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AP 0840: How Much Premium Content Should I Give Away for Free?

AP 0840: How Much Premium Content Should I Give Away for Free?

By Non Wels on

AskPat 840 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 840 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I’m here to help you by answering your online business question, five days a week.

We have a great question today from Lewis, but before we get to his question I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter is an amazing tool. If you are hiring people for your business, the best thing you can do is go through ZipRecruiter.

Instead of actually going out to the hundreds of different job sites out there and posting the job description, and vetting each of those, and keeping track of all the correspondences in each of those places, you can just use one place, ZipRecruiter. Literally with a click of a single button, you can have the job that you want be posted everywhere through ZipRecruiter, everywhere, like 100 plus job sites. What they will also do is help you find the best candidates. They will screen, you won’t have to worry about emails, or calls to the office, or none of that. It’s all handled through ZipRecruiter.

If you want to check it out, you could actually check it out for free through here, Again, that’s All right, here’s today’s question from Lewis.

Lewis: Hi Pat, my name is Lewis and my blog is where I teach freelancers how to win more clients on Upwork. I have my own Upwork training course that I sell, and my question to you is how much of that premium content should I give away on my blog? Obviously I don’t want to give away too much, and devalue my course. But I also want to provide value and show that I know what I’m talking about. Where exactly should you draw the line? Thanks Pat.

Pat Flynn: Hey Lewis, what’s up? Thank you so much for the question. I think it’s a cool service that you’re providing, helping people with getting and winning jobs on and other sites like that where people have to compete almost, to get jobs. That’s really cool, I think it’s a great service.

Now, where do you draw the line between free content, and premium content? This is a big debate in the world of online business. I personally love to lean toward the side of almost give it all away for free. Not give 99% of it away for free of the content, and then have one percent left. That is the sort of deciding factor thing that people absolutely need, and you give them almost everything, and then make them feel like they have to pay to get the rest of it. I don’t like that. That’s not how I run my business. Most of what I do, is I offer everything for free. Then what is paid, are more convenient ways to consume that content, or more access to me, and things like that. It makes it really easy to draw the line, it makes it really easy for you to build relationships, and people will come towards you because you are actually helping them for free.

A quick story for you, when I started my online business helping people pass an exam in the architecture industry, they literally had everything they needed to pass. When I finally came out with a guide, I got so many compliments and thanks from people for being able to put the information that was on the website, in an easy to consume book format. That made it much easier to consume, they could print it out, they could work on it much better, they can do the exercises much better than it was when they were just consuming individual pages on a website.

Now of course, there are things like video and podcasts, where you’re able to give even more information for free. Still, even if you give all of it away for free, there is still more that people want. Plus, if you develop that relationship, they’re going to want to work from you. Lewis, a little bit depends on what it is that you’re offering in terms of paid items. What makes it really easy to delineate the difference between free and paid stuff, is more access to you for one. There’s also access to more of the finer details related to things. For example, if you walk people through a process on your website for free from start to finish, well there may be a course that people can get to not only do just that, but also get a little bit more details, the things that are almost too much information for something like a website.

You can offer more details, this is where for example, the lineation is between my book, Will It Fly?, and my course, Smart From Scratch. Actually, the people who are in that course have very clear concepts in terms of why they got the course, because they needed accountability, because they wanted a community to go along with it, and they wanted just more details and more information. Plus, some of those people just paid for the information, even though it’s already available in Will It Fly?, because they knew that if they paid for it, they would feel like there’s more skin in the game for them, and they would actually want to go through that.

There’s those kinds of things that you can think about. There’s also the idea of holding classes, like online webinars, or office hours, and those sorts of things that you just can’t do online. I mean I guess you could do those things for free if you’d like, but I would really hold back from giving people access to you until they pay. Now, you can obviously put bits and pieces of that into play. For example, I do AskPat Live on Fridays at 1:30 p.m. on my Facebook page. That’s like a little bit of access, but in order to get more access you to have to pay to get access to the courses, and those office hours. You can, I don’t know Lewis if you do any coaching or anything like that. The best way to get clients for coaching for example, is to just give all the information away for free, right?

People still, knowing that they need more help, will go to you. They will have essentially, a trust with you already, that they can’t get anywhere else because you’ve already given it away for free. When you think about it, people often approach it as, “Wow, if the free content is this good, imagine what the paid content is like.” I would just hesitate to give away too much. I don’t really feel there is such thing as giving away too much. You should absolutely offer a way for people to get even more. Perhaps it might be a great exercise for you to actually just really define what it is for you, that you’re comfortable giving away, that would still make people want to enjoy getting more content from you, and make them feel like they’re not missing out on anything at the same time.

There’s a lot of examples of this on Smart Passive Income where I give things away for free, and then I offer a course or something paid on the other side of it. Lastly, if you have any customers already, I would ask them why they pay for something that you had already offered. That’s going to give you some clear insight to help you move forward with. Often times we don’t know what that is, why people buy, until you actually ask them why. I wouldn’t be afraid to do that, there’s nothing that you can lose from that.

Lewis, hopefully this helps and gives you some inspiration and thoughts. Perhaps it might drive you crazy because you thought maybe you were giving away too much already. Remember, anything really is already free out there. People can find the information they need freely right now. What they really want, is accountability, community, a sense of group, and also hand holding through a lot of these processes. People are willing to pay for that, because it’s convenient and it saves them, what? It saves them time. That’s where people will pay money for.

Hopefully that helps Lewis. Thank you so much, I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Thanks so much, I appreciate you. Here’s a quote to finish off the day by Karl Menninger. That quote is, “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the one’s we move toward. We want to sit in their radius. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold, and expand.” Cheers and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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