[ Free Versus Paid Content: Finding A Balance ]

When creating content for your brand or business, it can be tough deciding what content should be given away for free versus what you should offer within a paid program. You may also wonder how you can continuously share content that’s valuable without giving away all of your top insight. With so much information floating around and available for free these days, how can you possibly have enough content left over to include in a paid product or service? Let’s talk about the differences between free and paid content. Free Content Your free content is what you choose to share in your blog posts, podcast episodes, live videos, freebies that you offer, etc. You’ll use this space to share examples of what you’re teaching or offering since this allows people to relate and connect with you. Your audience can access any of this information without spending a dime. Content that you offer at no cost should be about the what and the why behind what you do and what you’re teaching or solving for others. What does your ideal audience need to believe, acknowledge, or understand before they will even consider buying your product or service? Listen to your audience and take their questions into consideration — especially the ones you hear most often. Use this valuable feedback from them as your inspiration for creating new free content. Pay attention to what’s currently working in your specific niche, and see if that’s what your audience is interested in learning about as well. What is it that you’re bringing to the table for them, and why does it matter? Be sure to answer these questions for your audience within your free content, and address what your target audience believes they need to change about themselves or their current situation order to move forward. Paid Content This is the content you offer (or plan to offer down the road) that your audience has to pay to gain access to, such as a product or online course. Instead of focusing on only the what and the why behind your content, you now have to introduce the how. How can your audience execute what you’re teaching or providing to them in their own life? This is where you introduce your how by providing an in-depth, step by step process for them to follow. It’s your job to prove that what you have to offer is attainable. Your audience needs to understand how your product or service is going to help them and be able to envision potential results before they pull out their wallet. While your free content will typically be a collection of individual tips and ideas, your paid content is a full system that can be followed. For example, think of a book with all of its pages and chapters. The individual “pages” may be your quick tips or little freebies, while your “chapters” may be your podcast episodes or free mini-courses. Valuable information can be taken from a page or a chapter, but the book as a whole puts everything together in an organized and easy to follow format. That is something worth paying for. Rather than taking bits and pieces of information and figuring it out for themselves, you’re showing your audience how everything fits together. Yes, they may have already read a page or chapter from your book (your free content), but they have not read the whole book (your paid content) that’s sure to provide them with even more value. Both forms of content are valuable to your audience, but paid content will always be more specific and in depth. Don’t feel limited when it comes to creating free content. Sometimes it’s worth it to give some of your best material away for free, so don’t always feel the need to hold back. This kind of value is what will attract people to you because you’re showing them that you have a lot to offer before they even think about spending any money. The key to your success is to try to align the majority of your free products or services to lead to your paid ones. When creating a new piece of free content, try to envision how it can lead your audience to your products or paid services. Where does the content you’re creating fit into what you’re teaching and doing? Keep it all relevant and aligned with your brand and message. If you continue to provide value through your free content, your audience will keep coming back for more. They will be excited to tune in to your most recent Facebook live or check out your latest podcast episode. Keep building trust and communication with your audience, and they will ultimately be more inclined to see the worth in your paid content as well! BTA LiveToGrind.com