A successful e-Course creator walks the line between free, paid and premium content and knows when to use each type to the best of its ability. But how do you know which type of content to use when? Don’t worry, I’m going to take you through the guidelines that I use in my own business to help you decide whether to create free, paid or premium content.
How do you decide what to give away for free?
The aim of free content (or an opt-in) is to inspire your audience, overcome any objections that they might have to purchasing from you and establish a sense of trust and credibility. Free content is incredibly valuable in the lead up to launching your e-Course and helps to build your mailing list while generating new leads and potential e-Course participants.
But free content doesn’t mean that the value of the content isn’t high.Use free content to inspired and engage your audience. Click To Tweet
In fact, what you give away should still:
- Be high quality and if possible professionally designed or produced
- Be valuable and tailored to your ideal participant avatar to encourage them to submit their email
- Position you as the expert and leave them wanting more so they sign up to your course
Ideas for free content could be a simple PDF guide, webinar, video series or even a challenge. If you’re not sure of the content you want to create then check out my guide for strategically planning your free content.
To make the most of your free content, your communication with them should not stop at the file download, watching a video or attending a webinar. You should set up a campaign or auto-responder that follows up every 1-2 days for roughly a week to check in and see how they are going with it, ask if they have any questions and finally lead them to your sales page. This is called a nurture sequence and is perfect for leading into your paid content.
Where does that fit with your paid content?
While the aim of free content is to answer an objection and inspire and engage your audience, the aim of your paid content is to solve a problem, teach them new skills and help them move forward. In this case, let’s take a safe bet that your paid content is an e-Course.
With this in mind, your e-Course should be structured to:
1. Impart theory
You can do this through workbooks, videos, demonstrations and audio that give your audience the knowledge that they need to solve a problem. For example, your audience’s problem could be a lack of confidence when it comes to sharing on social media so you could provide workbooks and videos that guide them through the steps that they need to take and all the information they need to know to feel confident again.
2. Allow application of the theory
You can do this with worksheets, templates, tasks and activities that allow your audience to take their new knowledge and implement it. This is the part where your audience start to learn new skills. Using the same social media example from above, this could be worksheets that help your audience work through the blocks that they have when it comes to social media or an activity that helps them to overcome the fear.
3. Encourage engagement and community
You can do this through a community forum or live calls which help your audience take their new knowledge and skills and use it to move them forward.Don’t underestimate the value of community support! Click To Tweet
For example, having community support might be exactly what people who are lacking confidence in their social media need to move forward. Because sometimes all we really need is a tribe of people who are there to cheer us on!
Once you’ve gotten clear on what to include in your paid content (using the framework above) then you can get started on writing modules.
How do you define premium content?
Premium content or offerings are generally the next step after someone has purchased your paid content. They are more complex and often include more live (or one-on-one) components for participants. For example, my mastermind offering was a premium offer that gave participants 1:1 interaction with me and even included three live events. You can learn more about what makes a really epic mastermind experience here.
As I’m not running my mastermind this year, I now consider Launch Mastery as my premium offering. The course was designed for people who had gone through e-Course Launch Formula and were after more intimate and in-depth support.
Premium content has to appear extremely high quality across every touch point including professional designed sales page, videos, course materials or any other resources that you’re providing.
And remember, premium programs are not always about quantity of content as too much information can be overwhelming. Often times those who buy your premium content are very successful and busy and they need transformation and quick results not loads of content.Quality over quantity when it comes to premium content. Click To Tweet
So consider other ways that you can really delight your participant and make them feel really, really good about their purchase such as 1:1 coaching or consultations or group coaching.
Delight items such as physical gifts, access to your other e-Products or access to a live event are also a good way to deliver premium content.
So there we have it – a tried-and-tested framework to help you decide whether your content should be free, paid or premium. Has this blog post inspired you to create your very first e-Course? Well then, you’re going to love the e-Course Idea Generator!
The e-Course Idea Generator is a proven system to help you hone in on a profitable idea for your e-Course.
If you’ve got no idea, it will help you brainstorm a bunch of viable options. (Like a shot of jet fuel for your creativity, it will get your juices flowing and your cogs cranking like nothing else.)
And if you’ve got too many ideas (Hello, Ms Multipassionate!), it will help you discern which one you should focus on.