Should I Give My Content Away for Free or Sell It?

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We’ve all heard the clichés like “content is king” or “knowledge is power.”

Every time I hear it I want to roll my eyes.

Cool story bro…

 
Now what?

I know and work with some of the most brilliant people that have ever walked the face of the earth. Yet, I always seem to hear the same question.

“I don’t know what type of content to sell.”

It’s such a paralyzing question because folks end up not producing any content at all. If they do, they give away the house and kill any hope of profiting from their knowledge and expertise.

So I’m here to answer one simple question that seems to trip up these brilliant minds.
 
“Should I sell my content or give it away for free?”

But before we get into that, I want to highlight the importance of packaging and selling your expertise.

Everybody is an expert to someone about something, including you.

There is a group of people who you could teach to solve a problem that’s stopping them from living their best life.

Even if you’re on step 2 of 5, there are three different types of people you can teach. First, you can teach those thinking about doing what you’re doing. Then, there are those a step behind you, currently hung up on step 1. Lastly, there are your peers. The folks going through the exact things you are along the journey.

Are you following me so far?

Good.

What I’m trying to get you to understand is expertise is relative. There are people out there that would pay you to teach them what you know. The stuff you take for granted every day.

If you can get one person to pay you then you can likely get enough people to pay to start a tiny little business. Or at least, create a supplementary income stream.

Chew on that for a minute.

While you do that, I’ll get to answering the original question.

Content to Give Away

Great content is the cost of entry in today’s internet age.

The way the internet is set up, you can’t compete without producing high-quality content on a consistent basis. Especially if you run an online business.

Most of the leading brands and thought leaders today are dominating when it comes to creating content. And they’re doing it by giving away their best content.

Yes, they’re giving away content that they could be charging money for, but they do it in a strategic way.

They give away the “what” and they “why” then stop.

Let me explain…

Creative Live is an online educational platform for creatives. They have courses about everything from starting a photography business to publishing your first book. If it’s creative, they teach it.

When you land on a homepage for a course, there’s a promo video that outlines what the course is about. The talk about major takeaways and why you should go buy the course.

There are also a few lessons you can review for free. Something to give you a sense of what to expect.

After that, you’ll need to buy the course to get access to the content.

In their own way, they follow a framework I teach my clients, the WWH framework.

Now I don’t know any behind-the-scenes info but it looks like the business is prosperous.

Content to Sell

Like I said before, it’s important to give away your best content if you’re going to build an audience. But what good is a massive audience if you can’t monetize it.

You are building a business, right?

Well, that requires money.

So after you give away the “what” and the “why”, you need to reserve the “how” for paying customers.

My homie Monique Koch shares content about helping families live a vegan lifestyle. She gives away 99% of her content out for free and charges for the other 1%.

So what does that look like exactly?

Monique shares in-depth articles, videos and podcast episodes on Brown Vegan.

If you want her step-by-step process for transitioning into veganism you’ll have to join her Zero to Vegan course.

One Last Thing…

Think about your gift. All your knowledge and expertise (read: experience).

What can you teach others how to do?

Let them know what it is and why it’s important, then let them pay you to teach them how to do it.

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