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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 0832: How Much Free Content Should I Give Away with My Online Course?

AP 0832: How Much Free Content Should I Give Away with My Online Course?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 832 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 832 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. We have a great question today from Richard, but before we get to that I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks, one of my favorite companies because they help me manage my books, finances.

That’s the income and the expenses that I have, plus the invoicing. I’ve been doing a lot of invoicing lately with some coaching that I’ve been doing and stuff. It’s made it really easy to send invoices out in less than 30 seconds, but also keep track of who opens those invoices, who has paid. It gives me some great insight of everything that’s going on in my business. I highly recommend you check it out. If you want to try it for 30 days for free you can. You can go to and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.

Thank so much. Here is today’s question from Richard.

Richard: Hello Pat. My name is Richard and I’m in the very early stages of putting together a course in business for the purpose of helping people become more flexible, reduce daily pain and reduce stress through stretching and mobility exercises. This is

Anyway, I’ve designed the entire course, I’m in the process of doing video and I’m trying to build up my list through various channels. That’s not my question. My question is, how much free content within a course? What I mean by free is I’m doing an upsell during the course or when I sell it or after the course that will give them monthly access to a private group where I will include 15 to 30 minute stretching routines that they can do daily.

Also I’ll have question and answer sections, tips on diet, that type of stuff. I want to implement in the different sections of my course short routines, do you think this is a good idea? How much is too much? I’m just wondering, it’s a 12 section course going over the stretches for the different parts of the body and how to do them properly. I don’t want to give out too much and have people feel like, “I’ve already got all the information I need. I don’t need to do the recurring monthly thing.”

Then I don’t want to give away too little because I want them to actually see the daily benefits of the stretching. Any help that you can give is appreciated. Thank you very much for all that you do. I listen daily to all of your podcasts and I read your blogs and I listen to the podcast of all the other people that are on your show when I find it appropriate. Have a great day. I appreciate you, thank you.

Pat Flynn: Hey Richard, thanks so much for the question. I appreciate this. Congrats on the success that you’re having so far. I love the idea of upselling a continuity program, if you will, within a course that you already have. In terms of how much of that to offer for free as a teaser, there’s a number of different ways to go about it. I know a lot of people who have explored the same question for their own new continuity programs.

What I would recommend is actually testing. You can test a free trial, it can just be a 72 hour or three day free trial. You can do a 7 day free trial if you want, so giving people full access just for a limited amount of time to give them an idea of what it’s like. I like that approach because you’re not restricting anything. I typically don’t like to offer restrictions on things. I love to give people the full experience, give them a shot of what it’s going to look like and feel like, and then have this scarcity model of, “Sorry, this is going away, so if you want to keep here’s what you can do. If you act now you get this as well, if not you’ll lose this bonus that goes along with it if you act within the trial period.”

That sort of thing has worked out really well for me and that’s what I would explore for you too. You can offer for example one of the 12 modules completely free, you can do that as well. Again, giving people the full experience but just one of the things. Obvious in order to get the full benefit they’re going to need to get everything, but that will still give them the full experience of what one of the things is like and they can have lifetime access to that so that you can.

For example, you already have their email address so you can see who has gotten access to that or who maybe opens up that part of the course, so that you can trigger than and see where they’re at, and then you can follow up with them later if they haven’t converted into that. That’s a cool way to track.

If you have a community there are some things you can do, some interesting things that does limit a little bit of their capability. I know a lot of people who’ve been successful with, because a lot of people join for the course but stay for the community. Especially with continuity programs the community is where it’s at, so giving people limited access to the community for a short period of time.

Maybe even seeing what’s happening in the community but not giving them access to chat or ask questions until they pay. That can be a very powerful lead into the upsell as well. Hopefully that gives you some ideas Richard and makes sense for the kind of business model you have based on what you said. I feel like those would be the right answers. It’s always hard to tell sometimes with these questions and answers not being live, because I would love to continue this conversation and continue to ask questions to dive more into this.

That’s why Ask Pat Live exists. You can check out Ask Pat Live every Friday, 1:30pm Pacific on my Facebook page, it’s free. You can at, 1:30pm every Friday, or most Fridays if I don’t have a schedule conflict. Richard, hopefully that helps. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Thank you again for your question.

For anybody else who has a question out there that you’d like potentially featured on the show, all you have to do is head on over to and you can ask right there on that page. Thanks again for FreshBooks for being awesome and offering a 30 day free trial for everybody here. That’s again at Make sure you enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.

Finally here’s a quote to finish off today, by Northrop Frye. “The most technologically efficient machine man has every invented is the book.” Awesome. Take care guys. I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Thanks for all the love, take care. Bye.

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