Reading Link Karma by Brian Clark of copyblogger, I discovered the post by Sean of Attversumption.com So what if you give most of it away?: The Bikini Concept. From Sean’s post:
I found out the age-old concept of the bikini to apply. That by giving away 90% of the concept, and keeping 10%, the attraction factor was just as strong, if not twice as strong (there are reasons for me saying ‘twice as strong). And yes, what the bikini didn’t reveal, was the part the audience most wanted (naturally), and was the part they were willing to pay for.
This reminded me of my conversation with Jeremiah Owyang of PodTech. Yes I actually have a point, I am not just posting pictures of Bettie Page, ok maybe I am trying to slip a shot of her in, but it is completely pertinent to the topic at hand.
During our conversation, Jeremiah stated exactly the same thing Sean did, give away more to increase awareness. Jeremiah is a firm believer in helping others and freely giving advice. This establishes him as a leader in his field, and builds his credibility / brand. Jeremiah has a series “Letters to the Web Strategy Editor,” and in this post Letters to the Web Strategy Editor: Online Community Strategy, he discusses what strategies one can employee to build online communities.
In his post, Jeremiah gives away a lot of very helpful information that will get someone started building online communities. In fact the person could probably make due with the advice Jeremiah had written. Jeremiah ends the post by stating there is a lot more information to share, that he has just scratched the surface, and mentions he is a social media consultant for hire.
Is Jeremiah being shady by promoting his services, I don’t think so, not at all. He gave the writer a number of ideas to get them started and making progress. Now if they want additional information, it is time to pay for his services.
Here is part of the response from the person asking the question:
. . . I learned more from this brief exchange than I would have after an hour of online research.
Not long ago I was lamenting that Google isn’t as effective as it once was for searching out information. But now it seems Web 2.0 is pushing me relevant information, instead of my having to go out and hunt it down.
Thanks for openly sharing your knowledge.
This person sees the value of the exchange, and will come back when they have additional question in the future, or want to hire Jeremiah for his services. Both Jeremiah and the questioner received value from this exchange. The questioner received enough information to get started and pushed in the right direction. Jeremiah established credibility, an advocate for him and his company, and a possible future customer.
Being a content developer, I am a champion of the bikini principle. I believe that knowledge is to be shared, and should be used to help other people, which is one of the reasons I blog.