There has been a long-standing debate among Internet marketers about whether or not an online business owner should give his/her best content away for free.
Most stand behind the argument that if you give your best away, then you will have nothing really good to sell.
Others in this camp suggest you give “pieces” of your best content away but not the whole thing. Then you will be able to sell the complete “full” product later for a profit.
The other opposite camp says “give away your very best work” so that your audience will see what your content is like, become fans of your style, and then buy your other products (which they assume will be just as valuable as the content they’ve already experienced).
I have my own opinion about this dilemma and I’d like to share it with you. Of course, your feelings may be different … and that’s just fine! Do whatever you feel is best for your own situation.
I personally feel that you ought to give your very best, regardless of whether it is given away or sold.
Don’t limit your thinking about what is your best work. Make everything you do “your best work!”
Once you give your best away, get busy and create your new “best.”
I have given the very best I have to offer in an effort to expose my audience to my work. It created some wonderful fans and a new pool of customers wanting product #2 (and #3 and #4 and on and on).
Don’t limit your potential by believing that you can only have one “best.”
Don’t get too absolute in your definition of the word “best” because in marketing terms your “best” isn’t limited to only one thing you put out, is it? Everyone that experiences your content will have their own personal opinion about what your best may be. That’s really the way it should be. Someone else will have a different opinion. All that really matters is that you create content and products that you feel are your very best. If you do that, then you will never short-change your subscribers or your paying customers.
Best selling author Tom Clancy passed away a few years back (October 1, 2013). He had 17 New York Times “best sellers” to his name. I’m sure there were lots of Tom Clancy fans that bought every new book he penned.
In 1985 he released The Hunt for Red October, probably his best work to that point IMO. Then in 1987 he released Patriot Games, his new “best” novel. Then in 1989 came Clear and Present Danger, also his “best” work. Next was The Sum of All Fears in 1991, his next “best” offering in his line-up.
I hope you see what I’m trying to get at.
Tom Clancy may not have given any of his books away, but the lesson to be learned from his effort still applies.
By the way, I’m guessing a significant number of his returning customers borrowed one of his books from a friend, got hooked on Tom Clancy novels because he always gave his “best,” then proceeded to fill Mr. Clancy’s bank account with their dollars over the subsequent years!
Always give your “best” in everything you do. Open your mind to the possibilities!
There is no limit to how many times you can give your audience the very best that you have. But some people will never get to experience anything you offer if you don’t give them an easy, simple, non-threatening way to see a sample. The easiest way to do that is to give something of your very best away for free! I would suggest keeping it short and on point. Make it your best work!
To your online business success!