The curse of knowledge could singlehandedly DESTROY the very foundation of your business. What is it, and how can you push past it?
I want to tell you about a concept that I first came across when I was studying the work of Donald Miller in his book StoryBrand. If you don’t know, Donald Miller used to be a Christian author, he still is a Christian but he moved on. Again, he’s one of those who moved on from doing traditional ministry work into the business world and it turns out he’s having a much bigger impact in the business world than just in the ministry world. So now he gets to take his beliefs to a platform that is millions strong instead of even the thousands strong that he had whenever he was a Christian author.
One of the concepts that he talks about, it’s not original to him, but in his book StoryBrand, he really clarifies this and shows us how it fits into a larger framework when it comes to marketing. That is the curse of knowledge. The title of this episode is It’s Only Normal to You.
What I want to stress here, and if you don’t mind I’m just going to preach to myself for a few minutes and let you guys listen in, because that’s how this really goes. This is something that I need to learn. When you are creating a product, when I am creating a product or a service, we are so entrenched in that product or service, we know everything about it. This lends to some serious difficulty when it comes to marketing, when it comes to selling, when it comes to pricing. By the way, marketing, selling and pricing those are all 3 different activities, maybe that’s a podcast for another day. Anyway, marketing, selling, pricing, those are 3 entirely different things and we have trouble with them because we know too much. This is why market research is important. This is why surveys are important. This is why reaching out to people and saying, hey, what do you think about this. Reach out to somebody who is in your target market and ask, hey, what do you think about this. What is this worth? Maybe might be a question. I’m not saying you take people’s word as gold, whenever you ask these sort of questions. But you do need to have an idea of what people are thinking.
A really great example, there’s something that I have created, it’s in a different realm of business than my Faith-Full Business stuff here, so I’m not going to go into all of the details but suffice it to say that I’ve created something that is available for free, somebody can go online and find it right now for free. In my mind, because I’ve had it available for free, I think it gives great value. It took awhile to create and to put together. It has fantastic value. It’s free right now. I have been thinking about charging for that product. I’ll tell you what I want to charge for it instead of giving it away for free. I actually want to charge $997 for it. I want to charge nearly $1,000 for that item.
In my mind I’m struggling with that. I’m not struggling from a moral standpoint, it’s not as though, if I sold it for $297 maybe that would be better. I’m not concerned that I am ripping people off, I legitimately think the thing is that valuable. However, emotionally, I’m running into difficulty there. Because it’s like, is it really that valuable? I was offering it for free before. This is really the question. The information is so easy for me inside of it. How can I charge $1,000 for somebody to access that information. I understand it so well. The thing about it is, that is the curse of knowledge. That’s all that is, rearing its ugly head.
Here’s the problem. When it comes to marketing specifically, the point that Donald Miller was making in his book is that most people do their marketing, their level of understanding is somewhere between an 8 and a 10 of the subject matter. Their marketing usually comes down to about a level 6, but their prospects, the potential buyers for the product, are usually somewhere around a 2, or else they wouldn’t need the product. If you’re marketing at a level 6, but people are buying at a level 2, then you’re using the wrong words. You’re not marketing well. This is one of those things that I understand and I help other businesses with it. I’ve done a lot of StoryBrand sessions with other businesses. I help people clarify their message. I help people do this, and yet, in my own business, I have the curse of knowledge. It’s so hard for me to transcend that and to step out of that. I would just offer that to you.
Think about that in your business. What are you holding back on in your sales, in your marketing, in your pricing, whatever, right now, because you’re afraid to do what you need to do with it because you don’t think the information is valuable. Take inventory of that. Maybe survey some people, hey if you wanted to get into this, what would you pay for a product like this, and just get some responses from people in the potential market.
God bless you. Thank you for listening in to the Faith-Full Business Podcast and I am so grateful to have you here each and every week. We’ll see you in the next one.