When You Should Give Out Your Work For Free?

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: One thing I’ve struggled with as a blogger trying to attract new readers is the level of content you give away for free to draw in your readers. Some people give such amazing content away for free that I would have sold! Then on the other hand, I feel like things I consider giving away are too lackluster and nobody will bite. Does this sound familiar? If you are also finding it tough to determine when to give your work away for free, then today’s post is for you. My guest, Maurine Anderson, is sharing how you know when it’s the right time to give your goods away, free of charge.

It seems that the more and more digital we get, the more people expect access to free content and services. While this increased access to free content and services is a great thing in many ways, it can really complicate things for bloggers and business owners. How do you get consumers to see the value of paid content or services? When is it appropriate to ask people to pay for your work, and when might it be beneficial to give out your work for free?

Here is a brief look at situations where it may actually be to your benefit to give our work, content, samples, etc. for free.

[ Building Your Audience ]

When it comes to blogging and similar pursuits, the simplest reason to give away free content is to help build your audience.

Many bloggers, writers, designers, and more out there offer free downloads of their content, without even asking for an email address. In this case, offering a free download can add value to your site and give people a reason to return to your site again and again.

If you’re a blogger who posts regularly about graphic design, for example, you might offer free desktop wallpaper downloads every week or month, allocate them to a particular area on your site, and then “market” them on Pinterest. Visitors will come to your site for free content again and again—and perhaps check out your latest content while they’re there.

[ Getting More Email Subscribers ]

You’ve probably seen this one before on blogs. You visit a blog and are immediately met with a splash page. The blogger has neatly packaged up some of their best content into a useful whitepaper or eBook, and all you have to do to get it is enter your email address.

The benefit here for the blogger is that they grow their email list, which can be used to market other content, goods, and services. So if you’re a blogger who is looking to market some of your paid content, goods, or services, you should definitely consider putting out something for free to get more email subscribers.

[ Hosting Social Media Giveaways ]

Social media giveaways are great for business owners who want to spread the word about their goods or services.

Simply team up with a blogger or another relevant brand and run a social media giveaway where people must follow you on social media and/or share your page with their friends in order to gain entries. Ultimately, this can get you more followers and increased hype around your brand.

[ Enticing Customers to Make a Purchase ]

Sometimes it can be hard to entice customers to make that first purchase of your product. One way to really entice them is to offer a free surprise gift with their purchase. Studies have shown that people respond especially well to this type of promotion because it stirs optimism about a surprise.

One way to really entice them is to offer a free surprise gift with their purchase. Studies have shown that people respond especially well to this type of promotion because it stirs optimism about a surprise. Note: This trick works best with products that are considered “fun” to buy, such as makeup or accessories.

 [ Enticing Customers to Purchase More ]

Another way to give out free work or product is to give customers a free sample of another product at the point of sale. This is often more effective than simply giving out the free sample on its own.

When people receive a bonus item upon purchasing an expensive product, they place a higher value on that bonus item and are more likely to pay more for the item on its own later on.

[ Skill Swapping ]

This article discusses an interesting concept related to free work called “skill swapping.” In a nutshell, skill swapping is when you partner up with someone and trade skills. You might do a free photo shoot for them, for example, and in return you get, say, a free salon service or sample of a product they make. Both of you are technically giving out your work for free, but in return, you are getting a free product or service “at cost.”

[ Giving Out Promo Products ]

Promo products are a great example of something that you give out for free and, in turn, reap numerous benefits. Giving them out isn’t exactly giving out your work for free, as you are merely giving out products with your name branded on them. However, they do represent an investment of your time and money that has no direct return attached.

This article about the power of promo products explains that giving promo products out for free can benefit you significantly as a business owner because of how powerfully promo products can serve as marketing tools. Once you get your logo into the hands of consumers, that logo can travel—ultimately creating brand recognition and increased hype around your business. Plus, it can help turn past customers into long-term “marketers” for your company.

Consumers may even feel somewhat obligated to “return the favor” by purchasing additional goods or services from you. Consider putting your logo on a relevant promo product and giving it out at a trade show, festival, or directly to clients you work with.

Thanks, Maurine for these great tips! I have hosted a giveaway on social media a few times & find that they are a great method to engage with your target audience, draw attention in and get some new followers!

What tip do you have for increasing your brand awareness without giving too much away? Share in the comments below!

Interested in being a Guest Blogger for Lifestyle Queen Bee? Send me your post idea on the Collabs page!


Guest Bio:
Maurine Anderson originally hails from Washington, DC, but is now enjoying life out west in Salt Lake City.

She is a professional writer and blogger who in her free time loves to create new cake recipes, travel, and practice her hand at photography. She tends to geek out over linguistics, cats, and all things Scandinavia.

Check out more of her writing atMaurineDashney.com and find her on Instagram @maurinedashney.