Zero Dollar

I was engaged in a lively discussion with my mastermind group a couple of weeks ago.

We were talking about the challenge of taking on a business where your objective was to help people solve a problem that they might not know that they have yet. Tough, right? Because you have to sell them on the problem, and then sell the solution.

But then I realized that the mailing list freebie was a perfect vehicle for a business of this type:

Your freebie sells the problem. Your product/service sells the solution

I think this is a great way for people to help come up with a great freebie idea for their website. What I'm' calling a freebie is also called a cookie, sign up bonus etc. You see these on all websites- it's the free thing you get in return for signing up for opting in to someone's mailing list.

How to evaluate your freebie

I'm constantly coming up with ideas for new ‘freebies'. Little mini products that I'm not sure what to do with- they aren't necessarily “free” material, but they aren't pay material either.  This idea provides a framework for evaluating them.

  • Does it speak to a core skill that I have?
  • Does it help people realize a need for a specific problem?
  • Is the problem something that I can help them solve?
If it's not a core skill of yours, why would you be creating a resource on it in the first place? Note: I have nothing against curating a resource of other experts even if you're not an expert in the field. But if you can't answer yes to all of the above questions, I'd suggest brainstorming some more topics for your freebie.

And the most important question:

  • Does it help people?

Your freebie SHOULD be helpful. Don't give away crap because if you do people will think everything you do is crap.

My point: I recently bought a massage special from a local groupon-like site. I got a dirt cheap half priced massage and DAMN if that wasn't the best massage I've had in a long time. There's no question I'm going back. High quality freebie means I'm back for more, and willing to pay.

Your freebie should help people realize they need something more.

That's the real jedi mind stuff. Helping people get to a place of understanding themselves and understanding what it is they need to move forward.

Finally, is it a problem you can help solve? If I made a freebie that convinced people that they should abandon all technology and move to a deserted island, would I be helping my business out? NO.  The point I'm making is that the freebie should help you sell something that YOU OFFER.  It could be abstract and vague now, but at least sow the seeds for a plant that you can grow.

So, now that we've talked a little bit more about this, allow me to reiterate:

Your freebie sells the problem. Your product/service sells the solution.

This this is something that really successful businesses are doing without really thinking about it.  Look around at the freebie from your favorite website. They probably teach you a ton, but they also make you say: “WOW, I really should buy product X or WOW I really need to learn more about X topic. I'm so glad I read this freebie.”

While your at it, why not go check out my freebie that is all about creating a successful email list: PreSold and Hooked

In the comments:

What's the best freebie you've ever gotten? Why did you like it so much? -or- How did you use it as inspiration for your own work?

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