One of the most important parts of marketing is actually the free “value” content you share with your audience (week-by-week and prior to a product launch).
Whether it’s your opt-in/freebie, your weekly content emails, the videos on your YouTube channel or Facebook page, your podcast, your webinars…
The *key* to conversions is high-quality free content.
Why? Well, think about this.
If your free content is good enough that people would pay money for it…
Your audience will make a conscious (or subconscious) bet that what you sell will be even better!
And that’s what you want, right?
You want to connect with your audience + serve them well – because that’s what creates TRUST in you and your business (and that’s what gets the SALE).
(That’s a core philosophy to high-quality marketing – and one we embody in my company!)
In this episode, I’ll explain why free content that’s truly helpful to your audience makes selling so much easier, PLUS…
- Why you should put AS MUCH thought, energy, and effort into your free content as your paid content
- How many resources my team puts into our free content every week…
- And 2 questions to ask yourself if you’re ready to step up your content game!
Listen in to this short + sweet episode, and then share your thoughts on my latest Instagram post (@emilyhirsh)!
And if you want to reserve your spot for my Free Live Masterclass on Thursday, May 14th at 4pm Pacific Time, go here. We will be covering The Single Strategy To Selling (And Scaling) Your Offers With Facebook™️ Ads.
[2:57] “If his free content is this good, what he sells must be great!”
[4:39] We spend 10+ hours every month creating our free marketing report…
[7:42] This is what makes selling easy
[9:33] Make sure you put just as much energy into your free content as the content you sell…
[11:41] This is about CONNECTION + VALUE
[12:45] This is also important for ecommerce, too…
[14:12] Here’s what to do next!
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Hello everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. How is everyone doing in this time right now, and surviving business? I hope you are all using your community and your mentors and people around you to connect and feel supported during this time. I know I am definitely doing that. Today’s episode… I was on my maternity leave and had lots of time for thinking and just processing. I took at least, I think, three weeks completely off, and then started to kind of dive back in, but then ended up going back into work a little faster than I was planning, just because of COVID and everything happening. And I wanted to serve my audience and our clients, and so I stepped in a little more. So that wasn’t planned, but it all worked out.
And I had this thought, and this thought kind of came that everybody needs to be reminded of what I’m going to talk about today. I think it’s very important. And the reason I did is because I knew we were going to be creating … We are going, and are in the process of creating a new funnel for Hirsh Marketing that will have a bundle that you can buy of several of our resources. So when we were creating it and we were talking about all the different things and the funnel steps… and it’s not live yet, so I don’t want to say it because it might shift a little bit.
But a lot of what we talked about is how important any of the free content we were giving out needed to be basically worth paying for. And this is a concept that I’ve held true for so many years, since I started my business, and haven’t talked about in a while. And I think it’s a really, really important reminder for people, because here’s the thought that I also had. I had recently downloaded somebody’s free content, and I think it was some tips on getting your email open rates up. And it was really good, it was really helpful content. And I had actually seen the ad. I never do that, right? I never see an ad and go through a funnel. It’s very rare for me because I don’t even have social media on my phone, and so I’m not really scrolling very much.
But I saw an ad, I clicked on it, and I actually downloaded his resources, free resources. And I had this thought after I did that, that it was good, because we actually implemented what he said. And I was like, “Oh, if his free content is this good, what he sells must be really good.” And it was kind of a subconscious thought, but it was instantly this trust that I had built with him from downloading his free content, to going to… didn’t actually purchase it yet, but thinking, “Oh, his paid content must be really good.” And that was a quick little thought that went through my head, and it was pretty much subconscious. It was not like I was stating it out loud or really trying to think it.
And it made me realize how this value that I’ve always held and that we push with clients… but I think it can easily be forgotten because you focus so much on what you’re selling and making those sales. And you have to, because obviously that’s what keeps you in business, that sometimes we neglect what we’re giving away for free. And it’s kind of like an afterthought, like, “Oh, we’ll just throw that PDF together, or throw that opt in together, or throw that training together,” or whatever. But there is so much benefit in making what you give away for free so valuable that people feel like they should pay for it.
