Free vs. Paid Content for Service-Based Businesses

Free vs. Paid Content: How to Know if You're Giving Too Much Away for Free

Last week, one of our Impact Tribe members asked a great question about what kind of content to share in her free Facebook group, so she doesn't end up giving away everything in her paid program for free.

As a business owner who creates transformation for a living (rather than selling tangible products) I know this can be tricky.

What content do we keep behind closed doors and what content do we share freely?

We can worry that if we share too much freely, people won't feel the need to buy our program or course ... but if we don't share enough freely, people won't see the value of investing in our services.

It's a catch-22, so what do we do?

Well, first, I want to ease your mind: you don't need to worry so much about giving away too much free content.

There are 2 big reasons why people invest in your paid offers that have nothing to do with the actual free content your share online:

1. They want a clear process that's easy to follow. In your Facebook group, you're just giving snippets. So even if you do end up sharing a little piece of something included in your paid offer, it's just a snippet of the big picture. This won't necessarily stop a prospective client from investing in your paid course or program because many people are willing to pay for the convenience of having everything they need organized into one system that saves them time.  

2. They want your personal attention and feedback. Your potential clients can learn just about anything they want with a quick YouTube or Google search, so if content was all they cared about, no one would ever hire you. Your clients hire you because they need your support and accountability and they want your eyes on their unique situation. Any content you deliver on top of that is a bonus. 

Now this being said, we do need to be mindful about how we're sharing free content so we don't end up literally giving our entire paid program away for free. The general rule with free content is to keep it focused on the WHAT and the WHY and save the HOW for your paid offers.

For example, if I were to do a Facebook Live on how to build a Meetup group that attracts new leads into your business, I might outline the 6 steps (the WHAT) every new Meetup group leader needs to take to build a thriving community. I could also share WHY these steps should be important to my audience (connecting the steps to the RESULTS my ideal client is looking for).

Then, in my paid Meetup Mastery course, I'd walk students through the HOW - helping them implement each of the 6 steps with my guidance, feedback and more in depth training. I'd also provide templates, examples and worksheets so they can implement what I teach without starting from scratch.

Here are a few more free content ideas for your Facebook Group (or any platform) that will help you stay focused on the WHAT and the WHY (and save the HOW for your paid offers):

1. Myths - What are some common myths around your area of expertise? You could create free content to bust these myths and help your audience shift their perspective. Want an example of this type of content? Check out this Facebook live I did here.

2. Mistakes - What are some common mistakes your audience is making that are keeping them from the results they desire? Outlining mistakes always makes great free content because people are intrigued to know if they're guilty! Here's an example of this type of content from The Daring Fempreneur Facebook group.

3. Personal experience - it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking your audience doesn't want to hear about your personal experience, but as long as it relates to their experience, I promise - they do! Sharing your own struggles and lessons as they relate to what you teach can make for great free content! Here's an example of how I did this in our Facebook group.

4. Behind the scenes - People love to see a behind-the-scenes peak into the lives and businesses of people who've achieved success in something they're interested in. So give your audience a peak behind the scenes of how you run your business (if you're a business coach) or what you eat in a day (if you're a nutrition coach) or ... (fill in the blank with what you do) - every time I offer this type of content in our Facebook Group it's a big hit! Here's an example.

5. Step-by-step - sharing the steps to a specific result (without getting too much into the HOW) can be a great introduction to your process while making your audience feel like they're getting tangible value. Here's an example of how I did that here.

There you have it! While there are SO MANY ways to approach what free content to share in your Facebook group and other social platforms, I hope this gives you a start and eases your mind from worrying too much about "giving it all away for free." 

Want to Take This Deeper?

Join me every Friday at 10 am Mountain Time, inside The Daring Fempreneur Facebook group, for a free brand-booming training. Bring your questions for on-the-spot coaching!

Watch the replay that goes with this blog post here.

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