The Pursuit of Online Entrepreneurship
Podcast Episode 022 – What’s The Difference Between Free and Paid Content?
Question: What Grows Your Online Business Faster Than Anything Else?
Answer: Sharing your knowledge and expertise through the different social media platforms—especially those your Ideal Client is on.
Whether you focus on ONE platform to start with such as Facebook or various platforms such as you blog, Youtube videos, weekly FB Live Show or a Podcast, in each of these platforms you’re showing up as an expert and sharing valuable information that showcases your expertise for FREE.
It’s a constant balance to decide how much FREE valuable content you give your audience. We have to give our audience enough FREE content for them to feel like we’ve helped them and they feel supported enough to want to continue in their journey with us. Versus giving them so much FREE content that our audience feels like they have everything they need from us for now, where they believe they don’t need our paid service offers.
The main question we want to focus on today is how do you know where to draw the line or set a limit between your free and paid content? A question that often comes up is “Am I giving away to much for free”? And “What is the difference between Free vs Paid content”?
That’s what we’ll be talking about in today’s episode.
Free Content vs. Paid Content . . . How do we decide what to share, when to share it and how much to share? Before we start to dive into details, I want to say that it’s okay to overlap your free content with some of your paid–or as I like to refer to it, your premium content–but I agree that you don’t want to give it all away.
The question of how much free content we should share is a constant balancing act we all face. We want to share enough free, valuable content with our audience that they start to come back for more. They become loyal fans and feel well taken care of and supported by us. We also want to leave them wanting a bit more so that they consider investing in our services and continuing their journey with us.
I know I know, it’s tricky that’s why I said it’s a constant balancing act.
So let’s talk about this. How do we know what content is best to give away versus what content you should charge for.
For the most part, there are three main differences between free content and our paid premium content.
LET’S START WITH THE FIRST MAIN DIFFERENCE:
You may have heard this before, but it’s true: Your FREE content is all about the “WHAT” and the “WHY.” This type of content doesn’t include all the step-by-step strategies and systems you’ve developed. It’s general, high-level, with the occasional training that generates a result. With your free content, you want to give your audience enough of the valuable information that they (your future Ideal Client) needs to know, learn, be aware of, or believe before they feel ready to invest in any of your products, programs or services. Focusing on answering the “what” and the “why” for your audience provides you with a guideline for what kind of free, valuable content you should create and share.
Remember what I said earlier: It’s okay for your free and paid content to overlap a little bit. You want to give your audience a sneak peek. The appetizer to the main meal. A sample of the type of content you provide, your knowledge, your expertise, your style of teaching . . . All important things for them to think about and know about you before they invest with you.
Now, on the other hand, your premium paid content is all about the “HOW.” The “how” is where you get to really take your clients, your students, on a journey and help them through the transformation your service, program, or product promises. It’s the system or process you’ve developed to get them what they want and need.
NOW, LET’S MOVE ON TO MAIN DIFFERENCE #2:
At this point you may be saying, Okay, okay, I get it, but you may still be confused about what type of FREE content to create and share, right? Right! Let’s keep it simple for now. Here are some ideas for FREE content:
- Tips, best practices, and strategies: Make it easy to absorb, simple to implement and easy to get a result.
- Share some behind-the-scenes content related to something you’re creating for your client.
- Your opinions and habits are interesting to your audience . . . So share what you’re reading/watching/listening to that will help inspire your audience.
Here’s a personal tip of mine that I’d like to share with you for when you’re feeling less than inspired to create free content.
- I keep a running google document with Frequently Asked Questions. Here’s the catch: It’s not just FAQ’s my audience asks of me, but questions I read in various groups where I believe I have a good answer and can provide value.
- When I feel stuck, I visit that FAQ document and pull out one or more of those FAQ’s and my answer to the FAQ becomes the free content I create.
- I can share that content in a written post, a short pre-recorded video or a FB Live or more.
- You can totally steal this strategy
Again, your paid content should be a detailed “how.” How to follow and implement your step-by-step system, framework, road map, blueprint. The detailed step-by-step is your premium content, and it promises your audience a specific transformation that may require more attention to the steps.
Your paid programs and services are where everything fits together. This is where you lead your client or student through the process and where you help them to focus on what to do, when to do it and how to do it . . . Premium!
THIS LEADS US TO MAIN DIFFERENCE #3
You’ll often hear me (and others) say, “You have to show up online and be of service and provide value, and this value you provide is in the form of your FREE content.” It gives your audience, your followers, your future Ideal Clients a good sense of who you are, who you help, and how you help. If you do this consistently, you’ll create trust and build relationships.
On the other hand, your paid content is not only valuable, but detailed. It focuses on delivering a transformation.
Think of it this way: Your free content is the beginning of a conversation, or a foundation. Your paid content is the continuation of that conversation, or the building out on top of that foundation.
Your PAID content provides a detailed road map or blueprint for your clients or students to get results.
LET ME SHARE SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW I DO THIS IN MY ONLINE BUSINESS WITH MY SERVICE OFFERS USING MY WEEKLY FB LIVE, PODCAST AND OTHER TYPES OF CONTENTS SUCH AS FREEBIES:
- On my Facebook Business Page, I often publish a short pre-recorded video walking you through how to do something quickly to help you get a result–a quick win.
- On my weekly Facebook Live show, I may do a 15-minute live show on a specific topic. I select one point to do a deeper dive on. This helps you get a greater understanding, builds trust, and ensures that you see me as someone you can count on week after week to show up and deliver valuable FREE content.
- On my weekly Podcast, I give you a lengthier episode with more details, examples, and I share more personal and business stories to bring home the lesson.
With each one of these types of pieces of content I just described, my viewers, listeners, audience, can go off on their own and implement some of the tips I shared and get some quick results or quick wins.
The types of entrepreneurs and business owners I love to work with are those who are resourceful enough to take what I’ve shared and run with it. They make it work. I know I’ve done this myself and will often start to pay attention to the person who created that content that gave me results to see what else they’ve got.
Can you see the opportunity here? What your FREE content can do for your business’ reputation, credibility, and visibility online?
On the other hand, in a paid program, course, or service, you’ll see me walk my clients or students through the steps of how to put together an entire online marketing strategy or a product service to offer online. We go into great detail on what to implement, how to implement it, and the “why” behind those steps. One of the most important things about my PAID content is that I provide the order in which these detailed steps are to be implemented in order to get the best and fastest results. Again, it’s my premium service.
Okay, let’s do a quick recap of what we’ve covered so far. In this episode we went over:
- The three MAIN differences between free and paid content
- And a few examples of how I execute this in my online business with different types of platforms such as prepaid video, Facebook Lives, and this podcast.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN . . .
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below: what type of valuable FREE content will you create and where will you share it?
If you’ve enjoyed my content, could I ask you to take 30 seconds and leave a review on iTunes? Your reviews help my podcast get found by others. It also lets me know you’re enjoying and getting value out of the content I share.
If you head on over to iTunes and scroll down the episode, you’ll see the rating stars.Click these to rate the podcast and leave a review. I read every single one.
And remember: Taking imperfect action is always better than waiting until everything is perfect and never starting at all.
I thank you for showing up for me, for yourself, and for your business.
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