Pickpocketed in Barcelona… (but in digital marketing it’s OK!)
“Don’t get pickpocketed in Barcelona…!”
That’s what I was told before I left for Spain (to teach a Masters course in Digital Marketing.)
There was nothing surer than getting pick pocketed on La Rambla. There’s someone waiting to rob you so carry no valuables and please be alert at all times. The safest option of course is don’t set foot outside your apartment!
I’m exaggerating slightly, but not much.
I’ve subsequently discovered that pick pocketing is not that big a deal. Even in all the tourist traps. (Touch wood.)
In my time here, I’ve always felt safe, and whilst it’s my second trip, it goes to highlight how other people’s misconceptions can severely impact our frame of mind and make us believe the worst.
The same is true in digital marketing…
In my class of international students in Barcelona, we’ve focused a lot of time on ‘coming from a place of generosity’.
I showed students my free marketing templates that have this in the footer… ‘Feel to make this your own. Edit it, co-brand it, re-brand it or even use it commercially.”
They pushed back and said “why would you give it away and potentially let others take credit for it…!?”
I explained that most people are good people. And if they’re not, they’ll plagiarise your work anyway, regardless of what you say.
So I made the decision early on in business to giveaway our templates and we encouraged people to make them their own. I’m pleased when I see people using our templates and even putting their own flavour on them.
Sure, many people have reproduced our material with no attribution. But that’s ok.
It’s ok with me because the process of sharing the templates helped us build trust in a notoriously low-trust industry as well as attract leads and clients. The process of creating the templates helped clarify our own thinking and it’s formed the framework of what we teach in workshops, online courses and with private clients.
I come back to this saying:
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”
If we produced work that no-one found valuable enough to steal I’d be way more worried.
Each day, on my walk along Port Vell marina to the uni campus, I pass countless (100+) street stores selling counterfeit goods from Nike sneakers to Louis Vuitton handbags to Ronaldo football jerseys.
Of course some people buy the counterfeit goods. I don’t condone it, but there is obviously a black market.
A different type of buyer
In contrast, when I walk home up the Passeig de Gràcia towards my apartment, I pass all the genuine retail stores. They sell the ‘real’ version of the brands and products that are available on the street.
These retail stores are immaculate and are full of customers happily paying full price for the real deal. Often at 100 times the street price.
Would these real customers buy the knock-off gear on the street? Or course not.
Because they are different buyers and they value the genuine article.
The same is true with your clients.
I believe that if you are the market leader who shares the most valuable IP, then you will be rewarded with great clients and rewarding opportunities, even if a few people pick-pocket your IP along the way.
I was curious so I just looked up the entrepreneur whose business (LVMH) sells the genuine Louis Vuitton handbags — he is the fifth or sixth wealthiest person in the world. The guys selling the counterfeit bags at the port are a fair way behind him by the looks of things.
The moral of the story…
Yes, people will rip you off, and ‘virtually’ pickpocket you if you create great work — but only if it’s good enough!
It seems counterintuitive and strange to admit, but we need our to strive to create a body of work that is inspiring enough for people to actually want to steal or pickpocket.
On the web, plenty of people decide to publish mediocre material, for fear that people would rip off their best stuff and they’d lose business. The irony is if they did publish their best work, more people would notice, and they’d probably win more business.
If you’re the original, or the best, or just the best in your buyer’s mind, there will be a will a huge gap between you and your impersonators.
The more people we can help, the better we feel and the more people will want to work with us.
Have you seen my recent LinkedIn video? I tried to practice what I preach.
I give a few tips in the short video and also the written part in case people prefer not to watch video. Then if people want more, I’ll send them a more detailed PDF on different types of LinkedIn content you can create — with examples, screenshots and instructions. Check it out if you haven’t already.
I am sure I could charge for it, if I wanted to, but that’s the idea. The IP you give away should be so valuable people would pay you for it, if you asked, but you give it away as a gift!
Anyway, as I’ve been doing all year, I gave away this particular resource for free. I don’t require an email opt-in or anything. No obligation, no opt-in, no expectation.
Since I adopted this particular approach on LinkedIn, the results have been slowing growing. The videos have grown in reach from around 3,000 viewers when I started, up to around 10,000 viewers for a while, then up to 52,000 views and then 192,000 views. The most recent video is possibly on track to surpass that.
Here’s what people sent me this morning about the free PDF they received.
- Dean C 5:43 AM
Thanks for this Adam…. the content is probably the best of its kind that I’ve seen.
And I got 100s of messages like this from Rupali.
- Rupali K 7:23 AM
Dear Adam, Thank you so much, have a great day. Best, Rupali
These are two people who aren’t even receiving this email because they wouldn’t be on my Bluewire News list yet. If they like my free PDF perhaps they will decide to join my mailing list, but they can make the decision at their own pace.
It’s not about trapping people or tricking people into giving me their email address. It’s about being helpful, forming relationships and being a human being — not an automated robot!
From a business point of view the interesting thing from sharing this new PDF, is that we’ve already had new business enquiries — one for a conference speaker and one for a marketing consultant.
So when you approach marketing from a place of generosity, it will produce results.
Especially when you have an entire digital marketing system in place!
I’ve been teaching the ‘entire system’ to my students in Barcelona and I can teach you too.
If you want to learn how master digital marketing for your business, please consider my flagship membership course Double My Leads.
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