We all know that offering free content is a fabulous way to generate interest in your business, establish yourself as an authority, and create trust with your prospects.
Let’s get real for a minute.
According to Worldometers.info, over 2.5 million blog posts are being published each day. This doesn’t take into account other content formats such as videos, email newsletters, social media updates, webinars, and teleconferences. There’s a whole lot of competition to get people’s interest and attention. It’s not as simple as stringing together some words. You also have to create content that has value.
9 Ways to Create Free Content That Offers Value
For some people, creating content that offers genuine value comes naturally. But these are few and far between. It’s a talent that needs to be studied and cultivated through practice like any other skill. I’ll share with you 9 different ways to create free content that offers value.
Method 1: Share a Story
You can share a story to demonstrate either a specific outcome or the path taken to an outcome. Stories work very well in any medium.
There are 3 ways you can share a story:
A. Your Personal Journey: Personal journeys are one of my favorite ways to offer valuable content. When written from the heart, they can result in tremendous engagement. When relating a personal journey, you typically walk your audience through a challenge you faced and your path to solving this challenge.
B. Case Studies: Case studies are much like personal journeys in that they relate a challenge an individual faced and how they solved it but they are about another person and not you. With a case study, you are relating the details of a third party. (Of course, make sure to do it with their permission and knowledge!)
C. Interviews: With interviews, you interact with a third party to share their journey with your audience.
Method 2: Share a Revelation Which Contradicts Accepted Current Thinking
A powerful way of creating value in your free content is to show exactly why what is currently accepted as the truth in your niche is wrong. This can work extremely well when you have facts or personal experience to back your reasoning up. It can create a tremendous amount of engagement, result in inbound links and references and more.
Of all the methods I’m sharing, this is probably the most difficult to create content around. Your arguments/theories need to be virtually bullet-proof.
Why does this work so well? Any time you get people to think outside-of-the-box and challenge the way they look at things it’s a lot easier to lock in attention. It’s easier to get people to click over to read your post, watch your video or download your free report if it’s not the same rehashed ideas that dozens of others have shared but something different. Once they’ve clicked over to your content, they’ll want to see why exactly what they thought was right is not.
Having fantastic headlines/subjects is obviously part of getting your free content circulated, but in the case of sharing revelations, they become even more powerful.
Method 3: Providing Actionable Steps
Want to be a hero in the eyes of your audience? Take a complex idea and break it down for them into actionable steps. There’s a lot of talk in marketing about delivering results in advance. Before people open their wallets to pay you for anything, start to move them forward towards solving their problem. Proving prospects with step-by-step instructions so they can start to see results – especially when you can do it in a way that no one else in your niche is doing – can help accomplish this.
Method 4: Share Shortcuts to Results
The previous method was about providing actionable steps. This alone creates value. But you can take this concept a step further by offering them a shortcut to achieve the results they want.
Shortcuts can involve eliminating unnecessary steps that others advocate (where the pay-off isn’t worth the work/cost involved). Shortcuts can make use of technology and automation to reduce the time required.
Here’s why this works so well: our society is one that wants results yesterday. The promise of more immediate results than what others are offering attracts attention. Where this gets really interesting is when you can actually deliver on faster results. This is where your content, methodologies and your business can take on more of a viral component.
In an upcoming blog post I’ll be sharing an additional 5 ways to create valuable content and some ideas on implementation.
If you enjoyed this post, I’d love for you to check out the free live training I am offering “How Free is Sabotaging Your Success”. Once you register for it, you’ll be able to get information about my Converting Free to Paid training program.