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No One Can Steal Your Expertise, so Go Ahead and Share It

Mariah Obiedzinski

In summer 2016, I noticed a funky smell wafting from my portable dishwasher. I Googled it and determined the cause – food particles were plugging up the sprayers, and I’d have to disassemble the dishwasher to clean them. Gross.

I turned to YouTube and found a plethora of instructional videos, including a few with machines that looked like my no-longer-available-in-stores Kenmore. I chose one from a local industry pro, watched it, and sent my kids outside to play. As I changed into my housework clothes, I said with a smirk, “I’ll have this knocked out by lunchtime.”

Wrong. So wrong. What I expected to be a one- to two-hour process became a four-hour ordeal that ended with a broken sprayer and leftover parts. The afternoon ended with me calling the experts who’d posted the video to come fix my dishwasher mess. Though I’d watched the video and did what the experts said, I still got it wrong. But I appreciated the information I got from the video, and the company that posted it got my business when I needed help.

You won’t lose business by sharing expertise

So often, people are afraid to share how they do what they do. Won’t someone steal our ideas? What if they see our how-to video and decide they don’t need us after all? Of course, there are some trademarked things that can’t be shared. But how-to videos and other helpful content typically don’t fall into that category.

My dishwasher faux pas is a prime example of why that fear often is unfounded. Sure, the dishwasher-repair video explained what was wrong and walked me through how to fix it. But the dishwasher parts in the video didn’t match mine exactly. And I didn’t have all of the tools the narrator used, so I improvised.

The Google content and YouTube video didn’t entirely solve my problem, but as a consumer, I appreciated it because the content:

  • Helped me understand what was wrong: I didn’t know why my dishwasher wasn’t working, but I Googled the symptoms and figured it out. Your potential patients do the same thing – they want to know what’s wrong with their health, what may have caused their problem and how it can be fixed or managed.
  • Gave me new ideas: When I saw that I didn’t have all the necessary tools, I tried a workaround. Though my attempt was unsuccessful, at least I knew I covered all of my bases before I reached out for help. Many people do this with their healthcare, too.
  • Showed me that it’s not as easy as it looks: Many clients connect with us after having trouble implementing content marketing programs on their own. Often, they didn’t anticipate the time and work involved – just like I did with my dishwasher. After going through the steps on my own without success, I realized it was time to call the experts for help.

Schedule a free 15-minute call with Mariah Obiedzinski to discuss healthcare content marketing strategies.

A healthcare example

Imagine that instead of dealing with a troublesome dishwasher, I was struggling with back pain. My first step would have been to Google my symptoms. Shooting pain, numbness – sounds like a pinched nerve. Then I’d Google “pinched nerve treatment near me” and click the first link I recognized – the link to your back pain clinic.

On your site, I’d read about how the doctors diagnose and treat pinched nerves with special techniques. Similar to many people who don’t like to go to the doctor, I’d start by trying the self-help steps listed on your site: get a massage, use over-the-counter medicines, etc.

If none of the at-home remedies worked, I’d pull up your back pain page again and click “Make an Appointment.” Thanks to the content and “secret sauce” you were willing to share, I ultimately sought your team’s expert care to solve my problem.

Show, don’t just tell

If we don’t talk about what we do, and if we don’t share insights, how will people know we’re the real deal? If the dishwasher repair company had simply listed their credentials and awards on their website, I never would have found them. But because they were willing to create helpful content and distribute it through multiple channels, they got my business.

Did Julia Child become a famous chef by keeping her recipes to herself? No. She shared her delicious meals and established herself as an expert. Can you imagine a world in which Bob Ross didn’t guide our eager brushes? He loved his craft and shared it on public television, establishing himself as a thought leader in the process.

Sharing healthy living tips or voicing your opinion on trending health topics won’t solve all your audiences’ medical problems. But it may open their eyes to an issue they’d never considered, give them ideas about how to help themselves, and remind them that your team is ready to help when they need it.

Just as I realized I’m no appliance repair person, people who need your help will find that they’re not nurses, doctors, or therapists. Sharing expertise is mutually beneficial when it’s done right – it provides useful information that can benefit others, encourage them to try new things and lead them back to you when help and support is truly needed.

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