AskPat 233 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 233 of AskPat. That's 233 of AskPat Podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you're have an awesome day no matter where you're at. At this very moment, wherever you are, thank you for listening in. We have a great question today from Cassel.
But before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is MusicRadioCreative.com, an amazing company run by Mike and Isabella. I met them earlier this year. What they do is, they help with audio production of jingles and music and stuff like that for your audio files and podcasts and for your videos, and they are so professional, and they have access to all different kinds of voices, jingles . . . They can even layover voices on top of each other in harmony, and do everything that you hear on the radio that's super professional, they can do, and so you can make your podcasts stand out from everybody else that's out there. So if you go to MusicRadioCreative.com/askpat, you can check them out. You can hear a testimonial. And you'll either . . . you'll also see some other shows that they've done for people like Michael Hyatt and John Lee Dumas and many others. So again check them out, MusicRadioCreative.com/askpat.
Now let's get to today's question from Cassel.
Cassel: Hi Pat. I'm Cassel from this ScrapbookCampus.com. I've heard over and over that free content can be repurposed and offered as a paid product, and people will pay for convenience. However, what about the reverse? What if some paid content is, over time, presented and repurposed as free content? Have you ever done that? Have you ever gotten feedback? Would it be a good way to then lead to the main course that it is taken from? Or is there any other problem that I can encounter? What do you think? Thanks Pat.
Pat Flynn: Cassel, thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate it, because repurposing content is a great strategy. You're taking stuff that you've already put in to work for and published and publishing it in another format, or putting it in the eyes of your audience or in the ears of your audience in another way. And I think that's really smart, especially when you're trying to save time, but you're also trying to make an impact with the content you create. And one of the things you have to realize is that even if people . . . even if you publish content on a particular day, that doesn't mean that people who come to you, say, a day later are even going to see it. Blogs and podcasts, they're archived, and they're chronological sometimes when people land on your homepage. So they're not going to see the amazing content that you always have to put out there. So repurposing is not a bad thing, most of time. And we'll get into that.
So I want to talk about, first, the strategy of taking free content and then actually having people pay for it in one way, shape, or form. And this is something I have direct experience with. And it might seem weird, because why would people pay for things that they can get for free? Well, like you said, Cassel, people will pay for convenience. And another thing: If you've provided enough free value, not free value, but you've provided enough value for people through the free content that you've created, a lot of times people are going to end up buying from you, not matter what put out because they are looking for ways to pay you back. The law of reciprocity is in play.
And I have first hand experienced this with GreenExamAcademy.com, a site that I spent about a year and a half putting content into. Completely free, helping people pass the LEED exam, which is an exam in the architecture industry for . . . I don't even know how long I was helping people, because I didn't even know I had people coming to my site. I was so oblivious to the world of online business. It was a site that I created for myself to help myself and other people in the office pass the exam. I just let the site sit there. When I got laid off, long story short, discovered that there were thousands of people visiting the site already, and then I immediately went into action to put a book together, a study guide to help people pass this exam.
And I really struggled in the beginning when I got this advice to create this product from somebody who was already successful in online marketing and online business. Because how could I write a book with new content when everything that people needed to pass the exam was already free on the website? Those words were said to me: “People will pay for convenience.” So I put the book together. It took about a month and a half to two months. I sold it, and it sold like hotcakes. It did really well. And out of over, I would say, 13 to 15,000 total copies sold today of that book, one person complained about the fact that it was stuff that he could already get for free on the website. So I was able to help 12,999 other people, and they were happy to pay for it. People were sending me thank you notes, like literally hand-written thank you notes, for what I had given them in the form of a ebook, which is more convenience than somebody going through my website.
And what the other interesting thing is, a lot of people, when I first sold that book in the month of October 2008, a number of people emailed me who said, “Pat, I already passed the exam.” So they didn't even have a need for the book, but they said, “Pat I already passed the exam, but I bought your book because you finally gave me a way to pay you back for the help that you've given me.” Which was just mind-blowing to me that that happened. And that is what taught me the business model that I teach today and use today myself, which is: Your earnings are a by-product of how helpful you are, of how helpful you serve your audience. So it's all about serving your audience. That's the number one goal, because when you do that and combine that with giving people opportunities to pay you back, you're going to win. The struggle is when you give stuff away for free and you don't give people a way to pay you back in one way, shape, or form, whether through your own products, or coaching, consulting, affiliate marketing, whatever the case may be.
A lot of people who really believe in this give-away-for-free strategy, they fail when they don't give their audience an opportunity to pay them back. And it was at that moment in October 2008 when I finally did give my audience a way to pay me back, and many of them did. I would say 25 percent of the sales in that first month, which was over $2500 or about $2000, was from people who didn't need to buy it. They just wanted to pay me back. So that's super powerful.
