When free is better than cheap

Most people that sell things that are ‘expensive’ also give things away for free.

Maybe you do some sort of one on one coaching but you also do a free weekly podcast or YouTube video. Doing so allows you to make a living from what you do whilst also ensuring that those that can’t afford your services still have access to your work.

Free stuff also allows potential customers/clients to consume your work before deciding whether they consider your product or services to be worth spending money on.

On the other hand you could have it so that nothing is free but instead is either cheap or expensive. However, I’ve found that overtime free stuff can help build trust. Whether it’s buying a book written by someone who has a free podcast or paying for a membership on a site run by someone who regularly shares useful information on social media.

When the stuff is free you take what applies or works for you and pass on the rest whereas if you pay, even if it’s a small amount you’re likely to be much more critical and judgemental.

The thing that has made me buy what a person is selling is when I’ve gotten great value from what stuff I haven’t even paid for. I’d have been much less likely to buy the more expensive stuff if I was already paying for the podcast, blog posts or newsletter etc.

Paid work and free work

I think it was on an episode of Seth Godins Podcast, Akimbo, that he spoke about deciding what you want to get paid for and what you’ll do for free.

It isn’t something I’ve heard spoken about often but I think it’s quite important.

These days most of us put stuff out for free whether it’s through blogging, a podcast, YouTube, Instagram etc.

But if you’re constantly creating on multiple platforms it might feel difficult to identify what you want to be paid for. It could be that you’re blog posts are free and you decide to put your podcast out on a site like Patreon.

If we look at it in terms of doing work for a company or organisation (not your listeners/readers directly), I’ve heard speakers say they’ll speak for free in schools or for charities but everything else is paid work.

I think Seth mentioned his blog and podcast are his free work but that he never speaks for free.

I think it’s important to establish early on what you want to be paid for, that way you’re less likely to be persuaded to work for free.