Can You Give Away Too Much Content?

Can You Give Away Too Much Content?

Reader Comments (32)

  1. This will be the first time I’ve ever stuck around for all three of somebody’s webinars. Thanks for being good internet marketing role models, Sonia.

  2. I love Copy Blogger. I would love the check list.

    Please know that the emails about the webinars are far to frequent and flooded marketing/writing folks don’t always have time for webinars, even wonderful free ones from talented folks.

    I ready Copy Blogger at night and very early in the morning. That’s all I have time for. Please know that I deeply appreciate the valuable content. I recommend Copy Blogger all the time.


    • That’s the reason we record them and provide video replays. Well, that and the fact lots of people don’t live in North American time zones 🙂

  3. Interesting post-there has to be a point at which, if your information/content is any good, you charge a reasonable price. Otherwise its pointless in my opinion.
    Anyone can give stuff away..

  4. Sonia,
    I would love your take on something I heard Seth Godin say — “We are in the souvenir business” — or something to that effect. He was talking about authors when he made that statement, but I think he would say that it applies to anyone that is selling information.

    To elaborate, I think Seth meant that when we create a tribe, they buy the souvenirs that the tribe leader creates.

    • I’ve seen that used with art as well (actually, I think Hugh MacLeod does a great job of this) — the artist creates a certain experience and connection, and then the image or sculpture or whatever it is is a “souvenir” of that.

      it depends on what people come to you for. They come to Copyblogger for information, so the souvenir model isn’t as important for us. (We did offer some t-shirts just to see what would happen. There was definitely interest, but I don’t think we’ll be switching to that as our primary business model any time soon.) 🙂

    • Look at our own buying behaviour and we see that is true. I am a geek, the last thing I need is pro sports wear, and I will never be picked for a team, but I have a whole bunch of hockey merchandise 🙂

      I definitely see it in my sales. I know information product collectors, and I know some of my lower ticket items have been reciprocation buys rather than “I need this so I will buy it” purchases (the customers told me as much). While I am not going to change my business model to focus on “pity purchases” I will take them 😉

  5. Very very important question Sonia and I’m agreeing. For me I’m abandoning the free e-book concept because it’s saturated and chiefly because there’s no mystery, no tantalising the reader or capturing their interest and wanting more with this format. I’m writing paid for books with snippets and quotes that are gradually dripped out with offers and benefits attached and similar. It’s like the sexiness of burlesque rather than the full on nudity elsewhere. More is indeed less these days blog wise to me while less is everything including bigger numbers.

  6. A few years back, I watched a Dan Kennedy video that seemed like it was from the 80s (or maybe he liked making videos in shitty conference rooms), anyway, DK said – and there was sputum flowing from his face- that you didn’t give ANYTHING away. He was fist pounding.

    He’s moved his free line since then.

    Figuring out the truly correct amount is tricky.

    • My observation, very much outside-in, is that Kennedy has grown tremendously in his partnership with Glazer. Kennedy is by nature attracted to absolute, unwavering certainty. He’s like the dad who’s always right and won’t tolerate being questioned. Glazer is more of a curious uncle, “this is kind of interesting, I wonder what would happen if we tried that?” type.

      I respect them (obviously I wouldn’t have spoken at their conference if I didn’t), but as I am not at all their ideal customer, a lot of their material doesn’t really work for me.

  7. Another take on this is that content marketing is essential because of the education it provides customers. Giving away free content can educate customers to the point that they are interested in buying your product because they realize how valuable it is.

    When I first started reading Copyblogger, there’s no way that I was going to pay for a premium Genesis WordPress theme. Now, one year later, I’m about to make my first purchase (and I also recommend it to others).

    This isn’t because of sleezy sales tactics. It’s because I’ve been educated to the point that I can actually use the product. It’s brilliant.

    A real-world application of this (not that Copyblogger isn’t real-world) would be fishing. I like to fish, but most of the time I have no idea how a lure works. If the company would take the time to include instructions on the packaging that helps me catch fish, you better believe I’ll buy more of the lures. The problem is that I don’t know how to use the lure and I don’t catch fish. So not only do I not buy more lures, I don’t even want to go fishing anymore (except that I do because I know I’ll catch the big one next time).

    The point is that marketing doesn’t have to only be about sleezy sales tactics. It can also be about educating customers to help them succeed and need your products more.

    That’s my take.

  8. Wondering if you are giving away too much is a serious question that people have asked me many times. Somehow I think we forget that business is about developing tribes and relationships, not shoving sales down peoples throat. Most businesses are small, and that means that most of the time we are buying from the person we know and like. Free content allows people to know and like us. It is simple like that.

    But sure, it has to be good too.

  9. Sonia, Brian and Chris, I’ve loved the webinars so far.

    Being in Sydney means it’s way too early in the morning to attend live, so many thanks for making the replays available.

  10. That’s a really tough call. You both want to offer enticing content, but also have your own stash of private knowledge that can be used for consulting where you’re directly getting paid for it.

    It’s a fine line, but I think people can find it.

  11. Thanks for the share Sonia. Really worth checking this one out. Giving away too much content has the advantage and disadvantages itself. People are a different story altogether it depends on how they deals with it. Really loved the read.

  12. This is a fantastic post especially because i have always been wondering why business gives out so much, and do they intend to make money or customers when they have given out what should be bought. Thanks for unraveling the mystery.

  13. Great post Sonia… I would love to join the seminar, I hope I could clear out my schedule to join the webinar… Thanks for sharing…

  14. I think offering as much “free” content is possible is the best way to build relationships. Thank you for the very informative post.

  15. Hey Sonia,

    The idea of “free” is always an enticing deal but has boundaries. Customers or clients can see the word “free” and relate it to ideas like poor quality or inferior to other products or services. It’s important to not let low cost of products or services interfere with the quality of the product or service.

    Likewise, you are able to grow customer acceptance through their loyalty to your free offers. The more they are drawn to your business through some of the free items you offer, the more likely they will eventually see the value in some of the products and services that are offered for a price such as your webinars.

    Keep those awesome webinars coming!

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