Sharing and giving away free content is a fab way to stand out online.
It’s great for SEO, which helps with organic traffic and rankings for your website, builds your reputation as an expert and helps you get more leads and clients.
Free content is a great way to grow your business.
However, for many giving away free content can seem a bit counter-intuitive when what you want to do is attract paying clients.
In this blog, I’ll share with you why it’s a good idea, what free content you can give away, how to decide which content to sell and which to give away and much more.
Because the big idea is your blogs, videos, eBooks, webinars, lead magnets and all your other fab free resources play their part in attracting paying clients.
I’ll cover your questions like these:
- Why it’s okay to give your fab content away for free
- Why giving away fab free content will more people interested in you and what you do
- Why your free content needs to deliver quick wins to boost your credibility and authority
- What 2 types of free content can you offer?
- What format can your free content take?
- What your free content has to offer to help you achieve your business goals.
- How to ensure your free content gets you leads and sales
- What are the benefits of sharing free content?
- Where can you share your free content?
- How much free content should you give away?
- How your free content helps your ideal client decide to buy from you
- Why you’ll still get clients when you give away your free content
- How to decide which content to sell and what to give away for free
- What your free content should avoid
Why it’s okay to give your fab content away for free
Let’s talk about the benefits of sharing content for free with your audience.
Ooh, there’s so many.
Free content helps you increase your website traffic
Sharing your free content on your website is a great way to get more visitors.
And writing and sharing blogs consistently is a great way to do this.
Your audience is searching for useful and helpful content online. Help them out by writing a useful and helpful blog around what they’re struggling with or specific questions they want an answer to.
The benefits of a good blog title
A good blog title will clearly tell your reader what it’s about. This makes is so much easier for them to know if it’s for them or not.
A good blog title helps search engines out too. When your potential client does a search the search engine then searches for the content with the best match.
Social media can help
If you’re in an industry that’s busy and noisy it might be tricky for you to get onto page 1 of Google but all is not lost as you can share your fab free content on social media.
Create a post with a link to your blog and get it out there 😊
When your visitors land on your website you can offer more fab free content in the form of your lead magnet. (More on them later).
Free content helps you become known
You want as many people from your target audience to be aware of you.
If you keep all the best of your best content hidden or gated (people need to sign-up to get it) it’s going to take you longer for your audience to become aware of you.
Increase your engagement
You free content can help you increase engagement with your audience and help you to become known for what you do more quickly.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like the world’s best kept secret so the more fab and free content you share, the more opportunities you have to get in front of your ideal client.
In his book ‘Known’ Mark Schaefer said:
‘Becoming known is about approaching your digital life with an intent that establishes the authority, reputation, and audience to achieve your goals.’
Free content can help you achieve this.
Free content helps you build your know, like and trust factor
How does giving content away for free build that all important know, like and trust?
Let’s start with KNOW. The idea with this type of content is it gets you noticed.
The more eyeballs the better.
It teaches your audience and gives them something actionable, useful and helpful.
But it does more than that.
It teaches people something around what you do. For me, it’s all about marketing
LIKE is when you can offer content to bring them out of the shadows and into the light so you can see who they are and YOU get to know THEM better too.
Lead magnets are fab free content to boost your like factor.
Offer them a fab freebie e.g., a checklist, a guide or eBook you send them in exchange for their email address.
You can then pop into their inbox regularly with useful and helpful content. All going great guns to build even more know, like and trust. Hurrah!
And yes, all giving content for free.
If your content has earned their trust, they could be ready to buy from you.
BUT your potential new client could be on the fence, and they might need a wee bit more information from you to help them take the final step to become a client.
Your free content can:
- ANSWER THEIR BIG QUESTIONS
- ANSWER THEIR OBJECTIONS
- INCLUDE TESTIMONIALS AND CASE STUDIES
Find out more on how to use your content to build your know, like and trust here
Free content helps you showcase your social proof
You can tell your audience how fab you are until you’re blue in the face, but what’s more powerful is glowing testimonials, reviews and case studies from previous clients.
A well written testimonial can get your reading thinking.
‘This person struggled with what I’m struggling with and they got the results I want, working with this person or business. They could do the same for me…’
Why your free content will make more people interested in you
Free content helps you to connect you with peers in your industry
It’s not only leads and clients you want to be aware of you.
When you share what you know you’re going to draw others in your industry towards you and those that want to network with you.
This can lead to being a guest on a podcast, writing a guest blog or being a guest speaker at an event.
Your free content is a great way to let your personality shine through
Your style, your way of saying things, doing things and how you approach what you do will come across in your free content.
It can play a huge part in your ideal client deciding to engage with you rather than someone else.
Your free content can give you the edge and the advantage.
Free content helps your audience to understand how what you’re offering will help them
You audience may take a wee while to fully appreciate how what you offer can help them.
It may take them time to really understand what you’re talking about and why it’s important to them.
