Giving away free stuff does a few things for you that nothing else can do: it helps to increase credibility, builds loyalty, and enhances your reputation as an expert in your niche.
In the long run, offering exceptional value to potential customers and clients is the best way to build your online business.
On the other hand, being stingy with your content will have the opposite effect, making visitors to your business site think you’re only out to “make a buck” off them.
Give away the farm
I’m all about giving. Giving out valuable content helps to build trust. Wouldn’t you rather work with someone who loves to give, rather than working with someone who says, “I’d love to share that answer with you, but first you have to pay me a hundred dollars!”
I’m of the abundance mindset. I know that the more value that I put out into the world, the more I’m going to achieve my dreams and goals as well. So, if we take that overall mindset and break it down into a schedule or formula, I can tell you exactly what I’m giving away…
Blogging is always the first step
Anyone who knows me knows that I believe in blogging – big time. My strategy is BUILT around blogging. The more answers you offer in your blog, the more Google and the other search engines are going to boost your ranking in the search results. This will increase your natural traffic because the search engines know you’re offering high-value content. So, blogging regularly is critical.
Once your traffic picks up, as long as you have social media sharing icons on your website, those people are going to be sharing your content – your high-value content – on their own social networks. This will grow your networks too since all of these people will literally be doing your advertising for you – for free!
Blogging is one of the most powerful tools you can use to grow your online platform.
When I started this business, I was blogging three or four times a week, and yeah, it seemed to take forever. Now though, because I’ve established myself, I publish about one post per week and, because of all the blogging I’ve done, I can bang out a post in about 15-20 minutes.
For you, I’m sure you can find an hour each week to devote to writing a valuable blog post. Believe me, it’s time well spent – even more important than researching your competition, for example.
My biggest recommendation for you is to find some time each week and spend it effectively on writing your blog. It’s all about taking action and offering that free content every week, building momentum and your audience. Beyond that advice, you have to develop a schedule to implement this strategy and stick to it diligently.
Here are other strategies you can use to generate content and build your base:
- Once-a-week video – In addition to my weekly blog post, I also try really hard to offer an informational or training video as well. This creates a great balance for your audience while providing incredible value. Always include a way to get in touch with you, too.
- Weekly email – to your email list. This can be very powerful because your email list is made up of people who’ve already shown an interest in your content and are most likely to share it for you. These are HOT PROSPECTS, so you want to make sure you’re offering them regular value! Always include a way to get in touch with you, too.
- Random freebies – I also offer random bits of value in a variety of forms. For example, at www.AmberVilhauer.com, I have a FREE tab in the top navigation menu. That tab turns into a drop-down menu of free products to download instantly, including eBooks, video series, audio, and more. You name it, I offer a lot of different topics. Plus, I’m constantly adding new content – at least once each quarter.
- Free webinars – These are an incredibly powerful tool for connecting and offering value, as well as for building your list. While a live webinar will usually convert to a sale about 25% of the time, I’ve had conversions as high as 74% from a webinar. (A standard sales page will usually convert only about 2-5% of visitors.)
Of course, you have to remember, using all of this free, high-value content has a purpose – which is to get people to subscribe to your email list, which allows you to keep offering value – and also gives you the opportunity to make the sale.
I hope this has helped you to begin figuring out your own strategy and schedule for offering free content before you ask for the sale. If you need more help designing your online marketing plan, please get in touch with me today and apply for a 30-minute free strategy session.