How Much Free Content Should I Give Away? Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 459

How much content should I give away for free? A little, a lot, or none?

This is one of the questions I am often asked. My years of observation and research have taught me that the more content you put out there, the more you increase the awareness in you and your company and stand out in the crowd and can then position yourself as an expert in your field. The key is to demonstrate your knowledge and provide your audience with unique value to increase the confidence and trust in you.

The argument I hear is that some feel they may be giving away their intellectual property and diluting their value. To which I respond, “you haven’t dug deep enough to further uncover your intellectual property.” The fact is that the most successful thought leaders create massive amount of free content.

Like many of my clients over the years, I have published immeasurable pieces of content in diverse media formats: articles, newsletters, infographics, visuals, podcasts, videos, interviews, courses, eBooks, and published books. Many have consumed this content and comment of its value to them. Yet, I can’t imagine any busy executive or client attempting to figure it all out and implement it all on their own. If so, it will be a complete distraction of their time and focus from what they do best and a complete waste of their resources.

If I need certain expertise, be it medical, legal, financial, or business, speaking with that expert and studying their free content will help convince me as to whose services I would want to engage. Testimonials and recommendations are important as well, yet the more I see them frequently publish, the more my confidence and trust in them grow.

Does that mean that you should give your entire store away? Of course not. My recommendation is that you provide lots of free content that discuss the “what” and some of the “how.” But in order to dive deeper, discover the entire step-by-step process, design the action plan, and then take action and be held accountable, they need your courses, your consulting, your coaching, and they need access to you and your smarts. All of these, of course, come with a fee!

Remember the adage, you get what you pay for? In this case, free taste of some appetizers is worth a lot and is the prelude to enticing your prospective client or current customer to sign up for the entrée and delectable dessert. Yet, having the chef stop by the table and the sommelier provide their unique and expert recommendations may just deliver the added value and special touch needed to turn them into a customer for life!

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