create a sample offer, not an opt-in freebie

Let’s create an ebook. Maybe a guide.
Or a checklist. Maybe templates.
People love those!
Even if they never use them, they love having them.

This was how we talked about creating freebies.

Throughout my years working with online business owners, I’ve had many discussions that sounded like this.

After all, if people love these kinds of freebies so much, who were we not to provide them

Over the nearly two decades since the introduction of digital information businesses, who knows how many bajillions of freebies have been created?

What I do know, is that most of them suck.

I sign up for a lot of freebies.
Mostly so I can see what people are creating.

In the last year, only a few have stood out.
The other hundreds were unremarkable.

It’s time to rethink freebies.

They are no longer as essential as they may once have been.

But when planned and designed intentionally, they can still be very effective in building your audience and bringing the right-for-you people into your world.

One of the things I love about having my own business is that I get to question the way things are done.

And for some time, I’ve been questioning the use of freebies to build an email list.

Do I need a freebie?

When you subscribe to my emails on my website, you receive a welcome email thanking you for inviting me into your inbox.

Here’s part of what I say in that email:

I’m beyond grateful that you signed up just to get my emails. 😊 Without a freebie.

Maybe you’re like me and you sign up for someone’s emails because you actually want to hear from them. …

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against freebies across the board. But they have lost their lustre after decades of being a staple of email marketing.

We have too many unopened files on our computers, too many unwatched videos, too many “I’ll get to that laters.”

All the information I have for you, I’ll send here, in emails.
No need to download something that will gather virtual dust.

I stand by this.

And now, I’m also ready to offer a freebie.

I’m looking at it less as an incentive to get people to sign up for my list and more as a way to welcome people into my world in a deeper, meaningful way.

The freebie itself isn’t what matters as much as understanding your ideal client and giving them a great experience. Which may include a freebie.

So I’ve been asking myself, How do I want people to feel when they interact with me and my business?

What’s emerged in my work with clients and from conversations with my audience is how much business owners underestimate the importance of staying true to what will work for them.

Feeling like they have to do certain things a certain way has led them down a path they don’t much enjoy.

So I want my freebie to help people see a better path to building a business that feels good for them.

The freebie also needs to give people a good idea of what it’s like to work with me.

Sample offer > freebie

Nothing beats a sample when it comes to knowing what you’re going to get when you buy something.

Many of my entrepreneur friends and I have been disappointed with some (if not most) of the coaching, programs, and courses we’ve signed up for.

It seems to be happening more often and we are more sensitive to risk than we were a few years ago.

I want to do my best to give people a sample of my service so they’ll feel more comfortable about messaging me or booking a discovery call with me.

That means including something very similar to the things I do with my clients.
Things like my decision-making, and orienting and calibrating support methods.

I’m excited about what I’ve come up with so far and I look forward to sharing it with you when it’s ready.

You can be sure that there will be no downloads involved.
(Unless or until there’s a super good reason to do otherwise.)


Every Sunday morning I’ll send you an email to help you build a minimalist biz that’s money making, meaningful, memorable, and maintainable. 

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