The Freemium Model – There is a Reason for Providing FREE Content

So I’m at word camp atlanta sitting in the workshops only to realize the word of the day is FREE. Seriously, FREE. The sponsors are giving away any and everything for free. We’re talking, t-shirts, mugs, baseball caps, stickers, drink cozies and pens. One sponsor was giving away a MacBook Air. I wonder who won that? I didn’t even ask when the drawing is although I certainly entered the contest. The speakers are giving away their knowledge to help the rest of us…for FREE. The keynote speaker talked of how he became a wealthy man before the ripe old age of 23 by giving things away for FREE. Seriously?

So I made sure to make it to the workshop discussing the Freemium Model. I wanted to know just how I could incorporate the model into my business. So, As I sat there with bated breath listening to the speaker, I curiously waited to find out the secret. Here’s the secret. Give away something, anything, lots of things for free long before you even think of approaching your customer to sell them something.

Really? So, how do you make money from giving away something for free? And if you give it away what incentive does the customer have to buy from you later? I was still curious of how this model could work. As far as I could tell I’m pouring blood sweat AND tears into content production trying to make better the lives of my audience. I’m making every effort to solve their problem; relieve their pain, or intensify their delight. What do I get out of it?

I get to gain their trust. Oh. And then I find out since every webpage has a purpose the true purpose of the freemium model is to get permission to contact them again. In exchange for the jewels of wisdom I share with my client I actually receive something quite valuable in return—their email address.

That email address is like striking goal. I gives me access and permission to contact them again on some mutually agreed upon terms. That email address gives me time to show how much I care about them and their lives. It opens the door to a possible future conversation. Maybe even, dare I say it? It opens the door to a possible future relationship.

I’m intrigued and impressed at the same time because I want all those things. I want to know my audience I want my audience to know me. I want to add value to their lives, ease their pain, and solve their problems. Prayerfully, to gain their trust. But how?

I have a fledgling magazine and two still yet to be found websites. How can I get the word out that I’m here and ready to help? Then it hits me. Those fledgling websites can provide value with powerful targeted helpful content that meets the needs of my audience. The magazine? It’s located on the Apple Newsstand. The app is FREE to download. The issues are downloadable for a small fee but subscribers can receive a free trial to check the magazine out.

I already have the foundation of the freemium model. I just didn’t know it had a name.And, now that I know it’s powerful purpose, I am no longer afraid to use it.