I was recently on a coaching call with a small group of remarkable businesswomen from my Make It Work Online program, and one woman brought up a concern that I hear all the time:
“I’m worried about giving away too much for free on my blog and on social media.”
She was in the process of marketing her new business and her bite-sized offer, and I was helping her come up with ideas for blog posts and how to use social media effectively.
She said she was afraid of not having enough additional value to offer her paying clients – or even that people might not hire her at all – if she gave away her best stuff for free. As it turns out, this fear was keeping her from fully engaging with her audience and getting new clients.
And guess what? She isn’t alone in this! Many new business owners struggle with this very same dilemma. As soon as she brought it up, I just knew I had to write a blog post about it.
Why? Because I don’t want you to spend one more minute letting fear keep you from reaching your business goals!
Today I’m going to explain why giving away your best stuff for free is actually a great idea. Plus, I’ll offer you some of the same advice I give my paying clients in my coaching sessions and courses.
How’s that for practicing what I preach?
Time for Some Myth Busting
If there’s one killer business strategy I’ve championed over and over on this forum and with the hundreds of women I’ve personally helped get online businesses up and running, it’s be of service.
Nothing will grow your business faster and more authentically than sharing your expertise, facilitating connections, or lending a helping hand when you can.
But how do you know where to draw the line? How much sharing is too much?
While the logical thing is to assume that making too much information available on your blog or social media accounts for free will lead to reduced sales and disappointed clients, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, let’s just bust these two myths right here and now.
Myth 1: If I share too much, my prospects won’t have a reason to hire me.
A lot of my clients come to me through my social media channels or after following this blog. Even though I’ve offered up countless insights, tips, and bits of practical advice for free, and even though that information is available at their fingertips, they still hire me.
It’s not until a client participates in a coaching session or paid program that the lessons sink in and they get the full value of the training I offer.
Why? Because people simply do not internalize information that they’re not paying for and that isn’t delivered or intended for them personally.
When you place a monetary value on the product you’re offering (whether a session, workshop, course, or whatever), your client has to evaluate whether the purchase is worth it to them. If they decide to buy, it means they’ve agreed to its value and are invested in taking full advantage of it.
People who browse through blogs and social media – heck, even your own list of subscribers – just don’t invest that much in what you’re posting, so they can’t possibly get as much out of it.
Consider also that blog and social media posts are written for a larger, general audience, while your paying clients will get a personalized approach and much more specialized packaging of that same information.
The use of a different delivery system or container actually changes the energy surrounding the information and encourages more engagement with it. Pretty cool, huh?
The fact is, hiring you is the only way your potential clients will gain the full benefit of your expertise.
Myth 1: Busted.My Personal Recommendation for YouThe Thing You Must Do to Grow Your Business
Myth #2: My paying clients will be disappointed if I repeat stuff that I offer freely online.
I post to this blog every week, so I cover a lot of ground here. And you’d better believe I offer the same great business tips and practical advice to my coaching clients and in my paid programs.
Besides, in my experience clients generally don’t realize what information you have or haven’t previously given away for free online.Click to TweetThis is primarily because people just don’t pay as much attention to your content as you’d like to think – and certainly not as much as you do.
(Note: This is not an excuse to slack off in the content department!)
But also, the way you deliver information to your paying clients will likely be very different from the way you presented that same information online (see myth #1), so much so that they probably won’t even recognize it.
Myths: 0 Jenny: 2
Giving Generously Will Make You More Money – Not Less!
We’ve all had the experience of being on a free call or in a free introductory session where the coach tells you all of the amazing things you should know or be doing for x, y, or z … but you walk out feeling irritated because you didn’t actually learn a damn thing.
That’s because they made the shortsighted and misguided decision to withhold their expertise in favor of the hard sell.
I guarantee you, with a strategy like that, prospects aren’t walking away thinking: “Wow, she was so great at pointing out my shortcomings and describing her own services. I should hire her to find out if she has any valuable insights that might help me!”
More like: “What a colossal waste of time. I can’t believe she had the nerve to mislead me into thinking I’d be learning something in this session, only to hit me with a sales pitch.”
When you hold back, people can feel it, and withholding your expertise will erode their trust in you. This is not the way to get clients.
I promise you this: The more you freely you give of yourself on your blog, the more people will want to hire you. I see it all the time. Tweet that!My Personal Recommendation for YouHow to Effortlessly & Authentically Grow Your Business
Go Ahead and Give Away Your Best Stuff for Free!
Put stuff out there in a way that feels right and fun and generous, and the clients will come.
If going all in seems scary at first (and I don’t blame you!), grant yourself permission to give away a little in the beginning — maybe just one core idea at a time. Play around with how you present the information, and see how your audience responds.
You might even find yourself venturing into other areas of interest and expertise that are related, but not really part of your core business — and that’s okay!
Here’s the thing to remember: when you give away information on your blog, you’re giving away pieces to the puzzle. You’re letting prospects know that you have expertise and experience, that you understand their challenges, and that you can provide solutions.
It’s only when they come on board with you as a client that you’ll help them assemble those pieces in a way that is meaningful and valuable to them and their unique situation.
Because the heart of the service you offer is you — and only you can guide them through the process of overcoming whatever hurdles they face. That’s when everything clicks.
Interested in making the lessons learned from my blog really click for you?
Registration is now open for my Make It Work Online program, a three-month intensive coaching experience for those who are to ready to up their game in their online businesses. Join us!
And, as always, I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments:
Have you experimented with some of these ideas in your business?
What’s your approach to sharing your genius freely?
What’s your favorite insight that you’ve shared with your audience?My Personal Recommendation for YouTurn Your Opt-in Offer into a Client Magnet