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One of the biggest concerns small business owners have when it comes to their website content is:

“If my website content is too helpful in solving a problem, will my potential clients end up doing it themselves instead of contacting me?”

At the end of the day, this concern leads to analysis paralysis, and their websites end up with extremely shallow content that pushes potential clients away, or even no content at all.

This is especially true for small businesses that provide services.

Don’t View Each Website Visitor As An Immediate Transaction

A better way to view your website visitors is as the beginning of a potential relationship with your small business. Essentially, you want to create content that builds an audience and encourages the start of a relationship with your small business.

This basically comes down to understanding your buyer’s journey.

A simple buyer’s journey has three stages:

  1. Awareness: The buyer has an idea of the problem they need solved.
  2. Consideration: The buyer understands their problem more and they are looking for solutions.
  3. Decision: The buyer has found a solution and is ready to commit to a service provider or product.

A buyer’s journey can range from a couple of days to weeks. The key thing is to understand it as much as possible and then to create audience/relationship-building content around it.

Content That’s Too Helpful Can Lose You Client’s In The Short-Term

Here’s an example of how this might happen:

Let’s say you own a small electrical contracting business and there’s a potential client out there who’s just bought an inverter with two batteries, and they are looking for someone or instructions on how to connect it.

Your potential client came across a detailed blog post that you’ve written which includes step-by-step instructions and pictures on how to connect.

The blog post was so helpful that your potential client was able to do it themselves and no longer needed to contact you to do it.

You’ve just lost a client!

How This Short-Term Loss Can Turn Into A Long-Term Gain

Your helpful blog post just made you a loss in terms of money, but you’ve gained trust with that person who is still a potential client. If you think about it, people who can afford to spend R8000 on a simple inverter and battery backup system are very close to spending R20,000 on a larger system.

Because your blog post was helpful in solving their problem, you’ve built trust with the person and they will remember your small electrical contracting business when they are looking to upgrade to a more complex inverter and battery backup system that they can’t do themselves.

Will You Always Lose Clients With Too Helpful Website Content?

No, not at all.

If we take the above example again, even though your blog post is detailed and helpful, the client might still contact you for your services because:

  1. They’ve spent R8000 and don’t want to risk breaking anything.
  2. They don’t have the technical ability or tools required to set it up.
  3. They simply don’t have the time to do it.

As you can see, there are multiple reasons why they would still contact you even though your blog post was very helpful.

How Will I Know If My Website’s Content Is Too Helpful?

Depending on what your small business provides, I believe that your website’s content should be there to thoroughly educate and inform your potential clients, and not to teach them how to do things all the time.

The reason for this is that you own a small business and you need to make money. If you owned a non-profit organisation or an educational business, then the opposite would be true and you would rather teach your potential clients with your content.