The best way to publicize your business online is with free content.
If you regularly give away your best, your best gets better. The well never runs dry. In fact it will be more abundantly replenished.
1. Blog posts
I’ve got to start with blogging. Blogging gave me everything – it gave me my own business, financial independence and an ability to travel the world while earning money. Not bad, eh?
Just look who blogs regularly: multi-millionaires like Seth Godin, James Altucher and Tim Ferriss. It’s good enough for them to give stuff away for free then it should be good enough for us.
Blogging teaches you to create better products. It breeds creativity.
Free tip: make sure you create one article of at least 600 words once a week for the rest of your life.
I’m a huge fan of self-publishing and firmly believe that everyone should write a book or ten.
But, even better is to have your book permanently free on Amazon. This leads to huge downloads, email leads and goodwill.
Free tip: The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying F**k About You by Johnny Truant is a great example of how a perma-free book can be a massive springboard for your business.
Start a podcast. All podcasts are freely available through apps like iTunes and Stitcher Radio. You’d be fairly crazy to charge for a podcast.
The benefits of podcasting are numerous. You’ll receive goodwill for your great free content, you will get shares and links from the people you interview plus great relationships with your interviewees as well.
Free tip: podcasting is a huge so make sure you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t do what I did when I failed at podcasting and ran out of episodes.
A webinar is an online broadcast, typically an hour long, where webinar hosts and guest present information using audio and visuals (sometimes slides) live to an audience.
The audience is usually allowed access to the free webinar via an email exchange. Webinars are often used as a lead generation tool.
At the end of the webinar’s presentation, which was hopefully packed full of useful information, the audience is offered a premium product.
Free tip: Software such as GoToWebinar, AnyMeeting, etc., is used to host the webinar.
Do you agree? If so, share.
The way we consume information is changing. Very often if we want to know how to do something we turn to YouTube rather than Google.
More people should do video (and I should create it more regularly). And more people would create video if they knew how easy it is.
Create lively and helpful videos of less than 5 minutes and upload them to a YouTube channel. And keep doing it. You can also add these videos to a variety of other platforms like Vimeo via OneLoad. Share the raw video files on Facebook because Facebook hates YouTube.
Free tip: It’s very likely that you have a sophisticated HD video recording device within arm’s reach of you right now – your phone! You can also record screencasts and presentations with software like ScreenFlow or Camtasia. Lapel mics, tripods and lighting are all easily available and very cheap.
OK, so I can hear you say, “I’m be-jiggered if I’m going to invest thousands in a iPhone app just to give it away”, but the greater the quality and value of what you give away, the greater the benefit to you.
Free tip: your free app needn’t be a long, expensive nightmare to create. You can use some excellent online platforms to create apps.
Everyone takes photos. Not everyone takes good ones. Offer your photos under a Creative Commons license.
There are several different Creative Commons licenses, for example “Attribution” which means you let others copy, distribute, display and perform your copyrighted work but only if they give you credit.
This will get you goodwill amongst bloggers looking for free imagery and, more importantly, it will get you links.
Free tip: Flickr, PhotoPin and Compfight are great resources for images distributed under Creative Commons licenses.
8. Audio books
Audio books are the new e-books. These days we are so hungry for information and yet have so little time to ingest it. One answer to this quandary is the audio book. I have certainly listened to more books in the last two years than ever before.
Audio books are actually quite expensive on Amazon’s Audible site so giving them away is a great idea.
Free tip: A great idea from Chandler Bolt is to offer a free audio version of a Kindle in the actual Kindle as a lead magnet.
What’s a lead magnet?
9. Lead magnets
A lead magnet is a free gift (typically an e-book but it doesn’t have to be) that is given away for free BUT you need to submit your email address in order to receive this gift.
The lead magnet or offer should be of high value to the target market. If the target market is entrepreneurial a lead magnet entitled: “10 new business ideas to earn you an extra $4000+ a month” may be a good offer in exchange for an email address.
Email marketing is currently the most effective form of online marketing so your lead magnet is extremely important.
Free tip: Try offering quick and valuable lead magnets like “Seven tools for traffic generation” or “Eight business ideas for your next side hustle” – this may be one-page PDFs so quick and easy to create.
The whole point of free content is to get more interest in your paid content. The most effective way to journey visitors from free to paid is email marketing.
So, don’t forget to collect email addresses and, when you’re collecting them, don’t forget to email them. A newsletter is essentially free content as well.
Free tip: 60-70% of your emails should be nothing but free and valuable content. The rest can be sales emails and if done correctly – interspersed with free content – these sales emails will convert better than any ad campaign.
You can do it – regularly!
You can grow your business and online brand by giving away awesome free content. However, it’s important to do this all regularly. Make sure you don’t take on any of the above without the ability to keep doing it consistently. It’s a waste of time otherwise.
Keep on giving your best work away for free. Happily impart your knowledge with an abundant mindset and you will be rewarded handsomely.