At times, I believe we take content marketing too far and that we work ourselves out of clients because we’re giving too much without commitment, kinda like a girl who gives everything hoping a guy will one day marry her, only to find out that he leaves her and easily commits and marries someone else who had standards and made him step up to the plate.
Am I right?
I get staying top of mind and nurturing but balance is needed. A client doesn’t have to know an entire process on how to save the world before investing in learning how to save the world. It makes no sense.
Remember, social proof of your successes could be all people need to see to have confidence in purchasing your work on how to achieve the same. They just need to know, like and trust you and there are other ways to do that without giving EVERYTHING away.
Don’t overdo it.
The solution is in something I call Free, Funnel and Funds or #freefunnelfunds. Basically, the concept involves mapping out your content funnel starting from your premium and determining only a segment of it that involves overview level education or an introduction, rather than a deep dive on what will ultimately be covered in the paid product. It doesn’t require you only to give fluffy, unhelpful content, but it seriously reduces what’s shared to just enough to inspire curiosity and a need for your paid product in order to have success. The key here is the free content, including blogs, livestreams, social posts and your optins should only serve to help people have success with your paid product. It should not replace and remove the need for it.
This is especially true for information marketers whose premium IS education.
With ecommerce retailers or creatives, there is a product or service involved. Their content would lead to their product and service and so it should focus on best trends, success tips or testimonials. And if they have desire to get into information marketing as another revenue stream, their target audience for these would NOT be the same as their done-for-you service or products clients, so as not to render themselves obsolete. A web designer can teach DIY web design, but she would likely not market it to the same group of people that would gladly pay her top dollar for a done-for-you solution. The only caveat would be income diversification where all of these models exist so that you get people at every level.
SAAS or software as a service companies do this best. Buffer, Hootsuite, Elegant Themes, and Thinkific all have incredible free content. They show you the steps, tools, and resources to make what you create WITH their software more successful. They help you find images, integrations, content calendars, recording equipment and other things to make building a website, course or social media strategy better. They do NOT show you how to build their software.
It’s time for us to break out what is great free content, even focusing on creative marketing including podcasting with interviews or totally unrelated content including beauty content for an audience that is interested in business and career (think lifestyle content–people have multiple interests and you just want to be in their minds when they are ready to make a buying decision), instead of “I’m going to show you how to do this thing that I also want you to later pay for”.
In short, #freefunnelfunds may include a  free 5-day livestream  series on how to make a cool opt in offer (using my Epic Optins series), the funnel–or optin–could be a customizable optin template they can tinker with in Word, and the premium could be a training on advance list building strategies. Unless there was a different premium, perhaps an even more deep level training on marketing automation, would each of the aforementioned things be free content.
Basically, qualified clients don’t need you to share everything before making a buying decision. Perhaps some who need time could use it, but the grand majority of people who REALLY want your service do not need you to give them everything, nor would they expect you to. Focus on those buyers and create a content roadmap that supports them.
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