Excerpt from the great article by Chris Garrett and published on Copyblogger:
"How do you decide which content should be freely available and which content you ought to charge for?
Of course the answers will differ between different industries, topics, businesses, and writers.
First, we need to decide what your free content should do for you.
What can you achieve with free content?
The reason you are putting together all these free articles, podcasts, videos, and presentations, is that you want to get attention that grows your business.
With that in mind, here are some benefits that free content can provide for you, and the kinds of content that you should share:
- Free content can attract your specific target audience;
- Free content can encourage sharing your ideas;
- Free content can connect you with peers;
- Free content can inform the audience of your value;
- Free content can position you against competitors;
- Free content can answer objections;
- Free content can show proof and results;
- Free content can provide more reasons “why”;
- Free content can give a “free taste” that builds desire for the full meal;
- Free content can tell your story to show people who you are as a person;
- Free content can reward prospects for their attention;
Here’s when you should hoard information
There is a circumstance where your information is worth holding back and providing only to paying customers.
That is when:
1. People really want the information because it has significant value
If the information could...
- Provide a massive transformation in their life or business;
- Make them a great deal of money;
- Save them lots of time;
- Make them more popular;
...then they will be much more willing to invest in your solution.
2. The information is difficult to acquire
Yes, Google has exposed many things for free that had previously been knowledge reserved for the elite few.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your prospect can find it, or that the information is even out there and indexed.
Many of the thought leaders and gurus we know are in their positions because they hopped on a shiny new platform or tool and mastered it before anyone else.
Why people buy content
Part of the reason people will pay is because of trust.
It’s a weird psychological factor that people will trust education that they paid for more than something you gave away. The reason is because it has a higher perceived value, and also there is an implied “warranty.”
- People will pay for in-depth, step-by-step guidance;
- People will pay for access and tailored advice;
- People will pay for exclusivity;
- People will pay for higher quality and better technology;
- People will pay for experiences;
What you should never give away
It’s difficult to give hard and fast rules, because for each of these ideas someone out there will be the exception.
But in general here is what your free content should not be:
- Free content shouldn’t be too complete;
- Free content shouldn’t give too much of the “how”;
- Free content shouldn’t provide free access;
- Free content shouldn’t involve a high barrier to entry;
- Free content shouldn’t cover advanced topics with many prerequisites;
- Free content shouldn’t require hard work by the reader;
I don’t believe it is possible to be too helpful or too generous … provided you manage your time and energy, and that people know you are in business.
As mentioned earlier, you can give away everything you know and still there will be people who want to hear it from you, and who will pay you to help them implement it.
So share your best ideas, build your Minimum Viable Audience, and then make offers at the appropriate time.
Each point is analyzed with detailed information and external links.
Read full, original and interesting article:
Via Giuseppe Mauriello