Give away free content; and then get paid

Today is a different world. There are a ton of things out there competing for eyeballs. Search engines are fierce battle grounds with rules that, perceptually anyway, require an advanced degree to comprehend. At the very least, they are changing all of the time. Content creation has, as a result, risen to the very peak of the pyramid in terms of things you should be doing to gain attention to your product or service. Blogging, video, posting, Tweeting, and the like are all great, but they are free. Giving away your content, good content, is a great play to get folks to stick around and consume it. That being said, at some point, you simply have to get paid. After all, those lights don’t stay on themselves.

Enter one great example of this, and a site I encourage everyone to view, CreativeLive. This concept is brilliant in its simplicity and we can all learn a lesson from these guys. What’s the skinny? Easy. Invite top-of-the-line speakers to a well designed, well produced, set to talk about whatever they are going to talk about. Then give it away to folks who want to watch it live for free. What’s the catch? Well, if you are like most of us, you don’t simply have 3+ hours to partition off in the middle of a work day to watch great content. So what do you do? You buy a copy of it after the fact. Prices vary but for around $100 you can buy the content after-the-fact. What about the “special offer”, there is always a “special offer” right? Yup. If you buy the content during the live stream, you get a discount. $20 – $50 or so. Pretty nice incentive to buy it now instead of waiting. Pushes window shoppers or fence-sitters one way or the other without being too pushy.

Classes such as “Unlocking the Power of Pinterest” and “Creative iPhoneography” can bolster your creative spirit, “Powerful Communication Owns the Room” and “Money + Business: Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs” can hone your business acumen, and “Bulletproof Life” and “Fat Burning” can make sure your health stay in check while you are being creative and professional. In all, they have a very wide variety of courses and all are packed with great information that is almost impossible to not value once you hear it.

The point? They give it all away for free. Every last moment of it. Then, when you love it, you buy it. If you don’t, well that is ok too. For your business how can you give away content that might otherwise be paid for? How can you create a circle whereby you provide amazing content for free thus exciting a user to buy something else allowing you to live?


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