Q&A: What Content Should Be Free? And What Should Be Paid For?

May 27, 2021 | Marketing

Tara McMullin is a writer, podcaster, and producer who explores what it takes to navigate the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact. Click here to support this work.

How do you know what content should be free? And, what should be paid for?

This month, we’ve been talking all about building an audience and/or finding customers—as well as how those two things are different.

And one of the things a conversation about audience-building always comes back to is content.

What kind of content do you create? Where do you share it? Who do you create it for? And on & on…

The big question I get repeatedly, though is: How do I know what content should be paid for and what content should be free?

And I get it!

There’s a whole industry out there that appears to be helping you sell content–whether as ebooks, online courses, membership sites, Patreon incentives, or paid newsletters.

But what I’ve learned is that we are never really selling content. Or information. Or even ideas.

We’re always selling an experience. We craft an experience of content that facilitates transformation–and that’s really what people buy. Because the info is out there, right?

Even if your product is quote-unquote only an online course with no feedback, no live calls, no engagement from you, it’s still an experience. Because you’ve crafted each module and what order they appear in, you’ve chosen the course platform, you’ve designed the way you’re delivering the information–all to facilitate change. That’s an experience.

I want to share a clip of The What Works Network Insider Hour from this month where I share how I approach this question specifically in my own business and, specifically, how my thinking has changed over the years.

I get into my overall strategy for content as it relates to our product and I talk about how that approach ties into our sales process, too.

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