In the article, he called upon an example from McDonald's Canada that has stuck with me ever since.
McDonald's Canada has a website where people can submit their food-related questions in exchange for answers. When they received a request for the ingredients behind their Big Mac sauce, this is how they responded:
THEY GAVE AWAY THE "SECRET RECIPE!"
And guess what...
People are still buying Big Macs. McDonalds is still in business.
Rather than shy away from giving away the tricks and techniques that have brought your business success with the fear that your product or service will become unnecessary, embrace the transparency.
Not only does Alex detail exactly what they did to grow their blog subscriber list, but he isn't afraid to admit that prior to doing so, they were struggling.
While many would argue that revealing weaknesses could place your business in an unfavorable light, I'd argue that it actually positions Alex as a problem solver. Someone you'd want to work with.
Be honest when things are changing
Mixing things up in your office?
Maybe you brought on a new team member, adjusted your pricing structure, or implemented new software.
Whatever the case may be, don't be afraid to keep prospects and customers in the know.
Buffer has dedicated an entire section of their blog to sharing this type of information. They call it bufferopen, and it's full of no-holds-back posts like this one:
With Buffer, there are no such thing as secrets.
Unafraid of the backlash they might get for doing something as unorthodox as eliminating managers across the board, they share almost every move that they make internally with the public.
It's so unusual that it often piques the interest of people. It draws attention to their brand. It gets people talking.
What more could you want?
Tell the truth
In fact, it's not so much a matter of if they're going to happen, but rather when they are going to happen.
Rather than sweep an issue under the rug, businesses committed to transparency focus on reacting accordingly.
When news broke about an Airbnb host who suffered from extensive property damage after a renter ransacked her apartment, stealing her property and identity, Airbnd didn't run and hide.
They simply couldn't.
Here's an excerpt from a blog article the company posted in response to the situation:
"We should have responded faster, communicated more sensitively, and taken more decisive action..."
Notice, they didn't place blame, point fingers, or attempt to justify their mistakes. They owned them.
Ready to open up?
With transparency comes hesitation.
How much is too much information? What will people think? How will they respond?
Sure, it's scary.
But success rarely comes to those who were "too scared" to try, right?
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