How to market your company by sharing your knowledge

Jason Fried (@jasonfried) co-founded 37signals in 1999. The company is really famous within the tech world and they are behind the programming language Ruby on Rails and the popular blog Signal vs Noise.

Lessons learned:
  • If you purchase a new product, try to learn why you bought exactly that product
  • We tend to buy products from someone who taught us something - not just from big companies
  • Out-teach your competitors - not out-spend them
  • We tend to not give away our knowledge because we are afraid that someone will steal it and use it against us
  • Don't worry about your competitors - but be aware of them
  • PR firms are a waste of money and advertising is expensive and can be difficult depending on the company you have
  • If you teach, you will get an audience that will come back to you and spread the word about you to their friends
  • One article by Jason Fried too 15 minutes to write, but more than 800,000 people has read it. How expensive would it be to drag in 800,000 people with ads?

I watched this video a few years ago and I've tried to teach my knowledge through this blog. One thing I discovered is that it's actually quite difficult to know what your knowledge is. For example, why is the color on the top of this page gray and not red - can the answer become a article? According to the right side of this page, the most popular articles on this blog include 3 articles where I taught something no-one else has taught on the Internet (that's why they are popular): 
So that's almost 17,000 views I didn't pay one cent to get!

The psychological reason to why this is working is explained in the book Influence. The influence of authority says that we are trained from birth that obedience to proper authority is right and disobedience is wrong. Information from a recognized authority can provide us a valuable shortcut for deciding how to act in a situation, but it can also be dangerous.
  • A nurse may listen to a doctor even though the nurse know the doctor i wrong – what would make sense is irrelevant
  • You can hire an actor to play the role of a doctor speaking on behalf of the product. Or an actor who used to play a doctor in a TV-series
So if you share your knowledge, you will become an authority on the subject, and people will begin to follow you because we are trained to follow authorities