Free offers are heavily on the increase in online business. Whatever internet route you take, you are bombarded with free tutorials and handy content upgrades, lead magnets and freebies.
And boy, what a massive raise in quality these giveaways currently make. You can serially watch excellent free resources outperform paid products!
Why is it that every blogger needs to offer great free content? Is it really smart to give away some of your best ideas fro free? And what about all the freebie chasers you have to deal with?
What’s the best strategy to put behind your free offers?
Lots of questions we will find helpful answers for in the following!
Why you – more than ever – need to offer free resources
Time to talk about the bombastic growth of online business again. How to change from being invisible within a million marketers into the very one consumers choose to buy from?
…Oversupply always leads to having to take more efforts to be seen (and picked).
That’s when free offers came into fashion as a great extra effort to get that critical extra attention. That lead to many marketers using giveaways, which resulted in another excess supply…
Therefore, some free offer is not enough. It has to be excellent to stand out. Yaro Starak has written a worth reading post about the quality changes people make to their free offers.
But, if free offers are such a oversaturated field already, why do marketers still invest time and money to create epic pieces of them?
Because free resources do a paramount job: They help to build trust.
If you give your potential customers something highly valuable before they buy, you earn lots of credits in trustworthiness. And, in times where a superabundance of shiny offers is standard, your reputability is what people double-check the most.
Trust is the foundation of any sale you ever make. Honest offers of help with no strings attached invite people to check you (and your commitment) out. Free resources are a perfect vehicle for that invitation.
What’s the intention behind your freebies?
Now the give-and-take part of free resources comes into play: You offer your visitor incredibly helpful information for free, to get that visitors email address in return.
Your free course/worksheet/checklist is the invitation to check your trustworthiness. And your email funnel is the reminder to check more of you and your useful content over and over again. That’s why you want to put people on your email list.
Trust comes from regularly exposing your content to your visitor. Your funnel is to deliver that reminding exposure. The more helpful stuff your subscribers are routed to, the stronger the relationship they build with you.
Once you’ve collected enough trust credits, your subscriber will buy from you. Some of these customers nominate you as the go-to person, which leads them to come back regularly. The very loyal ones among them turn from repeat visitor into repeat customer. That’s when you can consider your job well done:)
To summarize, free resources do two big things for you: They cement a first “helped me a lot” experience in the head of your readers (T-R-U-S-T). And, as an optin incentive, they put people on a tour through your hand-picked content to initiate more trust, interaction, sales, repeat sales.
What’s crucial to make freebies work?
To provide a mind-blowing free resource, you really need to know your audience. What are the challenges people face and how can you help them out?
If your free product can solve one of the biggest pain points your audience has, you are very likely to catch their attention.
Starters often back away from creating a free product. They want to wait until they are expert enough. Some wait forever… don’t let that be you. Here is some help on how to become an expert fast.
There are mainly three things you need to ensure about your free resource:
- it needs to come from your unique angle
- it needs to have excellent quality in content
- it needs to be of great help or, even better, solving one of the most pressing problems people in your niche have
Simply put, you have to over-deliver!
Your free offer can have many different formats like an email course, a worksheet, a checklist, a report, a cheat sheet, a fully fledged case study, etc.
If you want to learn more about different types of freebies and which ones work great, check out Stef Gonzaga’s post on SmartBlogger about 9 examples of very effective free resources to grow your email list.
Whatever type of freebie you choose to create, make sure it integrates with the framework of your paid products. Show people the next level of in-depth information in relevant spots.
What of your ideas to give away for free?
This question triggers lots of controversial discussions. What of your knowledge and experience to give out for free?
Is it smart to share some of your best ideas within a freebie? What if your competitors “steal” your golden nuggets?
Many concerns. Most of them baseless.
The primary job of a free resource is to demonstrate what an irresistible, great source of help you are. That greatness of your help is coming from your unique angle. It’s based on your one-and-only big idea that offers great relief for the people you address.
You need to show some of that big idea to make your demonstration of help authentic and trustworthy. It’s not going all-in with all of your game-changing assets. But, at least one single aspect of your big idea needs to be demonstrated.
And don’t worry about your competitors. Those who just copy what you do won’t stay long. Trust me, thinking and acting in rivalry is no good approach to online business. It’s way better to find ways that let you complement each other. If you are generous with referring to excellent resources of other marketers, you find many of them sharing your content too.
In case of doubt, always share a bit more for free than you would have done in a regular brick and mortar business. It’s really worth it!
Want more reasons for becoming generous with giveaways? Read this post by Chris Garrett about what content to sell and what to offer for free at Copyblogger.
What wonderful side effects giveaway content has
Content business, aka blogging, is all made of HELPING. If your primary motivation is people’s money, you will be having a hard time. If your top motivation is to help people, the money is sure to follow.
Hence, the level of money you make only depends on the level of help you offer.
Free resources are a great “tool” to train your helping mode. You need that strong helper approach as the constant driving force for all of your actions. Once in that “love to help” fashion, your content creation will flow with ease and consistency.
And there is a cool phenomenon attached to helping: it triggers reciprocity. People want to give back for the help they found in you. And they do give back. Not only by buying your products. They share your content, review your products and love to recommend you whenever the occasion fits.
What about freebie chasers?
Yes, there will be some people who jump on your list to grab a freebie to unsubscribe then. But that shouldn’t bother you.
Actually, it’s good they unsubscribe. You don’t want to have people on your list that don’t engage with what you offer. Just let them go and wish them best of luck (they need it for their unengaged endeavors).
Your freebie is all set up to solve a pressing problem of your subscribers. That’s what makes most of your subscribers stay on your list. The leaving freebie chasers will only be a few.
Your best suiting audience are people who don’t expect everything for free on your site. You want visitors that ask for more than your free content. Your best match visitors are people who know that the comprehensive, all-in-one, surefire-mastery solutions are never for free.
That’s why making your paid products visible from very early on is crucial. People need to be aware that all the great things you provide are not (only) charity but part of your business.
With an awesome freebie and a good follow up series of emails, you can turn lots of subscribers into long-term engaged followers. Hence, freebies can do a great job in building your tribe. That’s why they deserve to be awesome!
What about you? Do you use freebies for your business? What are your experiences with offering free resources? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
To your very success,