How much should I educate my audience in my free content?
How do I give VALUE in my content WITHOUT giving away too much?
How do I turn the readers of my free content into actual paying CLIENTS?
Honestly, these are some of the most common questions I get asked all the time as a messaging expert.
Because OF COURSE, when a business owner puts in the time to create free content for their audience…
… they want to do everything in their power to ensure that that content ultimately translates into SALES.
(When you run a business, ROI matters, after all!)
Now, certain business owners will enjoy creating educational content more than others, and that’s totally fine.
(As I always say, there’s no one-size-fits-all best content strategy out there — it’s key to lean into what you actually enjoy!)
But if you DO enjoy creating educational content and DO want to create more of it, I strongly recommend following these two must-remember tips.
(They’ll help you make sure that you’re producing content that’s primed to attract more perfect-fit, paying clients, NOT just freebie-hunters!)
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1. Don’t educate your audience in a way that will mostly attract DIY-ers
One common pitfall that I see happen when people educate a lot in their content is that they tend to do it in a way that attracts DIY-ers.
They essentially use their content to teach information… which can be problematic because it means that they basically end up teaching their audience how to do their own job.
For example: back when I was doing 1:1 website copywriting services, I created a blog post series on how to write an amazing About page.
In hindsight, that wasn't a great move because it ended up mostly drawing in readers who were interested in learning how to write their own About pages — they didn't want to pay me to write their pages for them!
Unwittingly, I had accidentally attracted people with a “do it yourself” mindset, instead of the “please let me pay you to do it for me!” mindset I was hoping for.
So first things first, be really careful that the content you create actually speaks to the kind of clients you want to work with, and NOT just people on the hunt for free resources.
2. Use your educational content to create a DESIRE in your reader to work with you
This is one of the most important things you can do in your messaging and marketing —
Speak to your prospective clients’ DESIRES.
Because at the end of the day, your audience needs to desire to work with you.
They need to desire the experience of working with you, in order for them to sign on and actually pay you money.
And that kind of desire isn’t something that’s usually created or stoked by INFORMATION.
So the question you want to ask yourself when coming up with your educational content, is —
How can you create educational content which gives your audience a TASTE of the experience of working with you… and leaves them wanting MORE?
(Meaning: they’ll be more likely to sign up to work with you, because they want more of the magic they just experienced!!!)
Some very effective ways of doing this include…
- ASK YOUR AUDIENCE THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS
Think about how you can give your audience aha! moments in your content.
Ask them some of the questions you ask your paying clients to give them powerful reframes and breakthroughs.
(The difference being that for your paying clients, you’re also there to support and guide them in finding the right individual answers for them!)
In your free content, there’s only so much back and forth — you’re asking questions and sparking reflection, but you’re not dishing out all the answers.
For those, they’re gonna have to pay you to help them figure it out
- TAKE A STAND FOR THE POWER OF YOUR APPROACH
Your content is always, always an opportunity to take a stand for YOUR way of doing things.
For instance, do you have a unique framework or approach to your work that you can talk about, so that your clients get more of a sense of your process?
It's also somewhere where you have the chance to establish your credibility, by talking about the results that your clients get after implementing the strategies or approaches that you might outline in your content.
E.g. “I just helped one of my 1:1 messaging clients with this copywriting reframe." Then give a brief overview of what the reframe was. Then share -- "And she's just gone on to sell out her new group program (with a waitlist!) in less than a week using her new sales page!”
This is how you really start making your readers desire to work with you — by showing the kind of results you can make happen as a result of your approach.
So weave in those client results to definitively own your awesomeness!
Contrary to what a lot of marketing gurus out there say, if you love educating people in your free content, you can ABSOLUTELY do that in a way that doesn’t over-teach and that does bring in dream clients and increased sales.
Just make sure to speak to the right people, and to get your audience DESIRING the experience of working with you.
What are your thoughts on this?
Do you enjoy educating your audience, and how has this article inspired you to tweak the way you do that? Let me know in the comments!
Plus, for a more in-depth, personalized messaging game plan, be sure to take my free quiz, “What’s Your Wealth-Creating Messaging Personality?”
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