Why are you giving all this stuff away for free?
I get this question sometimes, mostly from three dimensional people in my life that lives outside the blogosphere and the social web. I get others such as “Why don’t you close SocialMouths and charge for your content?” or “Why do you spend so much time on something that doesn’t give you a freakin’ penny?”
As long as it’s not my wife, I usually don’t care about responding to that but today, Thom Chambers has provided me with the perfect answer: “Free has given me Freedom.”
Thom of course delivers the awesome In Treehouses magazine completely free month after month. In my case, the vehicle to deliver FREE is a blog. But in any case, there are a few realities to consider:
- Number one is that blogging is not profitable, businesses are. Free content is not a business
- There is no proof that behind the free content, there is a profitable entrepreneur/blogger
- You do not perceive that content as “sales driven” because it’s not. Sales actually happen when people fall in love with you and they are completely “indirect”
- Free content today is a given. Just not enough. People expect that from you. Remarkable content that just happens to be free, as Thom says, is something else
- That remarkable content you deliver with your heart week after week translates into a tribe true fans, followers and regular readers that will love to pay for your Premium content
- You need to forget about money and focus on crafting something remarkable for a bit
Are you giving something away? Why do you do it? What are the results of it?
What Free Has Meant For SocialMouths
You probably have noticed that I’m usually not talking about my services, throwing popups at you when you visit my blog or bombarding you with pushy emails every week, you don’t get redirected to sales pages with red and highlighted flashy text. I’m not saying they are good or bad practices, I happen to know a few guys that are very successful using them.
It’s a choice, to be completely honest, I’m embarrassed to do stuff like that when it comes to representing myself. Yes, I just said that.
But the reality behind SocialMouths is that I do get approached by awesome individuals and small companies, the process is invisible and completely organic. Usually they started reading the blog after a retweet or a share from somebody in their network, we started a conversation, made a couple of jokes and boom, magic happens.
It’s funny but on top of it, I get projects that I can relate to from people with similar approaches to life and business. Why? because you will attract different kinds of people depending of what you put out there. That simple. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to work with ass-kicking people from all over the world, all of it created from that piece of free content I put out there.
Is It Risky?
In 2007 the band Radiohead released their album In Rainbows as a download on a private network and gave their fans the possibility to pay whatever price they wanted for 2 months before going out as a physical release. The record went on to hit the sweet number one spot on charts all over the world. Not only that, they did it without a record label and while keeping full ownership of their material.
Pre-orders of the physical release were more profitable than the total sales of their previous album.
But what’s the point here? do you think this was a shot in the dark? do you think it was an irresponsible stunt? If you ask me, they were very confident about what they had in their hands, they knew it was a piece of art with enough juice to drop every jaw in the industry.
The Free Fans Kit
Last week Thom Chambers of In Treehouses launched a product called The Free Fans Kit. Thing is, Thom is taking us on a journey on how to create remarkable content and the need to innovate and reinvent the ways we deliver and, this product is exactly that.
The Free Fans Kit teaches you about the concept of free, how we are all publishers, the different kinds of blogs and all public publishing vehicles from ebooks to tweets. It is a beautiful guide on how to create remarkable content that just happens to be free and how that enables you start creating premium awesomeness that your tribe will anxiously wait for, as I have waited for Thom’s kit.
This product is not for everybody, as Thom says, and you will not see it all over the internet or bombarding your inboxes. That I can guarantee you. What I can tell you is this, if you are in search for something that could really have an impact on how you look at this whole online thing, consider taking a look at this.
Here is the introduction video…
Hope you liked that.
Disclaimer: The link to The Free Fans Kit is an affiliate link.