Here’s the thing about being an expert on a subject. The more people you share your knowledge with, the more likely you’ll get inundated with “Askholes” in your network. It’s a fact with the online world given how visible you can be online.
So naturally, any space on the internet is at risk for Askholes! And for those of you who may not be familiar…
Also more commonly known as “tire kickers’, know that these are not a bad breed of people. They’re simply trying to resolve pain by how their old patterns tell them to. And they exist in a world with TONS of free content.
Nonetheless, Askholes can eat your time and energy. And even your earning power.
So, let’s talk about three ways you can “quietly” repel Askholes from your circle.
1. Have CLEAR and STRONG Boundaries around “free”
There are a lot of different opinions on whether paid experts should offer anything for free. And whether you offer little or a lot, my caution to you is to set clear expectations around working with people. And understand as you build, this amount of “free” time should decrease as your brand builds. When there’s a scarce amount of free time you offer, people are more willing to honor that time.
Boundary 1: Start with not being afraid to let them know on a free call you will make an offer at the end. And the key is to set the expectation that you MAY ask for something at the end of the call. A sale. A referral. A testimonial.
Boundary 2: When you offer calls for free, always have an outline (sent in advance) to set your potential clients’ expectations. Time. Policy around cancellation or tardiness.
Boundary 3: Set aside a certain amount of time per week. Perhaps a “free Friday” series of appointments. Your free appointments should eventually be exceeded by your paid ones. Rather than allowing your billable hours to get filled, consider timeslots that aren’t generally popular or perhaps find you outside the office.
The key is to attract people to talk to you who clearly see how you can help them. They will respect your time, and more importantly, they will value and implement the advice you give them. Even if it were free.
3- Have resources at the Ready!
Always have resources available at your hand that can help people with questions more in-depth and you don’t have to spend the time. This could be a podcast series or perhaps a blog of common questions you get from people. Keep in mind much of your free public content should already be addressing this need.
Failing that, also consider outside resources to you of people you trust. Or even people you admire. Now, you don’t need to fear someone leaving you for the creator of this other resource. If you’ve engaged them correctly they WANT to work with you. They simply aren’t yet ready whether from a mindset perspective or financial one.
Finally, consider junior experts to you that might appreciate the referral. This is a good time to consider creating a “Value Chain” in your referral system as well.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
If you want to stop energy burnout on wrong people and would love to develop an Aura of Influence so people take your advice more seriously, then start taking the following actions now!
- Clearly mark your boundaries when helping others.
- Clarify your niche and main message to attract the right audience.
- Compile your list of available resources such as blogs, referrals, and connections for easy and quick access.
Those 3 simple and effective ways will not only stop Askholes from wasting your time and exploiting your expertise but you will also have more energy to put into your main goals whilst helping the right people who really value your advice and time.