If you’re like most entrepreneurs you want your business to make money----actually a lot of it. So the last thing that you want to hear is that you should give away your work. However that’s exactly what I’m recommending that you do. I’m telling you to give away great work to attract paying customers.
There’s a lot of debate online about the merits of doing work for free. However what usually gets lost in these discussions is it takes time
for businesses to develop relationships with customers. Most marketing
experts agree that it takes at least 7 “touches” or communications before
a prospect can be converted into a paying client. What this means is that
it’s highly unlikely that someone is going to buy from you on her first visit
to your blog. This realism holds true whether your target clients are
companies or individuals. Your free work is similar to a portfolio in that
it allows you to establish the value and quality of your blog, product or
service in the mind of your target client.
The caveat is that your free work has to be great. Many businesses
lose potential clients because their free work is mediocre; nothing more
than promotional copy. The give-away material must be truly worthwhile
to your prospects. It must provide them with information to solve a
pressing problem that they have. It doesn’t matter whether that problem
is finding the right educational toy for their preschooler or how to lose
10 pounds in 30 days.
Let me be clear---free is not a business model. You have to create a
way to earn money with your blog, whether that’s selling access to
your audience or selling products and services. Free content however
is a wonderful way to begin cultivate a relationship with people who
need what you offer.
Free content can be used to do two important things:
1. Introduce people to your blog, product or service: If your blog
is your business then your posts have to consistently focus on your
area(s) of expertise. Your goal, especially if you want to work with
companies, is to use your blog to attract a particular audience or
demographic. You can’t accomplish this aim if your posts aren’t
connected by a main theme or subject matter.
If you’re selling paid products or services, a free “sample” in the form
of a report, video series, teleseminar(s) or coaching session allows
prospects to take a no-risk test drive of your work. If they like the
sample then you can use your blog posts and marketing tools like
autoresponders to introduce them to your paid services or products.
2. Create buzz for your business:
In the blogosphere, you need to stand out from the crowd. A really
great blog post can bring a ton of visitors to your blog (increasing
your visibility). They’ll come to read your epic post and then they’ll
share it with their peeps. Your epic post could be related to an eBook,
a manifesto, a video training series or some other product that you’re
giving away for free. If can’t see doing a freebie, consider using a
pay-what-you-can model, or donate 100% of your profits to charity.
Remember, people tend to find you first through your generosity.
Certified Money, Marketing & Soul Coach
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