Can anything really be Free? If we are being pedantic, we could suggest that there is a cost, be it time or energy to everything-yes even reading this Blog- however in dollar terms Free does have a value. That statement is pretty contradictory or is it a paradox? The point being that Free and Value are not the same thing.
If I offer a 'Free' E-book to my subscribers does that devalue the content? Of course not-except perhaps the perception of value. We are moving ever faster into an open source community. There is more Free online content available than you could conceive. The evolution of online business has lead to consumers becoming more savvy than ever before, regarding WHO they do business with.
In order to solicit this business, marketers need to become more creative in their efforts to build likability and trust. A great starting point is to give before you pitch. Give me some decent content/resources and I may come back and visit. Be consistent and I may become an advocate and SHARE your 'stuff' with my 'tribe'
Free works, but only if it has inherent value. Offering a whole bunch of outdated PLR articles that are neither unique or authentic won't work for the prospective new client. Likewise those who spend their lives surfing for a myriad of free coupons, traffic, e-books, downloads, jokes, images, music etc will rarely hit pay dirt.
Real long term value comes at a price. That price may be advertising, dialogue with social networks, outsourcing projects etc. It's called investing! I've never met any successful person who hasn't built their triumph on a foundation of investment. Investment in time, Money, Knowledge, Emotion, with the end game being the rewards of leverage that such investment often brings.
Everyday I hear people ask: 'how can I join a business with no investment that will allow me to quit my job and hit the beaches of the world?' The answer: 'Buy a Lottery Ticket'! Investment is risky that's why only the truly motivated and ambitious follow this path. Chasing the free lunch is largely delusional.
Yes, FREE does exist, but it's an appetizer for the main course. The main course is where its all at.
If you are window shopping and doing a little tyre kicking-checking out the various online opportunities being spruicked-then you may like to sample a FREE appetizer of mine. Yep it's FREE. Yep there's value and Yep the main course is at the back end for those that wish to check it out!