For any business that is knowledge-based, ideas are typically thought of as being the currency of their organization. Ideas are the basis of their product, the centre of their value proposition, and their competitive advantage. For these reasons – which are entirely valid – ideas are typically held close to the chest and are protected as carefully as a newborn child.
While being protective of ideas seems to make a huge amount of sense, there are a number of incredible opportunities you could be missing out on as a result.
The amazing thing about ideas is that there are always better ones. Always. By giving away your ideas, you are forcing yourself to be innovative, to think of new ideas, and to think of better ideas. Holding your ideas close will keep you from being innovative and propelling your business forward. While your business holds ideas close to its chest, others are pushing the envelope, developing thoughts that are truly unique, and creating huge value for their clients in ways they never thought possible. Sounds exciting, right?
Proves Your Value
Knowledge and idea-based businesses continually face the challenge of having to prove their value to prospective clients. Giving prospects your ideas for free will prove what your business is capable of, mitigate the risk involved with choosing to work with you, and establish your organization as a trusted source of value.
Acknowledging that the purpose of case studies is to demonstrate the proven effectiveness of your idea-based solutions, there is still an inherent risk that prospective clients must take to work with you – no matter how relevant and impressive your case studies. At the end of the day, they don’t know whether you’ll be able to replicate the value your business provided other clients. Additionally, there will always be an inherent skepticism about case studies because by their nature, they are designed to show-off your organization’s highlights, and ignore all of the failed ideas that were sold to other clients.
Increases the Chance of Making Your Business, and Your Clients, Famous
How many incredible, award-winning ideas do you need to pitch for one of them to see the light of day? Chances are that this happens so infrequently that you don’t have an answer to that question. Increase your chances of selling an incredible idea by pitching more of them. Don’t wait to be paid to pitch an idea. Don’t wait for a client to ask for an idea. Simply put, don’t wait. Just share your ideas, stand behind them, sell the hell out of them and demonstrate why they’re game-changers, and I’m sure you’ll have greater success actually bringing ideas to life.
What benefits have you experienced by giving away your ideas?
What do you see as being the pitfalls of giving away ideas?
As always, it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
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