Still Think 'Free' is Unprofitable?

The past couple of years I've given away a lot for free.  Particularity this year with a lot of new projects. I've given books, advice, podcasts, digital products and A LOT of video content...Literally hundreds of hours worth of learning consolidated into shorter more actionable chunks for my audience.

People often ask me why I do it?  Why am I giving all of this away?

"People don't respect free" I hear.

Yet these are the same people who then ask me how to make money online, how to price their services, and how to grow an online following.

It seems shouting out into the inter webs with "look at what I've got, look at what I've got, buy my shit!" isn't working...

Why not?

It's simple.

Before you can need to give.

Serve first, sell later.

But more than that, it comes down to what your goal is.

Free can be free....but when you have a strategy behind it, free is far from free.

Let me ask you a couple of quick questions, and then you tell me if you still think free is bad.

  1. If you were offered $3 billion for Facebook to buy your 'free' app....would you be against free?
  2. If you shared content which led to you ultimately traveling the world, earning a very lucrative living and perhaps running projects such as corporate coaching programs by simply sharing what you know...would you still be against free?

Well, the first is the position Snapchat are currently in, and the second is exactly how many public speakers and consultants get started.

Still think free is bad?

To be honest, Free is actually  bad...when you don't know what you're doing.


The truth is there are two types of free.  Firstly, the dangerous kind where you have no idea what you are doing or are giving away personalized advice with nothing in return.

Or the smart way, where free is a trust building and ultimately profitable exercise where you share actionable advice that brings more value into the world.  As long as you have a plan and a strategy behind 'free', then it can work very well.

The truth is, the only real currency is trust.  Before asking for a dollar, you need to build your trust. But once you have a strong level of trust, you can basically ask for whatever you like.  Because people will always pay for you to help in THEIR situation.  Once you've built the trust...they want YOU.

Once the trust is established you can charge what you're worth.  So while it appears many (including myself) give away a lot for free, this is only part of the service they provide.  For example, when I charge, I charge right.  Because I know I provide value and ultimately results for people (which is all that matters).  But until I am at that point of 'trusted adviser', I am no better off than most other business owners out there.

You must realise that information isn't the answer.  We have enough information.  Right now, we need trusted advisers to share the answers, build trust and help us achieve results.

The tricky part for most people is figuring out how to gain this trust.  A lot of the time, people are too quick to ask for payment, and too slow to share valuable information.

They have it backwards.

So instead of taking the approach most take and ask for the sale first, get busy building trust, sharing content, helping others, serving an audience and then when they need help....who do you think is the first person they're to call on?


Just let that sink in......


Thanks for reading.