Saturday, February 21, 2015

Blow Away the Competition Using This Traffic Generating Method of Giving Away Free Content

One of the biggest words in marketing besides “New” and “Sale” is the word “Free”.  If you read my last post, you’ll know that I’m an advocate of “Paying it Forward”.  It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and others, and a super easy way of building a loyal group of followers as cheaply as possible.

However, before I give you some great FREE ideas, let me just mention that just because you’re giving away something as cheap as FREE you don’t have to make it cheap.  You still need to make your gift as high quality as possible.

Recently, I heard a podcast by a young guy that mass produces eBooks on Amazon. His business model was to pick a group of pen names, (a different one for each niche he was targeting) have someone ghostwrite eBooks for himself - dirt cheap, and then sell them for $5.00 each because there wasn't any pain for prospects in parting with such a small amount of money.

He claimed he was raking in the dough.  Maybe he was...don’t know.

The problem with this business model, as I see it, is he will always have to rebuild his customer base.  People that buy cheap items that are just thrown together probably won’t be back, and probably aren't successful enough to buy anything that you’ll want to sell them later at a higher price. 

That’s just my way of thinking.

Why the Big Boys are Big

The reason why marketing experts like Dan Kennedy can command $300 an info product, or charge $3000 a seat at a seminar is because he DELIVERS super-high quality information, products and services and carries that reputation around with him wherever he goes.  And he’s been doing it for over 30 years.

That kind of clout comes with putting YOUR back into it, rather than hiring a ghost writer to dash out some fast junk. The Dollar Store does well at selling super-cheap stuff because that’s exactly what it is--super-cheap stuff.  

You won’t find Dyson vacuum cleaners that will last for 10 years or more there, because that’s not their niche.  (Of course you won’t find me buying a vacuum cleaner there either, no matter how cheap they sell them.)

Now, I know what you’re gonna say.  “Wait a minute Ellis! You’re telling me on one hand to give stuff away for FREE, but then you’re telling me that I don’t want to have a cheap reputation.  What kind of double talk is that?”

They Already Have the Job

People that want to become teachers go through a gauntlet you wouldn't believe.  In order to become a school teacher in the U.S. you have to go through at least 4 years of college, take a whole battery of certification tests, do your student teaching for at least a semester in a regular school, and then make sure you follow the rest of your certification requirements in the state you’re teaching in. 

In the state of Kentucky, for example, you have to go through an extra year of a state run program.  That program requires you to be observed and monitored by other teacher’s at your school as well as administrators and state administrators.  

By the time you’re done with that program, you’ll have a book full of state forms and lesson plans that’s as thick as a New York City telephone directory.  If you pass all of that, you still have to teach in your subject area for 3 years or take some upper level graduate classes.

Full-fledged teachers don’t make that much money for the first 10 years they’re teaching either.

I remember when I was doing my student teaching in college, there was a professor that was prepping us for that experience.  She really hammered out the fact that she didn't care what the rest of the staff at the cooperative school was dressed like, we had to be dressed to the hilt, very professionally.  She went through the whole laundry list of what women and men were to wear while doing their cooperative teaching.

Some of the students asked why we had to get so decked-out if the rest of the school teachers were dressed more casually.

Her response was quite blunt. “They already have the job.”

So, consider what other professions have to go through just to get started before you start whining, please.

The Reasons to Provide Free Content

  •        Your customers, prospects and fans want it, plain and simple. 

  •        You are trying to establish and prove your knowledge and expertise in your niche. Cheapest way to do it.

  •        If done correctly, it could be used to provide an online watering hole for your fans to congregate, comment and exchange ideas on a regular basis. 

  •        If you use offline newsletters, online eBooks and other wonderful vehicles, they could be passed around so you’re ideas and reputation could be spread virally.

The Grateful Dead Goes Live

A real good example of this type of FREE activity actually working, is from the famous rock group the Grateful Dead.  From a marketing perspective, they were unique in many ways.  But one thing stands out that they did which nobody else was doing at the time:  they’d let you record their concerts for FREE.

As a matter of fact, there was an area right next to the mixing board, where the best recordings could
be made called “taper sections”.  This is where people recording their live events could make their own recordings of Grateful Dead’s concerts.

Most music moguls would freak out at the revenue lost, but not the Dead.  They went viral before the Internet. People were exchanging recorded tapes, talking about them, and spreading their fame very quickly, and it paid off handsomely.  Hardly anyone hasn't heard of the Grateful Dead.

Google Gets a Jump on Free

Still don’t think high-quality FREE works? Take a good look at Google.  They have great free services that would take pages to list here.  It’s even been rumored that one of their latest ventures is to provide free Internet services to anyone that wants them, but that’s a future goal I’m not sure will happen.   

Google, like the Medici banking family of the Renaissance is collecting geniuses; there’s a whole battery of tests you’d have to take to get in their doors.  These people work in an environment that does nothing but give them freedom.  

Freedom to think, play around with ideas, and learn more.  People that work for this company don’t want to go home, so they stay and put in many hours. 

They are keen on FREE.  If they’re that smart, perhaps we should follow their lead.

To Your Success!

Mark “Elmo” Ellis
"When it Comes to High-Response Copy - I've Got Your Back!"
 (859) 797-9560

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