It’s probably the worst nightmare for any person, to give away their best stuff free. Their best products, services or any valuable creation for free, and more so to someone who is not even a client and may never be. After all, we’re in business to make money and we’re not making money if we’re giving stuff away for free, right?
Well, I want to talk about a completely different idea. An idea of giving stuff away free and making money while doing it. And not just any stuff, but the best you can offer. While it’s not a big secret that many marketers give things away to generate leads, it’s not quite the same.
Consider an example in an industry different than Internet marketing, the music production industry. When an artist releases an album, what do you hear on the radio? Is it their best song from the album or a mediocre one? It is the best singles played on air that get people hooked up on the music and entice them to buy the album with other songs, none of which stand out as much as that single most of the time.
Artists give their best stuff away for free knowing this is how they will build a following. Why not do that while marketing on the Internet, in any niche?
The idea is giving your best products (or best parts of your products) so that you can show your prospects what you’re all about, let them to know you, trust you, and make them want to buy more products from you.
Another way to think of it is that it’s simply easier to get leads by giving them what they want and the best you can give. It can be difficult sometimes to create a good offer as a lead generation bait if you’re trying to lure people in with a sub-par offer. But you can’t go wrong by giving the best you’ve got – unless you don’t have anything to offer at all.
So how does it all work, how does it come together? Here’s one way to pull it off:
- Create a product or service (obviously) and give it away for free in exchange of some form of contact information (usually email);
- Communicate with the users, ask them for feedback, offer help, perhaps even give them more stuff. Create a relationship with them;
- Roll out an upgrade, extra service, or other products and make an offer. It is so much easier to sell to someone who knows you, your products and actually wants to buy. As a matter of fact, some people will ask where they can buy stuff from you even before you try to sell them something.
Or another, even better way, known as “Results in advance” (courtesy of Frank Kern)
- Identify a problem that your target prospect wants to solve and break it down to steps;
- Create a product or a service for each step, or create a product and keep adding features that solve more and more of the problem, etc.;
- Provide solutions to the problem until the last step, then offer them to buy the remainder. Of course, you should not engineer the product so that its free parts are useless unless you buy it – each free part should have a standalone effect, otherwise it does no good.
And finally, note that it’s not the same as providing trial offers. People know what those are and that they will have to buy or stop using a product after the period is over. The whole idea is to make them want to buy, not just make them buy.
Finally, it solves one of the worst problems with selling products – piracy. I’ve been in software business for a while and I know how difficult it is and how much effort it requires to protect your products, as well as what hurdles it introduces to your genuine customers. I wish I gave this method a try back then, rather than clinging to it with my teeth and claws – I can immediately think of ways that would have made me much more money by just giving the software away, not to mention the problems it would have eliminated.
So, my point of this entire ramble is that you should not be afraid to give your best stuff away for free, and that it’s probably the easiest way to sell something by giving it away. As a matter of fact, some people will even buy the same product you give away just because they like it and find it valuable.