evil competitors

Ever found those words coming out of your mouth when contemplating what (and exactly how much) you’re willing to share with the world?

Case studies and customer success stories.

White papers, guides and articles.

Published expert insights.

All of these things expose you. You’re suddenly vulnerable – revealing information that will make onlookers say, “Interesting. These guys really know what they’re talking about.” Or, “Huh, I never thought to do it that way.”

And what if those onlookers just so happen to be… [QUEUE UP SCARY, SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC]… your competitors?! 👺 👿 👹

Well, my response is quite simple:

Who cares?

Let’s stop worrying so much

When it comes to publishing your insights, I say: “Go ahead. Tell the world”.

Here’s the thing:

I’m not asking you to open the vaults where you store your top-secret, classified documents and host an open house. I’m talking about publishing smart nuggets of expert advice, publicly.

For Gorilla, this means writing articles like this one you’re reading right now. Or other marketing and sales advice for manufacturers, like:

For Resource Label Group, it means penning expert content for their buyers about the ins and outs of label manufacturing:

For CK Power, it means breaking down industry regulations like Final Tier 4 that deeply affect their customers and prospects:

None of these examples breach company security or expose the secret and proprietary inner workings of these respective businesses. Nope. They simply address issues and questions their customers and prospects are experiencing all the time. That’s it!

They’re the reason a Google search for “beer can labels” turns up this (after the ads):

beer can labels serp

And the reason CK Power was able to accomplish this :

Case Study: Inbound marketing generates $800,000 in Q2 revenue for generator distributor

And the reason we consistently generate engagement (look through the comment string) from the insights our team at Gorilla publishes online:

If you don’t publish your expert insights, your competitors eventually will (if they’re not doing so already).

And who do you think your future customers will discover, begin to trust and eventually pick up the phone to call? The company that’s laying on the expert guidance? Or the one they don’t even know exists?

The case study dilemma

When it comes to case studies or customer success stories, I get that things can be trickier.

It’s the same dilemma I’m presented by our clients all the time about whether or not they should be on LinkedIn – publicly exposing who their customers are to evil poachers lurking in the shadows.

But generally speaking, my response remains consistent:

Who cares?

Here are the questions I want you to ask yourself:

1. If you’re featuring actual customers in your case studies, will your competitors even take notice?

Sorry to deal a blow to your pride, but – probably not.

2. And if they do take notice, will their minds automatically go to “Oh, I should go try to steal this customer that probably loves [your company] because they clearly did a friggin’ amazing job for them!”?

Pretty unlikely.

3. And finally, if they do go try to poach them, will your happiest customers even entertain the conversation?

That probably depends on how replaceable you are in those customers’ minds. Are you a commoditized vendor or an expert partner?

Was the success in your success story as powerful as you made it out to be? If so, I think you’ll be alright.

We show case studies with real clients on our site and welcome our competitors to go try to steal them. Good luck. They love us too much! It would take a pretty darn compelling argument to steal that business.

Where the REAL risk lies

When organizations hold back from publishing their insights and success stories, it’s usually because they’re afraid of the risk.

And how ironic.

I can’t really imagine where our business would be today if we’d let that fear stop this from happening over ten years ago.

This Learning Center has been our pot of gold.

It’s filled with years worth of insights. Pretty bad stuff from the early days (go take a look back in time if you’d like, though I don’t necessarily recommend it!). And pretty good stuff from the recent days (not “ good” because I’ve said it’s good, but because the numerous clients who have hired us after months or even years of successful nurturing via this exact content have overwhelmingly told us so).

The risk isn’t in publishing. It’s in NOT publishing.

So if you’d like, sit back and play it safe. Watch your competitors overcome their fears and start building your their captive audience.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