Give it Away Now: How to Give Value for FREE to Gain Customers

By: Jake

Giving something away for free is a powerful tool. Make that something truly valuable and it grants you the power of influence (with that comes credibility). In a super neat study by Dan Ariely, he and his team discovered that 68% of people who accepted a free tattoo (note: a lifelong and permanent decision) would not have gotten the tattoo had it not been free.

 

So, how can you use these findings of irrational decision making (in a responsible way) and the power of giving away free stuff to gain customers?

 

We’ve talked a few times about Why Giving Away Free Stuff Makes Sense in the Long Term and the importance of content marketing. With over 27,000,000 pieces of content shared every day you must devise a strategy that provides true value to your audience and nurtures strangers into customers.

 

A Simple Funnel to Gain Customers with Free Stuff

 

A big mistake is to think that when you give something away for free to a stranger that the next step is for the stranger to become a customer. The reality is that stranger most likely will not become a customer right away. In fact, it may take a week, a month, or even a year until that stranger moves through your sales funnel to become a paying customer. In order move and nurture that stranger through your sales funnel you: A) need to have a defined sales funnel; and B) have free, valuable content created for each phase of the funnel.

 

A simple model to use would look like this:

 

  1. Attract Strangers to be Visitors to your website, landing pages, and social Media pages

    • This can be accomplished through various SEO tactics, your blog, social media status updates, and relationship building with other websites and community managers.

  2. Convert your Visitors into Leads

    • This can be accomplished through A/B testing of call-to-actions, capture form placement and length, and optimizing your landing pages.

  3. Nurture your Leads into Customers

    • This is the good part! Through email optimization, lead scoring, CRM integration, and personalized content you can stay in front of your Lead providing valuable content that will impact her decision making process.

  4. Lastly, CONTINUE to Delight your Customers so they become your Biggest Promoters.

    • Don’t forget to continue to entertain, inform, and educate your hard earned customers with free, valuable stuff. You do want them to bring you more Leads, don’t you?

 

How to Package Value

 

Everyone’s industry and business is different. Some industries rely solely on the knowledge you hold. Such as your super secret family recipe for making a second to none marinara. However, the majority of us are not in an industry where sharing knowledge of what we do, how we operate, and how we do what we do would crush our company. In fact, this is the information that attracts strangers and nurtures leads into customers. The easiest and most cost effective way to give away free, valuable “something” is through the content you create.

 


A frequent concern we hear when meeting with new clients is a fear that their competition will learn how they operate. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Most likely your competition already knows how you operate (because they probably operate very similar) and if they do not know then they have not done their due diligence and they won’t be your competition for long.


 

Here are some of our favorite ways to package our valuable information to give away for free:

 

  • Blogs: A great way to build out your website 250 to 2,000 words at a time while driving keyword targeted traffic.

  • Email Updates: An important channel to deliver content directly to your leads and customers. Do you think email marketing is dead? Think again!

  • eBooks: Get more use out of your blog posts by pulling them together to make larger documents such as an eBook. Sometimes it is hard to deliver true value in 1 to 2 pages This is where an eBook or larger document can take over.

  • Videos: Videos are a great way to catch people’s attention on multiple channels such as YouTube and Vimeo to drive them back to your website.

  • Webinars: Open direct lines of communication with people by hosting a webinar. You are, by the way, an expert in your industry.

  • Online course: If you really want to keep people coming back and talking about you then teach them something. Whether it is a series of self-taught courses that you produce or an interactive program, there are phenomenal tools available at your disposal.

  • Audio / Music / Podcasts: Similar to videos, increase your reach by strategically expanding your content into a mix of channels. 1 blog post can be the foundation for your video and for your podcast.

  • Events: More of an effort but hosting an event will get you the most ideal customer and open line of communication with your ideal customer. When implemented correctly hosting an event (or even guest participation in an event) can have the highest and fastest return.

 

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Overall remember, strategically giving away valuable “stuff” is good for business to attract strangers and gain customers (Unlike the Brazil soccer team who gave away valuable goals to Germany during the World Cup as if they were parting gifts for visiting).

 

About Jake Taylor

Little Jack's resident wordsmith since 2010.

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