Mary Quant – creator of the mini skirt – measuring how tall it should be.
Most people are worried about giving away too much of information for free. It is a valid worry. Because if you share all your know-how for free, people won’t buy from you. So how much knowledge should you give away?
The purpose of your blog posts and articles is two-fold:
- To position yourself as the authority. Build credibility for you.
- And to convert casual readers to buy from you.
If you reveal too little, people won’t perceive you as a knowledgeable authority. And if you reveal too much, they won’t need to buy from you. And that’s why, you have to find a balance.
How To Find The Balance Between Telling Too Much, And Too Little?
An easy way to find a balance is to not write blog posts from scratch. But to give answers to questions that people have. And convert these answers into blog posts.
This works because if you sit down to write an article, you are in an information sharing frame of mine. But if you’re just answering questions, you’re in a problem solving frame of mind. That is why, we are better at editing ourselves while answering questions – and keeping to the point.
In 1972, two psychologists – Bransford and Johnson conduct an experiment. They gather a bunch of students and divide them into two groups. They read the following passage, and ask the students to narrate back how much they remember after a few minutes:
The procedure is actually quite simple. First you arrange things into different groups depending on their makeup. Of course, one pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities that is the next step, otherwise you are pretty well set. It is important not to overdo any particular endeavor. That is, it is better to do too few things at once than too many. In the short run this may not seem important, but complications from doing too many can easily arise. A mistake can be expensive as well. The manipulation of the appropriate mechanisms should be self-explanatory, and we need not dwell on it here. At first the whole procedure will seem complicated. Soon, however, it will become just another facet of life. It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future, but then one never can tell.
The first group of participants just hears the passage as it is – and they can’t remember much of it after a few minutes.
The second group however are told 7 little words before the passage is read – which makes all the difference. What are the 7 little words?
“This passage is all about washing clothes.”
These 7 words make people remember almost everything about the passage. Because it gives them a framework.
Giving a Framework to Your Content Makes it More Potent.
People pay more for systems than for simple information. So repackage your knowledge into frameworks and schemas and systems.
Give away the content on your blogs. And reveal the frameworks and the systems when people buy from you.
You don’t have to worry about giving away too much information from your articles – as long as you don’t give away your frameworks.
- Don’t start with an idea. Start with a question. Because answering questions help you find the balance between being perceived as an authority and giving away too much of information.
- Create frameworks and schemas for your content. Only share these frameworks when people buy from you.
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