A Smarter Kind of Free Offer for Your Audience
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Design a Smarter Kind of Free Offer for Your Audience

By Karyn Greenstreet

Is your audience overwhelmed with free information and free offers? They probably are.

Let’s discuss a new way of thinking about your free offers – a more advanced, strategic way – and one that’s ultimately more helpful to your audience.

The big problem: Information is easy to find.

A simple Google search can yield a huge amount of information and ideas. There are all kinds of articles and videos your prospects can consume to get the basic information about your topics.

So people skip signing up for your free offer if they can get the same information elsewhere.

Also, your content might not be unique, and therefore you won’t stand out in a crowded marketplace.

The bigger problem: It’s hard to consume all that information and get into action

How many ebooks, audios and videos do you have on your own hard drive that you “mean to get to,” but you have not consumed?

Your audience is just like you.

Your prospects are busy people. Yes, they can Google your topic and find a huge cache of information, but they don’t know what’s important, what pitfalls might appear, and how to implement all these ideas. And they don’t have the time to figure it all out.

Information overload creeps in and they do nothing with all the information they’ve gathered. Or worse, try something and fail dreadfully.

How can you make them more successful?

Solution 1: Make your free offer easy to consume

If you want to build your mailing list, offer content that’s easy to consume: a checklist, a short video, a 3-page ebook, a worksheet, an infographic. Think bite-sized nuggets of information that they can apply immediately.

Consider creating a short series of these bite-sized content pieces, so you always have a new offer to share with the world. This is especially helpful if you’re sharing your free offer via social media.

Bonus: it’s much easier to create short content, which frees up your time!

Solution 2: Make sure your content is unique

If you offer free content that your audience can’t get elsewhere, they are more likely to take you up on the offer. You have two choices: create content around a topic that’s truly unique OR add your own thought leadership to an existing topic. I’ll give you some examples:

  • My topic is all about mastermind groups. There are only a few people talking about and/or teaching about mastermind groups, so if I offer a free webinar on a unique slice of the mastermind group world, people pay attention.
  • But, if I want to talk about marketing through free content and free content offers, lots of people share informatoin about that. So, I focus on “what’s not working in free content — and how to fix it,” sharing my own experiences and solutions. Now my thought leadership around the topic makes the content unique and valuable.

It’s always sage advice to narrow your niche and focus on one topic. But that’s not always possible. At some point, your narrow niche still has competitors in it.

But there are no competitors for YOU: your experience, your knowledge, your thinking around the topic. I never have a problem with an entrepreneur who wants to be a generalist — as long as you have a unique point of view or a unique way to stand out from the crowded marketplace. Think about it for a moment: there are a ton of restaurants in town, so why does one restaurant always have more cars in the parking lot?

Solution 3: Give them deeper information — for a little money

Do you have prospects on your list who have signed up for multiple free items – but never purchased anything?

The problem with giving away free information is that you train your prospects to always look for free information from you. At some point, you want to convert that prospect into a paying customer. After all, your business needs revenue to function!

Why not start with an easy-to-consume, inexpensive offer that gives them deeper information and a way to plan an implementation path? Remember, they don’t just want information: they want your insights about what’s important and how to implement.

An added benefit of a low-cost offer is that people are stepping up their commitment level by purchasing something. These are the serious prospects who really want to move ahead. Therefore, these are the prospects most likely to purchase your higher-priced offers.

Something like a paid mini-workshop, a 25-page planning workbook, or an online video series can provide your audience with content that’s not too overwhelming but takes them to the next step of their journey.

We are rapidly approaching the time when free offers will lose their effectiveness as a lead generation tool. What’s your plan for when your prospects ignore your freebies?

P.S. Never give up. It’s the cow who goes out into the field every single day who produces the most milk, not the one who says, “Oh, shoot, I’m feeling a little low today. I think I’ll stay in the barn and watch some Oprah.” –Karyn


4 thoughts on “Design a Smarter Kind of Free Offer for Your Audience”

  1. Thanks, Karyn, for always giving us truly valuable advice! I agree with all of the thoughts you presented here and they’ve inspired me to create short and less expensive ways to engage with me, so they get a taste of my unique value. I always read your blogs because you are so generous in sharing your wisdom. Thank you!

    1. Karyn Greenstreet says:

      You’re welcome, Susana, I’m glad you enjoyed the blog post. I think there’s a place for both: free content and inexpensive paid content. Both can be used are part of your marketing funnel. At some point, each of us has to decide strategically, “How much do I give away for free and where is the dividing line?”

  2. I “ditto” every remark that Susana said. YES!

    1. Karyn Greenstreet says:

      Thanks for your ditto, Jeannie! 🙂

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