Giving it Away for Free

Oct 23, 2013

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There is a new trend in modern society – people give content away for free. Why? How can you make money if you give away your products and services for free? Is it possible to be lucrative and giving at the same time?

Of course it is! We live in a day and age where watching music videos, television, and listening to music is free. Companies like Spotify, YouTube, and Hulu are making millions on our views. What do we pay them? Well, usually nothing. By giving away their services and products freely they attract new consumers. They take advantage of their overly popular websites to squeak in some advertising. Some of these sites even have clients who pay monthly subscriptions to get a premium service.

How can this relate to your company? Does your company have a blog? If you answered no to that question then slap yourself on the wrist and go start one. Companies should always have blogs. Blogs are full of free, and when done correctly, useful content. And ultimately blogs attract viewers to your website.

Is there a service you can give away for free? As you give something of good quality away for free you’ll be able to create relationships with your consumers. They’ll see what a great guy you are and come back when they need you. Think of it as a free sample at the grocery store. I may not immediately buy a whole box of microwave taquitos after trying one, but I am happy I got one and usually spend more on groceries when given free samples. I will also frequent a grocery store that gives me free samples over one that does not.

The key behind this concept is generosity. This brings us back to one of life’s great morale debates. Self-interest vs. altruism. As a society we value altruism. In the end altruism in the business world turns out to be a great way to promote your self-interests. I hope you sleep well tonight after reading that.

What do you provide that could be given away for free? After you give your service away how can you get your visitors to return? Be creative with this. It’s time to enter the giving circle. In the business world what goes around comes around.

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