As a business coach & mentor, I do something unusual — I give away all my best content instead of selling it via online courses (which I did successfully for 5 years.)
Here are the reasons why…
Reason #1. Rapid Skills Development
When I freely share, I find that I become smarter faster, compared to when I was sharing only “teaser” content and holding back the “real” stuff. It’s strange — when I openly teach everything I know, I discover that I have even more good stuff within me to share.
Unlike physical items, knowledge and creativity (content) has no limit. It’s like tapping into an infinite well. I don’t have to keep asking myself “Should I teach this or should they be buying this?” — instead I freely share and teach, and it has the awesome effect of more rapidly building my skills of thinking, organizing information, teaching, sharing (distributing content.)
I openly share all the tools & processes I use to coach my clients to authentic business success:
Reason #2. Greater Shareability
Free content is much easier for other people to share forward (and for Google and other search engines to find!) — therefore my ideal audience grows more rapidly. Before, I had to work very hard to get “joint venture” / affiliate partners to promote my online courses, and they did it primarily because of financial benefit or a reciprocated promotion.
Now, people love sharing my content forward, on their own initiative, because they want to help others and to be seen as helpful. It’s a much more fulfilling “partnership” with my audience, one of true feeling and spontaneous generosity.
Reason #3. More & More Free Content
Every year, more bloggers are coming online, writing incredibly useful free content. And more podcasters recording inspiring, helpful information. And more people uploading valuable free training onto Youtube for the world to consume and benefit. This means paid content is increasingly held at a higher standard… more and more competition every year.
It is increasingly higher risk for solopreneurs to create a business model selling paid content…
…or it requires partnering with a larger / more skilled production team to create paid content that is much higher quality than what’s available for free. (This is what I will be doing with The Shift Network later this year — teaching one of their Marketing courses.)
However as a solopreneur, it’s a stressful model to create paid content on my own, and I prefer to no longer pursue it.
When structured correctly, 1–1 Coaching is less stressful and more fulfilling.
I now experience far more fulfillment and transformation in my clients. My time continues to grow in value as (1) my skills increase from experience and (2) as my audience grows, thanks to my free content.
My fees can continue to rise, and therefore take more time off if I wish.
Unlike content, very few people are going to give away their 1–1 time for free, so the competition actually decreases as I spend more time honing my 1–1 coaching skills.
I have an increasing choice in which clients I want to take on, thanks to my increasing amounts of free content that is drawing new people to me everyday.
It’s a simple, good business model: free content + paid 1–1!
Just make sure you price yourself optimally so that you are earning enough to take enough time off every year and also to focus a few weeks on enrollment. Click here for a free “how to price your services” tool.
Reason #4. Knowledge is Useful Only When Applied
I used to charge $1,920 for an online marketing course (webinars, social media, daily productivity) and many people bought it… yet few people earnestly applied it.
It seems that people loved buying knowledge from me, but then they got easily side-tracked by programs other people people were selling. Or they allowed life to get in the way. Or they got discouraged when they couldn’t easily implement some piece of the course and they either gave up or went to buy another program.
This is an important reason I switched to 1–1 Coaching, and decided to give my knowledge for free. Paid knowledge is useless if not truly applied. Free knowledge can change someone’s life when earnestly implemented.
With 1–1 Coaching I am able to understand my clients, customize the knowledge for their individual situation, hold them lovingly accountable to applying it, and provide personalized support when they encounter difficulties.
My clients have been making a lot more progress in their business than my students (those who bought my content) had done. It has been much more fulfilling for me than selling paid content knowing that human nature tends to buy but not implement unless personally supported.
Reason #5. A More Generous World
When you are the one looking for information, knowledge, training, advice, doesn’t it feel good in your heart whenever you find that someone has generously shared just the information you were looking for? It has that effect for me, and inspires me to give back to the world as much as I can.
Free content creates a more generous and collaborative world!
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George Kao is a marketing & business mentor for Coaches and Healers, and focuses on authentic & joyful business building. He has spoken on hundreds of webinars, telesummits, and podcasts over the past 7 years, and has taught and coached over 1,000 students and clients. He loves giving away all his training and content for free, and earns almost all his living through 1–1 business coaching. To get his best trainings & content in a single monthly email, subscribe for free at www.georgekao.com/email
This blog post is freely licensed with Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0).
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