So when we were creating this new funnel, we kept having that conversation and putting a lot of emphasis into what we give away for free. One of our main things that we give away for free is the Hirsh Marketing Report, the weekly… well, we’re doing it weekly right now through COVID… but it’s normally a monthly report. And I spend, my team and I spend a lot of time on that report. I would say 10 hours probably goes into gathering data, checking for top converting ads, putting takeaways of those ads, creating takeaways from all the strategies from the previous month. We put a lot of work into that report. And my goal with it has always been that it feels like something somebody could’ve had to pay for, and we give it away for free every month.
If you don’t get it, you can go to hirshmarketingreport.com to grab them. There’s a whole year worth of past reports in there. So we put so much work into that free resource. And what’s happened is that, along with my podcast, which are two of my main free resources, I’ve had several people say, “Hey, I’ve been following you for months, listening to your podcast, reading your reports. And now I’m finally ready to come on as a client.” And that’s when you know your free content, whatever it is, your opt in, your webinar, whatever you give away for free to attract people to your brand, even if it’s your videos, your podcast, not even requiring an opt in. Whatever you’re giving away for free, if you sit there and ask yourself, “Would somebody pay for this information? Is it good enough that somebody would pay for it?” Then you’re doing it right.
That should be the goal with your free content, because that’s what’s going to build that trust. And do you see how I had that subconscious thought when I downloaded that resource and we actually implemented a strategy. And I was like, “That’s so cool, it was a free strategy.” I was like, “I wonder what he sells because I bet it’s really good.” And I sent the resource to my team, so I’m sure they know what he sold. His funnel was probably fine, and it did offer it. But that trust, that little bit of trust was built with me to where I would trust this person and spend money on what they have to offer because what they gave away for free actually benefited me.
So this is so, so important. I want you to think about what you’re offering for free, whatever it is. Like I said, it could be opt in or no opt in, podcast, videos, or you opt in for PDF, a report, a webinar. All of that content should be good enough that somebody feels like, “I could pay for that information, and I would’ve paid for that information it was so good,” because if you can do that, selling will become so easy because you’ve already built that trust with that person, with that potential lead.
So first, look at what you have already out there and ask yourself, “Can you improve it?” Especially if you have people downloading something regularly or watching something regularly, ask yourself, “Can you improve it?” Because if you haven’t asked yourself that in a while, there’s probably room for improvement. Example, we went through our Hirsh Marketing Report about four months ago and completely overhauled it and improved it. And you’ll see, if you download the reports, you’ll see the change. I think it was around November of 2019 that we changed it. And since then, it’s been updated, so you could compare. Before, it was pretty good. I’d say it’d be worth paying for information. And then it got way better, because we did a whole overhaul.
And now it’s even more worth paying for, in my opinion, to get that information that we give away. But I’m constantly kind of going back and saying, “What can I improve? What can I improve?” Because you’ll never have a final draft of something, typically. There’s always room for that improvement. So what do you have today that you could potentially improve, especially if you’re already getting traffic to it? Because that’s golden leads and audience that you want to sell and convince to buy from you. So what can you do to get more people over the fence by improving what they’re already consuming?
The second thing is, if you’re going to come up with a new funnel or a new offer, make sure to not put all your time and energy into what you’re selling. And I think that’s really easy to do, is people spend a lot of time putting their energy into the sales page and perfecting the offer and the funnel strategy and the way they’re going to sell it. And then the free part kind of becomes an afterthought, like, “I’ll just do a webinar.” Or, “I’ll just throw together this PDF or give away this recording from this past thing.” And that’s all fine, but just make sure it’s not an afterthought. Make sure you’ve actually put as much time and energy, honestly, thinking about that as what you’re going to sell, because if the free thing is broken and is not really attracting people, or building the trust correctly with them, or making them really feel like your content and your brand is going to solve their problem, you’re going to lose so many people in that first initial step.
If I had this podcast and it was really crappy… hopefully it’s not! I’m just kidding. If it was really crappy, and I just sold on it and didn’t give any value, and I was giving you very surface value… I go deep in this podcast. I give away so much. And here’s why, because I know my audience doesn’t want to do their own ads, so I’m fine giving away so much in this, because the people who want to do their own ads and people who are at that stage in their business are not my client. So I know that, I’m connected with my audience, and I know that with my podcast.
