Risky internet marketing advice

There lots of advice circulating at the forefront of internet marketing suggesting that you should be giving away your content for free. Like truckloads of it. Ideally 24 hours a day.

The risk of internet marketing advice is not so much the advice itself.

The risk lies instead, with the business owner applying that advice.

Let me explain. Any kind of internet marketing advice must be applied within the context of where you are within your Online Business development. This especially applies to the advice – you should be giving away your content for free.

Let’s dive into both these statements.

Are you ready to be giving away your content for free?

Every successful business should have a framework in which to develop. We champion the BATON framework (because we created it).

The BATON framework details 5 sequential stages every Online Business will need to nail in order to become profitable. These stages are Business, Audience, Tribe, Offer and Network.

With this in mind, we can now start to understand where the risk lies. Within our BATON framework, ‘free content’ would typically sit in both the Audience and Tribe stages. Each with its own nuance.

But to apply this advice, you’d need to have an awareness of what stage you’re currently in. For example, there’s no point pumping out lots of free content if you haven’t got, Stage 1: Business, nailed down. And certainly wouldn’t make sense to give away lots of free content if you haven’t first identified your Audience, Stage 2.

To summarise, the risk here is spending time on an area of your business you don’t need to yet. That time can be used to develop higher priority stages within your Online Business.

Now you may be sitting there thinking – that’s a risk I’m willing to take. What’s the worst that’ll happen? I’d waste a bunch of time. Maybe learn a few things along the way.

Fair point. This leads us to the next statement – you should be giving away your content for free. Here we’ll discuss a risk you won’t want to take.

Giving away your content for free doesn’t pay the bills

Now let’s look at the concept of giving away lots of free content. Here’s what Josh Kaufman has to say on free content:

Giving free value attracts attention, but always remember that attention alone doesn’t pay the bills.

Free content must have a purpose. If you have any desire to build an Online Business, that purpose should be – to make sales. It’s selling your product or service that will pay your bills. Not people watching your videos.

I must be clear though, the benefits of creating and distributing free valuable content far outweigh not giving free content. Just take Josh Kaufman for example. I’ve referenced a free line from his blog. You may visit his site and decide to purchase his book.

However, the risk of just grabbing attention with no plan to convert that attention into sales means you’ll have no money in your bank account. Which means you don’t have a business. Is that a risk you want to take?

Free content with a gameplan

It’s worth re-iterating. The benefits of creating and distributing free valuable content far outweigh not giving free content. So the risk isn’t with the advice itself. It’s in the application.

Work to ensure you have the foundations in place first. This way you’ll know your free content is both providing value to the marketplace and your business.

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