"Free" is Also a Currency
Imagine this, you see an awesome ad for an amazing workshop. It looks tempting, but you have absolutely no knowledge of the facilitator. You search and locate her social media, and it's loaded with awesome, free, solution-oriented content that rocks your world! Based on the content provided, you wonder if you really need to purchase the workshop, as her free platform is loaded with solutions to your problem. Despite this, you’re curious to learn more and click the “Buy Now” button on the ad, and voila—you’re satisfied and confident with your purchase. Now, let’s put the opposite in motion. You search and locate the facilitator’s social media and it has photos of two or three personal outings, drinks with coworkers, and a vacation photo. These posts don’t give you a clue about the facilitator or what she does. You’re not sure if you should make the purchase and decide not to because you’re not confident that the workshop will be worth your time.
How many times do we visit an advertised “expert’s” social media, unable to find any content? Frustrating, right? Excellent quality content can often lead to more sales. Your free content is often a taste of what is to come. Many make the mistake of internalizing their knowledge. They will only give it away if the target audience is paying for it. This is why most startups within the digital space struggle. The first time I launched my course, I was unsuccessful. I received tons of sign-ups, but no one actually purchased the course! I felt bad about it but not horrible. I was anxious to learn what I could do to gain a sale. I craved having a successful launch someday. I’m happy that my first launch failed. It helped me shape and reshape my business into what it is today. I understand why my launch failed. I launched with no audience, following, or fan base. No one knew who I was. This is why I got zero sales. I did not understand that free is also a currency and can bring in a residual income in the same way that a paid product or service can.
Here are three ways free content can bring in more sales:
Free content gives you a fan base that is loyal to you.
My favorite influencers post valuable content at least twice a week. I have mentally marked their posting days because I’m excited to learn about the new information they have gathered and care to share. Most influencers who are extremely valuable don’t skimp on information. They don’t hold back. The free information is just as valuable as the paid information. Some may not see the value in this, but this is beneficial to both the influencer and the follower. I become hungry for more information, and I’m on the edge of my seat every time that influencer posts. I also become genuinely interested when they advertise a paid opportunity, like a book, course, or workshop. I’m hooked for life, for the most part, as long as I’m being fed valuable information consistently.
It gives you visibility.
It’s nice when others start to notice you. It’s even nicer when you’re given an opportunity and you give a mind blowing performance that you’ve executed in an excellent way. Free content helps you with visibility and getting your name out there. Not many people make the purchase without fully knowing the seller. Will it be worth it? Are they able to bring the solution to my problem? Even beyond this, free content can lead to other opportunities such as private coaching requests and speaking engagements. You’re recognized as an expert in your area, and as people are drawn to you, they begin to embrace and crave your value.
Some platforms allow monetization and visibility.
YouTube is a free platform that pays based on the number of views and likes. This is great and provides the opportunity to be paid while you provide free content and effective solutions to your target market. As a consumer, I love YouTube. I find it more effective than Google, as it delivers real solutions from real people and gives the opportunity for human interaction via a legitimate and trusted platform. Yes, it will take time to grow your following, but you can try researching ways to grow your YouTube channel within a reasonable time frame. It’s not impossible, as many have grown their following using a strategic approach. This should allow you to achieve your visibility and monetization goals as a YouTuber.
Free content is just as good as currency because it eventually leads to more sales. Don't discredit the art of giving away free content. Having a huge arsenal of free content can actually help you more than hinder you. In a world where humans are attracted to sight and sound, free content gives your brand the boost it needs to soar. It builds the trust needed between you and your target market. When the question arises of "Will this provide the solution I need?", free content will squash any doubts. Most clients love when they see professionalism being executed. They love when trust is established. Free content is a way to establish trust. Clients also love when they hear all the right action steps that will lead to a solution for their problem. Remember, free is also a currency!