Foodtruckr.com, same thing. I spent about six months creating a blog series about how to get a food truck up and running, completely free on the site, and packaged that into an ebook, along with some bonuses and things like that and sold it, and have been selling it really well lately. It's a product that sells between $37 and $147 per product, depending upon which package they get. And actually, most people are buying the higher priced product at a $147. Again, content that they could have already gotten for free on the site. It's just packaged and more convenient, and in a way that makes sense. When people pay for it, they will take the time to put into action to make those things happen, or are more likely to, at least.
Another example of this is Darren Rowse from Problogger.net who had a series on his blog a long time ago called “Thirty-One Days to Build a Better Blog.” You can find it probably on Twitter with using the #thirtyonedbdb. It's a great book, but again, it was just taken from the thirty-one days of blog posts that he had posted and packaged into a book. And I know it was selling, because I was an affiliate for the product for a while and people were buying it. So people will buy things that are available for free, if there is a reason to do so. Whether that reason is it's more convenient . . . maybe they get a few more bonuses that they didn't get in addition to that, and . . . or they are repaying you for the value that you've provided them though that free content.
Now let's talk about the other way. You have paid content, but you give away some of it for free. Now this, to me, the first thing I thought about was authors, authors who have books that you have to pay for. They give away often one or more of their chapters for people to experience and get in consuming. Well, they feel like “Oh, yes this is something I want. I want to read more.” Giving away parts of your paid content is a great strategy for having people realize that that's something they should continue to use and then pay for to use it.
A great example of this is at Udemy.com. It's a site where they have online courses teaching all kinds of different things. A lot of the courses . . . It depends on who's putting on the course, but a course owner will have the option of having any one of their modules be available for free, which then, of course, if people go through that module, maybe it gets them to point . . . from point “A” to point “B” in a particular sort of goal. Well, then, Point “B” to “Z” is all paid. And if “A” to “B” didn't work out well for you, then that's fine. I think that's a great way to have people validate that they want to pay, like giving away some of your paid content for free. I think that's a really great strategy. You also want to think about the different mediums 'cause there's some perceived value, depending on the different kinds of formats of content that you have out there. So going back to the free to paid, maybe the free content you have is all blog posts, right? But if you were to convert that into some sort of video with some movement in it and tutorials and things like that that are visual, that's something that even though that content was originally free, because it's video and it's a higher quality format, then you can charge for that. And that makes more sense too. And if you combine all those things that I mentioned earlier, you're going to hit it out of the park.
Now let's go the opposite, from paid to free. Maybe the paid stuff is in your course, and you have a ton of amazing high quality videos in there and tutorials to do XYZ. Maybe you pull out one of those tutorials and restructure it into a blog posts. So then it gets shared, and it gets into your RSS feed and things like that. You're pulling content out of your paid course, but sharing it for free. And oftentimes, they say you've got to share your best stuff within your paid stuff for free. I think, when it comes down to it, there are ways to win with both and things you have to think about as well. It's going to take experimentation. I really think that that's where success lies in most cases: Split testing and experimentation and just trying new things and see what happens. Making sure you're keeping track of the results over time.
So hopefully that answers your question or at least give you some stuff to think about, Cassel, and for everybody out there listening. Repurposing content is a great way to go about it, and switching between different mediums, and also switching between paid and free and free and paid in terms of parts, segments, or wholes. It's going to work out in your favor if you do it. But I would highly recommend exploring the option of taking some of your best content, maybe going into Google Analytics and finding your most popular free content and somehow upgrading that content and turning it into something that people could pay for. Or maybe finding your most successful products, some things that seem to be selling really well and take out pieces of it, and share that for free. To tease that and get people into that product and eventually pay for it. So thank you Cassel. I really appreciate the question. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like to have potentially featured if you're on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com.
I also want to thank MRC again. That's MusicRadioCreative.com, today's sponsor. If you go to MusicRadioCreative.com/askpat, you can check out a testimonial from me and some of the other shows that they have featured on. And remember these are amazing, high quality, podcasts intros, outros, and jingles. They work with audio experts and pop producers and voice overs and musicians from all over the world. Seriously, it's amazing, and all of the sound, music are fully licensed by them. So you can focus on creating very top content, without have to worry about copyright claims, so you have the rights to use anything they provide you, which is awesome. Again, MusicRadioCreative.com/askpat.
And as always, I like to end with a quote before I let you go, and today's quote is from Jim Rohn. He says, “Learn how to be happy with what you have, while you pursue all that you want.” You just take care and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat.
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