Hey there! Let me tell you a secret about content marketing that transformed my business. When I first started out, I was all about giving away everything for free – I thought it was my golden ticket. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t. I quickly learned that the real magic happens when you strike a perfect harmony between free and paid content. It’s like mixing the perfect cocktail of value and expertise. In this blog, I’m going to share with you exactly how to do that. Get ready to dive into the world where your content doesn’t just speak, but actually sings, leading your audience right to your doorstep, ready to engage and invest.
Do you fully value things that are always free? Think about the Dum Dums lollipops you can get at the bank. You’re probably not jumping at the chance to spend your hard-earned cash on a bag of those. The same principle applies to marketing.
The bottom line is, you’re an expert. Your knowledge has value.
While free content does have its place, you don’t want to give away too much for free. Paid content gives your business a healthier bottom line and more robust ROI. So, let’s break down free vs. paid content and when you should use either or.
What’s your currency as a business owner? It’s your expertise and knowledge as a specialist in your field. But unfortunately, business owners in the age of the internet face a major catch-22.
You’ve gotta prove your expertise, and the chief way to do that is through content marketing. You use content to demonstrate why you’re the expert in your field and persuade people to do business with you.
Give away your best ideas for free, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
Yeah, not all the time.
Remember the excitement of getting something for free? That’s the pull of free content. It’s like the sample you get at a bakery – just enough to leave you wanting more. But here’s the twist: free content isn’t just about generosity; it’s a strategic tool. It’s your first date with your audience, where you showcase your expertise, build trust, and answer their burning questions. In this section, we’ll unpack how free content can set the stage for deeper engagement, helping you warm up your audience and prepare them for the grand reveal: your paid content. Think of it as laying the groundwork for a relationship built on value, trust, and mutual benefit.
Now, let’s talk about the ace up your sleeve – paid content. It’s your opportunity to roll out the red carpet and showcase your full expertise. While free content hooks and intrigues, paid content is where you deliver the real transformation. This is where you go deep, providing step-by-step guidance, advanced insights, and tailored solutions. It’s about offering a journey from “that’s interesting” to “I need this in my life.” Paid content isn’t just a transaction; it’s an investment in your audience’s success, and in turn, yours. Here’s where you prove that your expertise is not just valuable, but indispensable.
Striking the right balance between free and paid content is like being a master chef – it’s all about the perfect recipe. Free content is your appetizer, tempting and engaging your audience. Paid content is the main course, rich and fulfilling. The key is knowing when to serve each. This balance is crucial for a sustainable content strategy. It involves understanding your audience’s journey – from initial curiosity to the point where they’re ready to invest in your expertise. It’s about nurturing this journey with the right mix of free insights and paid, deeper dives. In this part, we’ll explore strategies to help you find this equilibrium, ensuring your content marketing is both effective and profitable.
In the world of content marketing, the line between what to give away and what to charge for can often blur. You may find yourself generously sharing knowledge, hoping to build trust and rapport, only to realize your expertise is undervalued. It’s a common trap: creating valuable content without clear boundaries between free insights and premium, paid solutions. The key is to craft content that not only engages but also leads your audience towards paid offerings, balancing generosity with business savvy. This approach transforms your content strategy from a mere audience-building tool into a revenue-generating asset.
People don’t purchase from a brand because it has the most content. They do business with brands that solve their problems, make their lives better, save them money, time, etc.
Be brave enough to freely give some of your best ideas. But notice I said some! People will still do business with you because what they ultimately value (and will pay for) is your specialized knowledge.
Your content is just one sharp tool in the toolbox when it comes to demonstrating how your business makes life easier for your ideal customers.
Content plays a big part in building brand awareness and getting people to your offers. But what type of magic does it weave once people are inside? Here’s how to decide when to make a piece of content free vs. paid.
Free content should be all about the whats and the whys. Paid content? That’s the how.
When deciding what to make free vs. paid, ask yourself:
What does my target customer need to know, understand, be aware of, or believe before purchasing from me?
Mostly, you’ll want to make simple tips, guides, swipe files, opinions, and other lightweight resources free content. Systems, blueprints, in-depth how-to guides, comprehensive courses, and premium content should be paid.
With your free content, you’re building awareness and demonstrating trust. Free content is designed to prime the buyer. With this type of content you’re answering questions, overcoming objections, and tackling limiting beliefs and imposter syndrome.
You’re demonstrating you’ve got the background to solve an important issue, answer a question, etc. That’s what gives your ideal customer a taste of what your brand is capable of.
With the paid content, your potential customer will learn how your systems or processes ultimately solve their problem. Ultimately, paid content is designed to give the client a transformation and deliver on the promises you’ve made. And that has value — monetary value.
True, free content is valuable too. But it’s the paid content that needs to be highly specific, detailed, and worth the dollar amount attached to it.
Free content is like looking at the outside of a pretty castle and oohing and aahing over the landscaping. Paid content gets you inside to look at and interact with all the cool sh$t.
Let’s bring this concept to life with some real-world examples. Think of a successful online course creator. Their free content – like blog posts and podcasts – draws you in, sharing insights and building a connection. Then, they offer a paid course, diving deep into their expertise. This course doesn’t just rehash the free content; it builds upon it, offering structured, actionable steps and personal insights. Or consider a fitness coach – their free workout tips on social media entice you, but their paid program offers personalized routines and direct coaching. These examples illustrate how free and paid content work together to create a full, enriching experience for the audience.
And there you have it – the art of balancing free and paid content. It’s not just about what you offer, but how you offer it. Free content opens doors, builds relationships, and establishes trust. Paid content takes it to the next level, deepening that relationship and providing substantial value. Remember, your goal is to guide your audience through a journey with your content, leading them to a place where they see the worth in investing in your paid offerings. Master this balance, and you’ll not only see growth in your audience but also in your business’s success.
Now, let me introduce a tangible solution from my arsenal – the “Deuces Lead Magnet” and “Deuces Sell & Serve.” The “Deuces Lead Magnet” is a perfect, ready-to-use solution for creating captivating free content. It includes a Kartra template for landing pages and emails, along with a beautifully designed Canva template for lead magnets. This package effortlessly sets up your free content offering, attracting and engaging your audience.
Transitioning to paid content, the “Deuces Sell & Serve” is your ideal upgrade. This comprehensive package provides a sales page, membership site, and targeted emails – a complete toolkit for your paid content strategy. It’s designed to deepen engagement and provide significant value to your audience, turning leads into loyal customers and creating an unforgettable brand experience.
The beauty of “Deuces Sell & Serve” lies not just in its depth but also in its ability to serve our audience effectively. The membership site and email components are specifically designed to further engage your audience and cross-promote other offers, creating a dynamic, interactive experience. Plus, if you set it up right, the entire process can be automated. This means once your funnel is in place, it works for you, nurturing leads and converting them into sales with minimal ongoing effort. It’s a streamlined, efficient approach to managing both your free and paid content, ensuring your strategy works tirelessly in the background while you focus on growing your business.