Case studies, testimonials, demonstrations and free trials can give them an experience of how what you do can be useful to them.
This type of free content helps them to imagine what those benefits of paying to work or buy from could be.
What types of free content can you offer?
When you break it down, there are really only two types of free content your audience is looking for:
- Content that answers questions to problems they have
- Content that answers their questions about your product or service
- Content that answers questions to problems they have
It’s all well and good deciding you’re going to create fabulous free content, but what on earth do you write about?
Here’s some questions to get you thinking:
- What content will your audience find useful and helpful?
- What questions do they type into Google you can answer in your free content?
- What questions are you asked the most?
Grab a cuppa and do some brainstorming.
A great place to start is your inbox.
What’s the most common questions you get asked in there?
Write them down.
Look at that! You’ve got free content ideas already. Get writing that blog and creating your lead magnet
You know them so well
Free content gives you the ability to show your audience how well you know them.
When you share useful and helpful content that is free AND answers their big question’s you’re going to be front of mind when they’re ready to buy.
How your free content helps your ideal client decide to buy from you?
- Content that answers their questions about your product or service
What specific questions do they ask about your product or service?
Again, write them down and you’ve got more free content ideas.
Use your blog to manage their objections.
Think of the reasons they WON’T buy from you. Again, write a blog that answers their objections. More free content working for you.
Wouldn’t it be great if your blog answered their objections so when they did get in touch it was to say ‘When can we start?’ or ‘I’m ready to buy’ without any long and drawn-out conversations about price, why your product or service is right for them and if you’re the right person or business for them.
What format can your free content take?
The list is endless…
Most common forms of free content are:
- Lead magnets
- Free demo
- Free trial
- Social media posts
- Speaking at an event
To read more about blogging check out my Guide to blogging here https://bit.ly/GuideLeadMagnet
Find out how lead magnets can play their part in creating your consistent flow of clients here https://bit.ly/GuideLeadMagnet
Why your free content needs to deliver quick wins to boost your credibility and authority
It might be free content but it has to be better than just good content. If it’s not cutting the mustard your audience will turn a blind eye to what you’re posting.
Don’t make the mistake thinking because it’s free it can be any old content you give away.
Be sure to share content that:
- Gives your audience quick wins
- Easy to implement
- Increases engagement between you and your audience
- Give them useful insights for their personal life or business
- Allow people a place to come and learn from you
- Builds your reputation
- Creates your loyal audience
- Is available consistently
A good habit to get into is to always provide actionable takeaways and ideas the audience can use.
How to ensure your free content gets you leads and sales
Include in your free content the opportunity to collect leads or to get a sale.
For example, in some of my blogs I include the offer of signing up for my free marketing checklist. Those that sign up get added to my email list.
I then send them useful and helpful emails directly into their inbox to help them improve their marketing.
Included in some of my free content is the offer to work with me to help them improve their marketing performance, so they can create a steady stream of clients to their business
Where can you share your free content?
There are two places to share your free content:
- Where your ideal client hangs out
- Where your ideal client expects to find it
If your ideal client is on a certain social media platform share your free content there.
If they expect to find it on your website, share it with them there.
Jay Baer said this about giving away free content.
Your audience expects it now. By not having a blog on your site, you stand out in a negative light.
Where would your audience expect to find your free content?
Get ideas on where to put your lead magnets here
How much free content should you give away?
And chances are it’s more content than you think.
Give away enough so you prove what else you know is absolutely worth paying for
When you share your free content, does it make the reader think ‘If they’re giving this away for free imagine how much information you’d get if you paid them?’
And if they get a quick win by consuming your content, they’ll start to trust you and consider buying or working with you.
What your free content should avoid
Here’s some things you’ll want to avoid doing with your free content:
- Free content shouldn’t give everything away – Share enough that they can get a quick win
- Free content shouldn’t give them too much of the how – focus on the what and the why and keep the key strategies for your paying clients
- Free content shouldn’t give them access to you and way too much of your time – it’s your paying client’s you take by the hand
- Free content shouldn’t be too complex – aim to help not confuse
Why you’ll still get clients when you give away your free content
You might be thinking if there’s so much free content out there why would anyone part with cash to pay anyone?
Here’s why people will BUY FROM YOU, even if they can spend hours and hours trawling the internet for free information:
When they buy from you, they get:
- 1:1 help and support to give them the how to gain a specific goal or result
- Accountability from someone who wants to see them succeed
- A structured approach to solving their problem
- Quicker results than working it all out on their own
- Community – being with like-minded people
- Bespoke support created just for them
Let’s wrap up.
People will always worry about the content they give away versus what they should be selling.
At the end of the day giving away free content works.
You just have to decide where you are going to draw the line between what’s free and what’s to be paid for.
Don’t get sucked in to constantly giving away content and time for free. Be sure to ask for the sale.
There are always people who will pay for your help.
Create and share your free stuff and have a plan for when and what paid for products or services you’re going to offer.
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