You probably have. Simply put, it means that information, content, and software which you used to have to pay is now being given away free.
It may be an ebook, a blog post, or a free video. It could even be a fully working version of software.
Somewhere they’re likely giving it away.
You just have to sort through all the garbage to find it.
A lot of people make the mistake with information businesses thinking they have to have something you could never find in years of searching online.
I don’t feel that even exists anymore. You can eventually find almost anything if you’re willing to put in the time.
But if something will take me 35 hours to find out on my own, then you better bet I’ll pay you $100 to share it with me now…as I earn way more than $3 an hour for my time.
The question is what should you give away?
And what should be for paying customers only?
Tough question…isn’t it?
One side says “Give your best stuff away!”
But if you give your best stuff away for free, how would a customer feel when they purchase the leftovers?
There are a couple of marketers that I’ve purchased from where I felt like a sucker, because their free information was better than what they sold!
Needless to say I’m still on their lists because they give away great value for free, but I won’t make the mistake of buying from them again.
But you can also go too far the opposite direction. There are some out there who tell you to simply tell people WHAT to do, but never tell them HOW to do it.
That’s going to miss the bulls-eye also. Sure, sometimes you can tell people the WHAT. In a blog post sometimes that’s all you have room for!
Other times you should tell them HOW to do it. It’s those posts that will often be shared around the web for you. They’ll bring in new visitors. And they become a form of proof to what you’re selling.
People will think, “If your freebie is this good, how good is the product you’re selling?”
What you want is to give away good information that helps your readers. They’ll agree this is useful. But it doesn’t fully solve the problem on its own.
I remember Jimmy Brown as the first person who said, “useful but incomplete.”
And that’s still a great phrase to describe valuable information that sells.
You want it to be useful information, but incomplete on its own.
Here’s a great example of a blog post that’s useful but incomplete:
Glenn Livingston gives you his 2nd best subject line ever…
Read the post. It’s full of great information. It gives you ideas for your own subject lines. It even destroys a major myth about emails.
But the post is achingly incomplete.
It’s OBVIOUS what’s missing in the post. And he even mixes in a shameless plug right in the beginning that points at it.
How do you do this? How do you find this magical content bulls-eye?
Start at the end result. What are you selling? Where is the end goal, the point of the map you’re traveling to?
Then work backwards from there. What do you have that’s useful and immediately usuable for your audience?
Does your product or service offer make this useful information “Complete?”
Your content becomes even better if you can mix in a personal story or case study to make it entertaining (and credible).
And here’s one more little tip that really puts the icing on top…make sure that the free content you share is contrarian.
If you’re saying the same thing as everyone else, there’s no reason to listen to you…