Another day, another blog post… podcast… InstaGraphic… Livestream… clever twitter quote… ebook… opt-in freebie… and on and on it goes. Let’s be real… the “Give Away Your Best Stuff for FREE” ride never ends. It’s a hungry beast that DEMANDS to be fed–daily. It can consume your entire working day. But does the strategy work? Is it worth the effort? How do you know? Is there a way to pull it off without going insane? In this episode we cover the biggest questions… concerns… and misunderstandings we hear over and over when it comes to creating and “giving away your best stuff for free.”
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Online Marketing 101: “Give them your best stuff for free, and they’ll reward you with their loyalty.”
Your best stuff might be…
… a “best selling” book with your top 5 tips for success,
… a podcast full of amazing tips, valuable insights, or world-class interviews,
… a blog where you provide regular content offering your unique expertise,
Or, maybe it’s something that promises REALLY fast, easy bits of info like:
… an infographic,
… a cheat sheet,
… a slideshare,
Have you ever even questioned whether or not the strategies actually work? And by work, I mean create income… or at the very least, leads… consistently.
Loyalty and a big audience are great, I suppose. But last I checked, grocery stores aren’t exchanging likes, followers or opt-ins for food to feed your family.
And what about the lifestyle you want? How’s that going for you? What about the impact you set out to make when you started… lives being changed… transformed even.
Sure, pumping out more “best stuff” quality content gives you something to do every day, but…
Does this free content strategy allow you to sleep soundly at night KNOWING where the next client is coming from — and when?
If not, maybe it’s time to question what’s really going on here…
Don’t get me wrong, I get it. I tried the free content model too. But after a while I was forced to start asking questions. Questions like:
Am I implementing the strategy incorrectly?
Should I switch to a different type of content?
Give it more time?
Is the whole idea of giving away my best stuff simply FLAWED?
Turns out, it’s just a flawed strategy.
Here are three reasons this is true…
#1 RECIPROCITY DOES NOT EQUAL INCOME
In 1984, Robert Cialdini published a book titled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion to “warn” consumers about the 6 “manipulative” tactics marketers use to get them to buy.
However, consumers ignored the book. Instead, it became a cult classic among marketers. Marketers used it as a textbook for how to weave even more influence techniques into their campaigns.
One of those 6 influence factors is called “reciprocity.” Reciprocity is the idea that if you do something nice for someone… a favor… then you’ll feel obligated to return the favor.
I believe the book Influence is where the idea of giving away your best content for free started.
But here’s why I think this is a flawed idea…
Do you really want a new client to come into your world out of obligation? Do you want them to become a customer out of guilt? I know I don’t.
I want a client who is committed to solving a big problem in their life. A client who is going to show up and do what’s required to get the result they want — with my help. And I don’t believe someone buying from me out of a sub-conscious sense of obligation is going to show up in that way.
Another reason I don’t believe in giving away your best stuff is…
#2 FEELING GOOD IS NOT ENOUGH
I understand. Giving away your best stuff for free FEELS good. It FEELS like the right thing to do.
But feeling good is a lot like reciprocity. Feelings do not pay the bills. YOU feeling good does not mean you are going to attract a client you can actually help.
It’s simply not enough to feel good about your content. Worse yet, if you never get results from putting out all this content, I promise you, the good feeling you had in the beginning will eventually turn to resentment. You’ll get burned out. You’ll quit.
Then, all those people you were called to serve… they’ll never find you. They’ll never get the transformation they could’ve gotten if you helped them.
Plus, giving away your best stuff for free…
#3 IT’S NOT WHAT’S BEST FOR PEOPLE
One of two things happen when people stumble across free, or really cheap, info from blogs, e-books, podcasts, etc…
First, nothing. Literally. They read the title, skim the content and move on. It’s just more information. And the problems of life take over so fast, that literally nothing happens. They don’t even remember the title… or where they read it… or who wrote it… much less what’s in it.
On the other hand, sometimes people are in a little more pain so they search out your free info on… let’s say… 5 Tips to a Better Marriage.
The reader is a person who is probably having marriage trouble. They are looking for some ideas on how to fix it. So they read your article. They go home and try the technique (with very little understanding and ZERO guidance). Just the 5 tips. The result? They either look like an idiot and raise suspicion with the spouse or, it feels fake… forced… and creates a fight.
Now the marriage is in more trouble and the person who read your tips is MORE frustrated. MORE confused. MORE anxious about their marriage.
They throw up their hands and think to themselves, “See, I knew my wife/husband is a jerk. I tried. They don’t care. It’s over.”
The truth is, there’s no way an article or any type of cheap, free content is going to transform a marriage that’s been on the rocks for years.
And that’s not what I want for you or for the people you were called to serve.
So, if reciprocity creates a false sense of obligation… if feeling good is all about you (and doesn’t last)… and if free stuff doesn’t actually help the person you want to help… then…
WHAT DOES WORK?
Simplicity. Getting back to basics.
In other words, helping people actually SOLVE a big problem in the fastest, most efficient, most direct way possible. Almost always, that means producing LESS content. And offering more support in a very strategic, leveraged way.
People do not want more information. They want transformation. They want their big nagging problem to go away.
In my experience, the best way to solve a big hairy problem is a high-touch program or done-for-you service delivered over as short of time frame as possible while still getting results…. and sells for $3,000 — $10,000 (or more).
Most any problem can be solved relatively quickly with a clear, and supported, step-by-step framework. The price point allows YOU to serve those clients at a very high level. Not to mention you can actually pay bills, take a little time off, and enjoy life.
Plus, I’ve discovered people give FAR more time and effort to implementing strategies where they’ve invested $3–10k than they will with free strategies. They’re simply more committed.
As an example, in my world, that means helping coaches and consultants attract the right clients, at the right price, anytime they want.
It means giving them a system and the support to finally solve the big problem of too much work for too little income… no time for family, friends, and other pursuits… and limited impact on the world because no one’s life is being changed.
It’s a big problem for many business owners and it’s one we’re able to help them solve. In fact, our clients lives are often completely transformed. Unrecognizeable.
And by the way… NOTHING feels better than seeing first hand the results your clients get. You can’t get THAT from “giving away your best stuff for free.”
Listen, if you’d like to learn more about how we help coaches and consultants find the right clients at the right price, anytime they want check out our upcoming webinar: What the Top 1% of Coaches Know That You Don’t.
In the webinar, we reveal why the free content model is the slowest, least productive way to build a business that matters. Plus, you’ll see the super simple 4-step model we use to turn our clients from total unknowns to 6 and 7 figure earners who help real people solve real problems.
Grab a seat now: www.clientsondemand.com/discover