It’s all the rage nowadays to spend a ludicrous amount of time on free stuff. Whether that’s videos on YouTube or free mini-courses for email lists or free audits by your consulting agency, it seems people can’t get enough of them.
But few have mentioned the downside of free.
(If you haven’t figured that out by now, that’s what I’ll be doing in this highly subjective article.)
The myth of the huge mailing list
The general consensus among marketers and entrepreneurs is that more is … more.
“To sell more you need more leads”. In the email marketing space that means a bigger list. Hmm… What’s the best way to grow your list…?
OH I KNOW! By offering something for freeeee (aka. a lead magnet). The lead magnet can be whatever that’s of value to your target audience. It could be a sales email checklist or a guide on how to land bigger, better clients, for instance.
The idea is that by “delivering value” for free you’ll wow them so much with your incredibly valuable resource that they simply cannot wait to see how much value you’ve packed into your PAID resources. 👀
And here’s where things derail.
The fallacy of working for free
Most business owners, freelancers, and salespeople put too much weight on price. But the price isn’t necessarily the biggest objection. If you’ve ever bought something cheap that immediately broke down, you’ll know what I mean.
Because what happens when you buy something that doesn’t work? You need to replace it — and not with the same cheap brand this time, no no no. This time, it needs to work!
So you buy a better and beefier solution to your problem.
The exact same thing rings true in every transaction in the world.
You don’t need a bad solution to your problem.
You need a solution that allows you to stop thinking about it.
That’s why “free” is bad.
Because free is the cheapest (or the most expensive) thing there is.
Price = Value
A $50,000 car is better than a $10,000 car.
A paid newsletter is better than its free counterpart.
My Asus ZenBook I’m writing this on is better than my old Chromebook. But they’re not even in the same league as a new MacBook Pro.
Price is value.
Now, this isn’t the world’s most objective truth out there. Because it’s our own minds that make snap judgments without us even realizing it. The logical and analytical parts of our brains are doing more important things.
Why free lead magnets don’t work in 2022
Maybe in the good ol’ days of marketing when “free” was the freshest, newest concept out there… this worked.
But it’s not the good ol’ days anymore, is it?’
Nowadays free is GREAT… for attracting bargain hunters, entitled people, and those with zero intention to buy anything, ever.
And it’s not (completely) their fault.
Because much like Pavlov’s dogs they were conditioned to act that way.
When you give something away for free (in the form of a lead magnet, for instance) you indicate to your audience that you might give more away at a later stage. And you probably will. Because that’s the trend.
They get stuff for free. Woo. Then they get more stuff for free. Woo. And then you promote your product… WHAT!?
“This thing costs money. What’s that all about!? Let’s go back to sharing secrets for absolutely nothing in return, please.”
And this is when you begin wondering why you grew your huge list in the first place.
But what if I told you…
What if I told you there’s a way to escape all this madness?
To take the path less traveled while still ending up where everyone wants to be?
Well… I will tell you.