Share your best stuff, the experts tell you. Give value to your audience and they will become your customers.

And it’s absolutely true – not just in the short term, but over time as well. I just proved it to myself without even trying. How?

Well – I don’t know if you are on the mailing list for the Buffer blog. If you’re not, stop reading this and go right now and subscribe. I’ll wait.

Buffer’s crack team researches, writes and sends out a ton of just astonishingly informative and well-researched articles. I first learned about them via other social gurus who recommended specific articles, which were so good I subscribed to Buffer’s emails. Over and over, their subject lines have gotten me to click over to their blog to read and learn. They’ve become one of my top resources for information about social media – they also have blogs for engineering, about Buffer itself and an upcoming blog intriguingly called “Happiness”.

I’ve been particularly impressed by posts I’ve read from Kevan Lee, one of their top content creators. Not only does Kevan write about stuff that’s of huge value to me, he makes my life a lot easier with his roundups and how-to articles. Even more impressive, he actively engages with commenters and openly posts his email address for anyone who has questions for him.

For all those reasons, when an email came into my inbox today from Kevan, I opened it. For once, the title meant nothing at all to me. It was “New post: The Ultimate List of Product Hunt Collections for Marketers”. I didn’t know what that meant and it wasn’t anything I was interested in or cared about.

But I clicked on it anyway.

Why? I have so much trust in Kevan to provide me with good stuff, I clicked on something I wasn’t interested in just because it came from him. And once I was on the post, I invested a few minutes to learn about Product Hunt, which turns out to be a geek-o-rama for finding and talking about new mobile apps, websites and other cool tech stuff. Definitely worth looking into – and maybe even downloading a few new apps.

And that, my friends, is the very embodiment of influence. It’s also total rock solid proof that content marketing works. By helping me with my business, Buffer has become one of my top go-to sites for information, and in the process I’ve become a major believer in the quality of their products as well.

You should check it out. Say hi to Kevan for me.

The eblast: