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Do You Give Free Advice?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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We are in an industry that rides on creative ideas. Though it is true that data and analysis is a major part too, but advertising is still mainly known for its creative processes. With ideas on the mainstage then, how do keep actively participate within our industry, without "giving up" anything clever?

At first, we never thought that this was an issue. Adpeople talk and exchange ideas all the time, at least we figured. Then there was a discussion in the Advertising community on Google+ that got us thinking. A gentleman asked the group for help about promoting a high fashion jewelry store that only has an online presence.

No one bit.

One of the moderators commented that more than likely, no one will offer up ideas for free.

With all the blogs, and articles with professionals giving outlines and examples of their best practices, is that not giving away free advice? Isn't talking about your successes and how to apply them giving a gateway to your thinking?

Maybe not.

Earlier in 2012, articles came out about how AdLand should start thinking like StartupLand. With our experience in that world, one of the tenets we learned is that in some cases it is okay to give the product away for free. In some cases, that is the best thing you can do. Establish a loyal base. Have people crave for more. Get a following. Then, as you improve your product, get more funding- whatever the case may be- then you establish a value point.

If we apply this thinking then, maybe some of our best ideas should be free ideas. If you saw this gentleman's inquiry, would you offer up an idea for him? Or is AdLand still in need to protect ideas, even if we have no intention of going after the account?

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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