In online business, the ultimate freebie is an essential part of a successful sales funnel. Knowing how to create the ultimate freebie is therefore, key to your sales success.
What is a freebie?
A freebie is valuable free content (sometimes called a lead magnet, opt-in, gift etc.) that you give away in exchange for an email address. There is no reason for anyone to give you their email address unless you give them something that they really want and that's why your freebie should be as valuable as your paid content. Nowadays there are freebies everywhere because online business is growing fast and more and more businesses realize that they need to create freebies. You have to be very strategic about what you offer as a freebie and in some cases, you won't ask for an email address at first, but only after your audience has experienced some of your free content.
What types of freebies are there?
There are numerous ways to give your audience free content and you can create whatever works for your type of business and audience. Here are a few different types of freebies that are popular.
Checklists are great for any type of process that requires a number of repeatable tasks or steps. An example of a great checklist is my Ultimate Webinar Checklist that includes up to 60 check points that I go through for every one of my webinars. I developed this checklist over 2 years and with over 80 webinars and therefore this can truly be called an ultimate freebie as it is so valuable that I could easily charge for it.
An E-Book is essentially a PDF with several pages. E-Books can include all kinds of content:
- a how-to guide that may also include a checklist like described above but more detailed than a simple checklist.
- a compilation of your most popular blog posts with added commentary where relevant
- transcripts of audio or video content e.g. from your webinars
- a collection of the best advice from people you've interviewed
- a list of tools and resources you use and recommend
Sometimes it is difficult to present information in words, audio or video and it is best displayed with an infographic. Not many online entrepreneurs create infographics so if you take the time to create a good infographic, then you have a good chance of it being shared widely. This type of delivery is great for sales and launch funnel strategy and also social media usage advice.
4. Email Series
Even though video seems to be everywhere, email series are still well liked and valuable. If your audience is like me and prefers to read, then you should think about creating an email series for your audience. One of the most popular email series that I've signed up for was a 30 day – write your book – email series.
5. Video Series
A typical video series is a three-part video series like Jeff Walker's freebie for the Product Launch Formula. Originally the videos were 10-15 minutes long but over the years they've gotten longer and are now up to 30-45min long. Anything over 10 minutes is long for online videos but when you are giving a lot of value like Jeff Walker does, it works extremely well to have longer videos. Like Jeff and many others, you can create a series that has 3-5 videos and send them out with a day or few days apart so there is some anticipation for each new video. I have a free three-part video series for my Passion-A-Thon Course here.
As you may or may not know, I do regular webinars. I started doing weekly webinars in July 2014 and for more than six months it was my ultimate freebie. Through Facebook ads and webinars my list grew exponentially and sales took off. Basically, I built my business with Facebook ads and webinars! I've now done 90 webinars on various topics on everything an online entrepreneur needs to start, build and grow a profitable business. You can sign up for my latest webinar here.
7. Facebook Group Challenges
Challenges are very popular as a freebie in launches. I've run several challenges myself and it is definitely a great list building and launch tool. I recommend you do shorter rather than longer challenges as people tend to be less active after 7-10 days, ideally a challenge is even as short as just 5 days.
How to distribute your freebie?
1. Social media
I create a landing page for all freebies that I create. Then I run Facebook ads to those landing pages to encourage signups to the freebies. I also recommend to create social media posts for all channels where your are active and have an audience.
2. Blog posts
You are currently reading a blog post about How to create the ultimate freebie. This blog post contains links to several freebies, highlighting the main freebie which is 12 Days of Webinars. I recommend running Facebook ads to your blog posts and sometimes this is a cheaper method than running ads directly to your freebie.
3. YouTube videos
With video growing in popularity it's essential that you maintain a YouTube channel. Even though you cannot ask for an email address before somebody watches your videos, you can, on the other hand, ask for an email address below your video and also through clickable links during and after playing the video.
Similarly to YouTube, a podcast can be a fantastic way to reach a broader audience through the listings on iTunes and in other places. You can refer to a freebie in the podcast itself and also in the show notes. Some podcasters have a new freebie for every single episode and others have a general freebie for a whole season. Before you start a podcast think carefully about the commitment as your listeners will expect you to have a new episode every week.
5. Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups continue to grow in popularity and I bet you are already in several groups yourself. There are innumerable groups for online entrepreneurs and people often join groups before signing up for someone's list. I have a free group – Passion to Profits – where I don't require an email signup. I regularly share blog posts and freebies in my group to give my audience value and I also interact daily with the members. It does take time but is a great way to get to know your audience and nurture your community before asking for the sale.
What is a good freebie?
A good freebie is representative of and a valuable sample or demo of your product or service. For example, if you are selling an online course, you'll want your freebie to show a piece of content from that course plus the transformation that your course delivers. You want to over-deliver on your free content so that people are willing to pay you for your paid content.
Too many entrepreneurs worry about giving away too much free content but that worry is rarely warranted. Jeff Walker's free three-part video series for the Product Launch Formula is so good that many entrepreneurs can take what they learn from the free series and implement without ever signing up for his paid course. You may not think that is very smart but here you are reading about him in my blog post which is basically free advertisement for him. This makes others sign up for his free content and then some end up buying the paid course. Those who sign up and don’t buy give him free advertising. That is clever marketing!!
Whatever your freebie is, it should be easily consumable for self-study. That being said, you'll want to engage with your audience in some way e.g. through Facebook comments or even in a launch through Facebook Groups dedicated to your freebie. The key is, that your audience gets excited about your program.
What is the ultimate freebie?
The ultimate freebie is a freebie so good that you could easily charge for it – and ideally better than someone else's paid content.
Think about what people are asking you for or what kind of questions you see in the groups that you are in.
Let’s say you’re like me – a business coach – teaching people how to build an (online) business. My original idea was to help online entrepreneurs create solid business plans that would lead to more profitable businesses – and faster.
Many entrepreneurs aren’t planning their business, they don't have a clear vision or strategy, they aren't pricing their products and services correctly, or offering the right product mix etc. The idea of tackling all of this was too complicated for my audience – at first. I realized I needed to offer them something they felt they needed more right now.
So I offered training on how to set up an email marketing system, how to create Facebook ads, how to increase conversions on landing pages etc. I was good at the technology and could teach people what they wanted to learn. Through my freebies – my weekly webinars – people came to know me and then, later on when the time was right, I could offer them help with what I really wanted to help them with – how to plan, create and grow profitable businesses.
Another example is how my webinar checklist became my ultimate freebie. When I did my first webinar in July 2014, I realized how many little tasks I had to do to set up my webinar, run it and send out the replay. I started to write down all the tasks in order to be able to outsource this process to a virtual assistant.
After about 5 webinars my list had become quite detailed and as I realized later, very valuable to others who were just starting out with webinars. One day a client asked me if she could purchase my webinar checklist and that's when I knew I had to turn this into a freebie – an ultimate freebie.
Finally, the ultimate freebie not only gives people what they really want (and would be willing to pay for) but also has the right timing. By watching trends and being a first-mover on new social media channels or with new technology, you have the opportunity to create freebies in a niche that no one has a good freebie in yet – and that is then your ultimate freebie.
One of My Ultimate Freebie Examples
Last year, I decided to give access to 12 of my best webinars of 2015 – as a reference to the 12 Days of Christmas. I created a funnel where people who signed up had to wait until Christmas day to access the first webinar and they would then receive a new webinar each day for the following 11 days. In only 2 weeks, I got 700 signups for this freebie!
It worked so well because it had good timing and a ton of valuable content. Most of my trainings are 1-hour long and I share a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff too. It's available again this year because when it works, why not? And you can sign up by clicking on the image below now.How your #freebie is like inviting someone out for a drink.
How to follow up with your freebie
The sales are in the follow-up. Once someone has signed up for your freebie, you need to follow up and nurture your audience. You need to think about how many emails you’re going to send and how you can give additional value before you ask for the sale.
When you have a new subscriber, it's very much like dating someone. You’ve invited them out for a drink (sign up to your list) but you don’t ask them to come home with you right away. You want to nurture your new subscriber with more content.
Then after a time, you test their readiness for purchase (to take it to the next step) with smaller programs. Continue to send regular and consistent updates so that they don't forget you. This is key for a long-term relationship.