Why I give so much of my knowledge away for free
I get people asking me sometimes: “Why do you give so much information away for free in your Facebook group, and in your blog posts?” It is true, as a business mentor for artists, creatives and other small businesses, I share a lot of knowledge and tips on how to market your business, and I don’t ask anything in return (well, a few likes are always welcome!). Why do I do this? Doesn’t that mean that nobody will buy from me, because they can get it for free?
I am going to say something that may surprise you a little. Giving away stuff for free, or sharing your knowledge freely with potential clients, is something that can help you in growing your business. This sounds a bit contradicting, doesn’t it? After all, you want people to pay for your services, otherwise you may as well give it all up. But I am a creative business coach, and sharing my expertise online for free, is something I do on purpose. I tell you why, and how you can use this too in building your audience.
Building trust, authority and connection
So I have my website, with all my coaching and training offers, and my pages that explain what I do and for whom. All very clear, and hopefully interesting for my target audience. But I don’t automatically get lots of clients calling me up each day to say they want to work with me. This takes time, and especially, a lot of effort. Because, you know why? People don’t know me yet. They don’t know who I am, how I work and why my services are something that is worth investing in. That all needs nurturing. Not in a sleazy, or dishonest way, but in a way that helps potential clients understand that by working with me, they are going to earn more money as a creative.
And to help them on that journey from follower to client, I give them lots of value. For free.
I know that a lot of people will never become paying customers, and that is OK too. I know not everyone is in the position to hire a business coach, book themselves onto a high ticket marketing course, or even hire a freelance copywriter – which I am as well. I am OK with that, and I still hope that these people will get a lot out of my free information, the Facebook group and my marketing tips. It’s there for the taking! But my goal is that others will see the benefit of working with me, and that it is worth investing in their professional development by hiring a coach, or signing up for a course.
It’s all out there for free anyway
By the way, I am not the keeper of all knowledge. I mean, you can find anything I say or share on the internet. For free. So you don’t need to pay for anything really, if you don’t want to. It’s all out there. But that is not the point. You hire a creative business coach because you feel that on your own you get stuck, or you start procrastinating, or you just give up and end up doing the same old thing. You feel strongly about growing your business, really want to get to the next level, but need someone to hold you accountable. A buddy, to guide you, hold your hand, and to make marketing easy and lighter for you, so you will achieve those goals and increase your sales. It is the personal, tailored approach and delivery you are paying for, not the actual information.
And by sharing my expertise for free with my followers online, I put myself forward as an authority, someone who knows her stuff. In my videos you can get to know me a bit better, see my face, and just like in this podcast, you can decide whether you like my personality. If you don’t like my face or voice, then we’re not a match! That’s OK! It is all about building that trust and authority in your industry in order to attract clients. And that is what I am trying to do with valuable, free content.
Selling is about being helpful
And no, I’m not trying to reel you in, or trick you with my free stuff. Authentic marketing is all about being transparent and honest. That’s why I decided to write this post today, to tell you a little about my own marketing techniques in building my creative coaching business. It’s all about showing up as your authentic self, sharing your knowledge, and being consistent in your message. Selling is nothing more than trying to be helpful. And I like helping people. I give people a free taster of what I can do for their business, and if they understand that paying for the whole package is actually worth the money, I’m here for them.
How can giving things away help you grow your own following? If you are a service-based business, you can do more or less the same as I explained before. Set up a Facebook group, or just share lots of value in any of your social media platforms, blogs, podcasts, videos and emails. You just want people to get to know you and trust you.
People love a freebie, give it to them
You can organise a free beginners masterclass as a photographer or graphic designer to make people get familiar with your skills and who you are, or do a free online taster session of a dance class you’ve got coming up. If you are a product-based business it is a little harder to give stuff away for free all the time, but you can still build a big audience by showing up online and sharing your expertise on your subject. If you sell home decor, jewellery or clothes, for example, show people how to style them, or care for them. The possibilities are endless, really, and with your creative brains I am sure you can think of a lot more.
Designing a free e-book or PDF is also a great way of building an email list. Offer something that is of value to your ideal client, for free, in return for their email address, and start connecting with them through a weekly email. I did this myself by offering a free social media planner as a download on my website, and I am growing my list like this every week without having to do anything else for it.
So don’t be afraid to give away stuff for free. You are only building your reputation as the go-to person in your industry. People like a freebie, it makes them feel good, and they will remember you.
Ready for the next step?
If you feel ready for the next step in your business and need an expert buddy to take you there, book a free 30-minute call with me to see how we can best work together.