We want you to give away your best content for free.
Ooh! Did you feel that? It’s your gut reaction saying “No, no no! Absolutely NOT.”
That’s the reaction most people have. It’s your body’s way of telling you “never work for free,” a platitude we’ve all been reminded of time and time again.
Well, it’s time to look past your gut reaction and rethink what you thought you knew about giving away your knowledge.
Sharing your best content—for free—is actually one of the quickest ways to prove your expertise and grow a paying customer base.
Take this blog, for example.
On our Summit Evergreen website, we’ve written around 100 in-depth articles about creating evergreen online courses and building, marketing and selling information products. Each article is around 1,500 words.
That’s approximately 150,000 words demonstrating our expertise—enough to fill two or three full length (published) business books.
It’s an incredible amount of information. So why would we give it all away for free on a blog?
Because it’s better to prove your expertise than it is to hide it.
And once you prove your expertise, it creates more business for you. People read a few articles, learn something new, and decide they want to work with you. Bam. Paying customers and clients.
If someone had the time and inclination to sit down and read all 100 blog articles on our site, they’d learn most of what we know about making online courses. But we don’t expect anyone to do that.
What happens instead is that people read a couple of articles, realize we know what we’re talking about, and decide they’d like to learn from the experts. They reach out, get in touch, and either sign up for Summit Evergreen or inquire about consulting services. (Or both!)
We don’t lose business by giving away our knowledge for free. We gain business.
Our co-founder Keith Perhac recently talked about this phenomenon with Philip Morgan, founder of My Content Sherpa. Here’s a great example from their discussion:
You worry about the information that you’re putting out there: “If I tell everyone what I’m doing, then they are going to steal it and I’ll never get a job. It’s a scarcity model. What I know is so important that I’m going to keep it all. If people hire me then I’ll give it out, but otherwise I’m not giving it out.”
What has been shown time and time again is that that just does not work. The best way to market yourself is to provide everything you have out there. I guess I should take a step back and talk about why that’s important.
My favorite example is from Patrick McKenzie. For anyone who doesn’t know, Patrick McKenzie actually lives down the street from me in the middle of nowhere Japan. We do the podcast and we talk a lot.
He was talking about one of his clients that had hired him. They said, “Hey, Patrick, we’ve read all your blog posts, we’ve taken your online course that you produced, we’ve listened to all your podcasts. We really want to hire you to to consult for us.”
He’s like, “If you’ve taken my course, you’ve read all my blog posts, you know everything I do. There’s absolutely nothing I can provide to you that you don’t already know.”
They’re like, “Yeah, but we want you to do it for us.”
It’s easier to monetize people who think that you are an expert.
This is the crux of the “giving stuff away for free” argument.
Even if you give away your best stuff, people are willing to pay for that same stuff in a different format.
That format could be consulting, like in Patrick’s case. Or, it could be an evergreen online course, which is what we recommend.
All you have to do is take the content you’ve already accumulated—blog posts, email newsletters, podcasts, interviews—and organize it into a learnable curriculum.
Then, add some bonus content to your course to add value. Things like worksheets, checklists, formulas, quizzes, case studies, etc.
Voila! You’ve just transformed your existing “expert content” into a guided path to success that people will be thrilled to purchase.
It’s also how some of the biggest names in the industry got their start. Here’s Keith again:
How do you get trust?
You prove yourself. You show people. You give them little snippets.
This goes back to the content marketers, why they have little opt‑ins like “Get My First 10 Tricks to Double Your SEO.” Once you get a success from that, you’re like, “Oh my god, this guy knows what he’s talking about.” He has become the expert.
You’re more inclined to listen to him when he is giving you more advice than when he’s trying to sell you.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen very quickly. You look at people like Nathan Barry and Brennan Dunn. They shot up very quickly. Brennan, I think, it was eight months from when he started his “Double Your Freelancing Rate” until he was one of the major names.
He was speaking at conferences and I think he had a second product out by then. I can’t remember the timeline. One of the first places he promoted “Double Your Freelancing Rate” was on our podcast. I was like, “This guy’s awesome, but I have no idea who he is.”
Then eight months later, you couldn’t walk into a bar without everyone knowing who Brennan Dunn was.
Now it’s time to put our money where our mouth is and do exactly what we’ve just been talking about.
We’ve pulled together a few of the all-time best Summit Evergreen blog articles and created a PDF download called “The 7-Figure Evergreen Machine.” It’s a mini eBook that teaches you everything you need to know to sell your first “set it and forget it” evergreen product.
The product is exactly what we talked about above:
- We started with four in-depth blog posts.
- We translated that information into a learnable curriculum focused only on the stuff you need to know.
- There’s an added bonus at the end.
- It’s loaded with nitty gritty tactical steps so you know exactly what to do and how to do it, right from the experts’ mouths.
Here’s the table of contents:
- Chapter 1: What Is Evergreen, How Does It Work, and Why Do I Need It?
- Chapter 2: 10 Steps to Automate Your Sales Funnel
- Chapter 3: Increase Repeat Sales by Evergreening Your Customer Experience
- Chapter 4: The Step-By-Step Checklist to Create Your Evergreen Machine
- Bonus: Three Rules of Every Successful Evergreen Business
Now, get out there and give away your content for free…so you can turn your expertise into profits.