know I’m not able to meet their needs. It has resulted in new friendships, new clients, and referrals.
AND the potential customer that I referred to someone else, referred ME to someone! They appreciated the fact that I knew my colleagues well and could recommend someone who was perfect for them.
When you share content from someone else and tag them or acknowledge them in your post, they will often thank you by tagging you back.
Then the people who already follow that company will suddenly be aware of YOU.
Those people might start following you, check out your website, and maybe even hire you.
When you are coming from a scarcity mindset, you’re always going to be feeling like you’re competing.
When you trust that there are plenty of customers out there, and know that you aren’t right for ALL of them, it makes sense that there need to be lots of great companies besides yours to fill that need.
Your job is to people know you are here to serve them, clearly explain what you do best, and what kind of company you are (i.e. gracious, caring, trustworthy, experienced, and a member of the community of experts out there).
Now that you know why sharing other people’s articles is a good element to add to your marketing plan, what types of things should you share?
What kinds of things should you share?
You should be looking for articles on topics that are relevant to your customers.
Your business: Bookkeeping and tax preparation for small business owners
Your ideal customers: Solo business owners
Google search keywords related to their needs and concerns: Budgeting, hiring new employees, vacation planning, marketing, how to create a business plan, finding great house cleaners, dog walkers and babysitters, planning for college, etc.
Sure, tax tips and other topics directly related to what you provide are great. But sharing resources for the other things your customer needs will make you stand out.
Find great things to share in less time
You could do a search every week or month, or set up Google Alerts. (Find out how here) It’s free!
I LOVE Google Alerts. You create an alert for each keyword and Google sends you an email with links anytime it finds articles that contain them. It’s like having a personal research assistant!
I receive one daily email that contains links to articles – sometimes there are 5 links, sometimes there are 20.
What should you do with all of those great links?
Create your own library or archive so you can easily save links, topics and notes about why you want to share it.
I use an Excel spreadsheet for my link library. You could use an app like Evernote, a Word document – whatever works for you.
(I created a downloadable template to make it easy for you! See the bottom of this blog.)
I chose an Excel spreadsheet because I can add links anywhere in the document and sort it by topic, title, even date.
It takes about 60 seconds to open the document, pop in the link, topic, and title, add a few words about why I want to share it, and that’s it!
Here’s a screenshot of my link library. If you like it, grab the downloadable template!
Start saving and sharing!
Keep an eye out for great articles, videos, etc. that will help your customers. Save those links in your link library and share them!
Always give credit to the author and/or company to let them know you think their article is important for your customers to see.
Let go of the competition mindset. There is an abundance of business out there for everyone. It’s as important for you to connect with people in your industry, as it is for you to connect with customers – it will make you a better business owner and grow your bottom line.