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I’m sure you’re familiar with GB Shaw’s deep pragmatic statement “He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches” but today I have a bone to pick with my favourite author’s statement. This the general attitude we lead in life, that those who teach skills can theorise and teach it, but practically are inept. Many people who have seen some success want to guard their success by hushing their approach to success from others.
I’m not talking about the irritatingly lucky Zuckerberg’s or anyone else funded by Uncle Goldman Sachs. I’m talking about real people like you and me, the somewhat successful freelancer, a small business person etc who see some success but want to guard their secret in vaults.
I don’t know why anyone would do this, but I’m guessing its because they feel someone will copy them. I’ve known designers who don’t want to teach their skills lest someone else might become a designer – ooh, so scary! I’ve known a guy, who saw some success with his online business, not wanting to tell anyone what his simple secret was because of similar unexplainable phenomena of human thought.
Teaching is by far the best thing you can do for your business. Perhaps GB Shaw, stroking his velutinous beard, meant his statement to invalidate itself based on the athletic and intellectual motivation of individuals.
How Teaching helps Marketing
I love manga, from reading to drawing my own, I have a secret obsession with it. I learn how to draw manga from Mark Crilley who is behind “Miki Falls“. I wait around for Mark to upload a tutorial and love reading Miki Falls too.
So what does that have to do with marketing?
Usually, I would not even have given Miki Falls a second glance because it is not the type of manga I usually enjoy – however, I still read it. Subconsciously I had purchased Miki Falls just because I love Mark’s tutorials. I was interested in the story, but I was appreciating the drawing on a whole new level compared to other manga.
Notice, Mark didn’t think “What if I teach someone and they get good too” in fact the Mark I’ve grown to know is more likely to have said “Awesome, another manga illustrator because of my efforts”. And in the process Mark has a hit manga. The secret to the success of his manga, in my opinion, is all down to the fact that he taught.
Benefits of teaching
As discussed above, teaching your potential client enables you to show off your skill-set and display your professionalism. This gives the potential client peace of mind when purchasing your product or service.
2. You give something back
Picture the number of blogs which have helped you in your business or in another aspect of your life and all for free. Teaching what you have learnt enables you to give something back to the world for what you have taken.
3. You establish yourself as an authority
Once you have taught someone they will begin to respect you and that will give you authority. As an authority your word is taken more seriously and so is your product/service. Notice how if you were to ask me to name an awesome manga illustrator, I would say Mark Crilley, although there are probably so many illustrators who are better than him. (sorry Mark!)
4. Connect with customer
Regardless of whether you manage to market your product/service, you still manage to connect with the potential client. The reason this is awesome is because you will get feedback which may be extremely valuable. A potential client could highlight a problem with your service and you could have it rectified for the future.
Where to Teach
I find blogging is one of the best ways to teach what you know, hence Velutinous.com. A blog enables you to share your writing, videos and pictures with your fans. Notice, I’m not pushing a product or service on Velutinous, just teaching what I know. Imagine if I was to recommend a service to you – its likely that you trust me enough to take my recommendation seriously.
YouTube is awesome for teaching tutorials and sharing your knowledge. Mark is not the only professional teaching on YouTube, there are hundreds. You should start teaching by uploading videos of your advice to YouTube.
3. Social Media
Facebook and Twitter can sometimes be used to teach, but they are limited as you can imagine. I’ve never taken Facebook seriously and see it as a huge dating site (I’m on Facebook and I’m married – worrying!) but I’m sure Facebook losers – sorry lovers – can find a way to teach on Facebook. Twitter on the other hand may be easier because you can just search using the search bar and start a conversation with anyone you believe is willing to learn.
I think George Bernard Shaw would have read my article and after kneeing me in the balls for poor use of grammar, revise his statement to:
He who can, does; He who cannot, teaches; He who totally owns the stage, does and teaches.
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