Question from a reader:
"Hi Danilo. I'm currently starting the journey to grow my boutique consultancy. I understand the value of content marketing and thought leadership to stand out in the market, but still struggle with the idea of giving a lot of value for free. Question: How can I overcome the fear of sharing my expertise with prospects?"
Many solo consultants and founders are hesitant to publicly share their expertise for fear prospects will steal their ideas and do it themselves. Or that competitors will copy their methodology. This can be a significant drawback to your growth initiatives since it makes it much harder for you to earn trust and visibility.
To be clear, there are some specific situations where you might want to invest in legal protection for your IP:
- If you developed a unique method or approach that is critical to your business, you may want to consider obtaining a patent to protect your IP;
- If you are entering into a collaboration or partnership with another company or individual, you may want to use a license agreement or other legal contract to clearly define the rights and responsibilities of each party for the IP that is being shared or developed.
- If you are concerned about potential infringement or theft of your brand IP, obtaining a trademark or registering your copyrights can make sense.
Based on my experience, these never represent more than 5% of your intellectual property.
In the vast majority of cases, the fear of sharing IP is unfounded. There is now a wealth of publicly available information on almost any management challenge. Books, publications, courses... if anything, there's too much information available.
This means the ability to tailor and implement expert knowledge in a unique and effective way is more valuable than that knowledge itself.
If you have been holding back on sharing your expertise, it may be time to rethink your approach. Limiting the display of your knowledge will limit your visibility and reputation as an expert. And that doesn't help anyone - neither you nor your audience.
Just hit publish.