The benefits of giving away advice for free

The benefits of giving away advice for free Don Kennedy Flickr Red Platypus

Image courtesy Flickr: Don Kennedy

There’s a great scene in the latest James Bond film Skyfall where the titular hero breaks out a cut-throat razor to shave himself with before taking on the baddies.

That is a serious bit of old school kit; something only the most skillful and quite old fashioned gent would tackle the daily chore of shaving with. I found it very appealing and a week later I booked myself in to a London barbers for a cut-throat shave and thoroughly enjoyed my own James Bond moment.

Now that I travel full time I seldom shave but when I do I prefer to use a safety razor, the next step up from a cut-throat where you use a single blade and some very steady hands to get your face smooth. I bought the razor and a lather brush from an antique store in Cuenca, Ecuador and restored it to its former glory.

But before I could use it I had learn how to shave all over again so I didn’t make a bloody mess of my face.

James Bond Flickr Greg Bishop Red Platypus

Image courtesy Flickr: Greg Bishop

Giving away advice for free

Lucky for me, loads of other men saw Skyfall and the popularity of old fashioned shaving is going through the roof. There are scores of websites devoted to the timeless techniques of proper shaving that also do a nice line in selling you the kit that goes with it – razors, brushes, bowls, creams, aftershaves and other accessories.

Looking at this from a business perspective, it’s the perfect combination of telling and selling – giving away your expertise in order to attract and retain customers.

Take Shaving 101 for example.Shaving 101 Red Platypus

A simple site with loads of information about how to shave with old fashioned razors. It has an education section with scores of articles of technique, sourcing and care – all of it surrounded by ads you can click on to buy what you’re reading about.

You can send in questions and the site’s authors will answer them and put their replies up in a blog post so everyone can see. There are reviews of different products so you can make informed shopping choices, galleries of the products so can see what they look like, and articles on the latest industry news.

Why telling is selling

Using education as the entry point, Shaving 101 does a great job of getting people’s attention before it even starts to sell them anything. This is the modern way – advertising through giving away information rather than a simple hard sell.

It worked on me. I’m a regular reader and after learning the best shaving techniques from the brand, I have added quite a few of their products to my Christmas wish list.

At Red Platypus we always tell our clients to blog regularly on topics they have expertise in. Give away your knowledge. Give people the benefit of your experience. Don’t just tell them your products or services are good. Show them that you are a thought leader in your industry, that you know what you are talking about.

This, in turn, will establish you as a brand that helps its customers and therefore your customers will be more loyal to you.

And what do loyal customers do? They buy your products over everyone else’s.

How we can help

Just like with old fashioned shaving, if you need a steady hand to get the best results with online marketing then we have plenty of blogs on creating great videos, writing effective blog posts and making social media work for you.

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