But let’s say I had this podcast where I give barely any value, and I just have commercials all in it, and I don’t really … I stay really surface and I’m like, “Well, if you want more, you have to go here and buy this thing.” It would be such a waste, because I would lose so many listeners and people from that first step. And my first step would be broken, which would affect the whole rest of my customer journey. So the content that you give away for free should be worth paying for. And this is one of the most important concepts for you to get, which comes back to one of my core values of connection and value being your priority in marketing.
And I want you to see how if you have something that you haven’t put that time and effort into making it so amazing, like people should be amazed by what you give away for free… Look at anybody successful that you follow right now. I want you to just ask yourself. Think of two people in your head who you’re like, “Those are my mentors. Those are people I follow. Those are people I look at their content online.” Is their free content really amazing? Do you get benefit from that free content? Do you potentially even get results from implementing that free content? You should be getting results. I want people to get real results by implementing my free content and strategies.
And I guarantee you anybody that you follow and trust, and that you’ve maybe even purchased from or made the decision to buy a course, or sign up for something, or buy their product, you trust them. This is very relevant, especially for influencers, for people in digital products, building personal brands. But also, I’ll just say, in e-commerce, if you gave people an amazing tip, or you caught their attention through something that was a really good tip and relevant to your industry, and you supported them in that way, that’s also a way to get their trust. So a lot of what I’m talking about here is relevant to people doing podcasts, or webinars, or an opt in.
But let’s say you have an e-commerce company that’s selling… let’s just make something up, it’s selling meat, like beef jerky. I just made it up. And you had either brand awareness or something around either making better meat, eating better meat, or facts they didn’t know, or something that you could connect with people that you knew were interested in that, to then buy your product. I totally just made that up on the fly. But hopefully you guys see what I’m saying. And if you had beauty products, then you could have really amazing tips around that, or even be pointing out why some other ingredients might be so bad, educating your audience on that, taking the time to give that value. So it is relevant for pretty much every business to make sure they give value, make sure the value in the free content that you give is so good that somebody could potentially be paying for it.
So look at what your existing free content is. And just ask yourself, “What’s two things I could do to improve it today? What could I implement right now?” Because that’s what we did with the Hirsh Marketing Report. I do that often with the podcast. I’m always asking myself, “How do I give more value?” Especially, again, if people are already listening to it because you’re already sitting kind of a gold mine if you’ve got that warm audience engaging with your content, reading your content, listening to your content, watching your content. You want to maximize on that audience as much as possible. That’s kind of where your low hanging fruit will be.
Then anything new that you put out, any new funnel that you put out, make sure that you are not putting all your team’s and your energy, time, and effort into what you’re selling, but you’re also thinking about what you are giving away. What’s the leading content in that funnel? Because that’s going to kind of set the stage for the sale. And I believe a lot of times, the actual webinar is more important than the pitch and the sales page and the offer, because by the time you go through something like a webinar and you get to that pitch, people are either going to buy or they’re not going to buy, based on everything they just sat there and listened to.
And so all of that free content, it needs to be thought about and strategically planned so that it supports the audience, and they are like, “Wow, I trust this person so much, because I’d pay for this information. This is amazing. I’m able to get results from this.” And watch any mentor, or anybody that you feel like you would trust enough to buy from, and you’ll see that they’re doing that. That’s how they’ve earned your trust. And so when I had that thought, I was like, “This is really good, because it totally worked on me.” I downloaded this resource and I was like, “Oh, I’ve got to find out what this guy sells because this was so good. And I bet he has even better stuff that you pay for.”
And I know that’s not the first time I’ve had that thought. So your free content should be worth paying for. If it’s not, ask yourself how you can improve it. But then constantly be improving what you do give away to your audience. It’s so important. And then when you create something new, make sure to ask yourself this question, “Is this worth… would I pay for this free content?” And don’t put all your energy into the sale. Hopefully that was helpful today for you guys. If you want support with your marketing, with your strategy, with your implementation of your Facebook and Instagram ads, you can go to helpmystrategy.com and apply to work Team Hirsh. And I’ll see you on the next episode.