As knowledge entrepreneur you engage in a value exchange. Creating content and presenting it to an audience is one side of this equation. The other side is what I call Your Ask. It is an essential part of the economic engine of every knowledge entrepreneur.
As a creator, you've put yourself in a position where you delivered value for someone and you are asking now for a relatively small part of that value in return. It is the most natural and fair and decent thing to do. There is no need to feel bad about it. Still, I understand that many people do.
That's also why I recommend that you should earn your ask instead of selling it. This will make it feel much more natural to ask for a small part of the value you created in return. You don't beg, you don't cheat, you don't persuade, you just ask.
Your Ask does not have to be about money. There are plenty of other things of value to you that you could ask for.
- subscribe to your newsletter
- follow you on social media
- leave a rating and review on a certain platform
- reply with feedback or ideas
- take a specific action, e.g. spread the word to a friend
When you are starting out as expert and have not yet build a reputation, money should not be on the top of your list. Feedback, ideas, or just the willingness to invest time and try out your services is already a sizable ask for your audience.
Keep in mind that asking is not demanding. There could be good reasons for the person on the other side not to engage in your ask. Maybe they are short on time, maybe they are still in the process of getting to know you, maybe they did not yet get enough value out of your creation. But the crucial thing is to ask. Your ask will make it easy for the receiver of the value to return the favor.
Your ask should be appropriate in size to the value you created. Specifically, it should not be larger or even equal to the value you created but much smaller. If your medium is one that scales (e.g. social media or a blog) it can be very small. If you created a lot, e.g. by giving a workshop or a lecture in person it can be a little more. You will get a feeling for it soon enough.
Finally don't forget to be creative. Your ask should match your character. It can be kind and quiet or loud and funny. It should be something that fits. Frequently varying your ask does not only keep it more engaging but also increases your chances that someone in your audience engages on a particular ask that fits.