The Difference Between FREE and PAID Content

I get this question all the time…  


“What is the difference between my FREE content and my PAID content?”  


“How do I differentiate the two?”  


“I don’t want to give too much away otherwise people won’t buy my products!”  


“What do I do?!?”  


First, acknowledge that this is a scarcity mindset! There are more than enough people in the world that can discover you and that would love to buy your products.  


Understand that content is a long game so while you may be thinking it’s “not working” it actually is, so be patient. 


While there should be differences between your free and paid content, they’re probably not what you’re thinking.  


Today, I’m going to break down the key components that separate free from paid content, and while all of these points are important, the last one is by far the most important and is the real separator between these two types of content so make sure you use all three of them.  


You will learn:

  • Key differences between free and paid content
  • What NOT to do with your free content
  • Why people will buy your products even with so many other options


Let’s dive in!


Kicking us off is one of the biggest separators between free and paid content...




Something commonly taught in the marketing space is to "Teach the what and sell the how".


Maybe in a webinar, or when standing on a stage selling a product, that can be valuable, but not when it comes to creating free content.


Here's a tip: Put out your best content for free.


According to TubeFilter.com, There are over 500 hours of YouTube content uploaded every minute, which is about 30,000 hours of content per hour.  And according to TechJury.net, in the first quarter of 2021, there were over 5 million new blogs uploaded every day, just from WordPress sites.


That's crazy!


With so much content being put out every second of every day, we as creators need to make sure that when people first discover us, that first impression is so good people want to keep coming back. And the way we make people want to keep coming back is by giving them great content.


Let all those other creators do their "teach the what, sell the how" and keep teasing people while you focus on giving people actionable, valuable content.


Our content should teach the WHAT, the HOW, and the WHY.


We have to have great content to create raving fans and a true community. This is why our free content should be better than other people's paid content because that will build deeper trust and authority with your brand over time.


People should be able to get real results from your free content, so your content needs to be...


  • Actionable
  • Geared toward a specific demographic (group of people)
  • Answer their burning questions


When you do that, people will think, "Man, if their free content is this good... Imagine what their paid content is like." 


Nowadays, with so much content, people want depth, rather than width. It's like having a great barber, mechanic, or accountant; that's your person.


And in terms of convenience in the online space, you're going to be seen as the "go-to expert" for these people. You're someone that they can trust. People don't want to have to go out and find a ton of different creators or get to know new personalities and teaching styles.


When they think about your topic, whether it's dating, fitness, finances, or business, they're going to think about you! Because you're trustworthy and you have the answers they're looking for.


I can think of five creators right now where, if I want to learn something related to their topic, I'm going to go to that person.


I would much rather go to that person for that topic than try and find a bunch of other people teaching something similar and waste all that time. Unless they happen to not have the answer that I was looking for.


In terms of convenience for our paid content, we should have everything they need to accomplish a specific result neatly organized in one place.


If you have an online course that helps someone get a specific result, in sequential order, that is so much easier than digging through blog posts and YouTube videos.


How can you make your paid content even more convenient for your students?


The next big difference between free and paid content is...




Look, comments and questions get left unanswered on social platforms all the time.


Courses and programs that people pay for should give better support than free content. And I know that some people are really good at responding to comments, I do the very best that I can to respond to comments, but it's easy to miss things when it comes to your free content.


Also, content is "one-way" communication.


Like right now, I don't know who you are. I know that I have a specific topic that I'm teaching, that you may have been looking for, but I can't answer your specific questions right now.


Now, online course platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, or Kajabi have comment sections built into their courses. As a Creator, you'll get notified about any comments or questions that get added to your program so that you can respond to them in a timely manner.


Remember that people pay for proximity. That's why 1-1 Coaching is so much more valuable than just an online course or even group coaching because people can ask you questions directly and get a specific answer quickly on top of that.


You're paid content should come with worksheets, PDFs, slide decks, or different tools that can support the student further.


For example, with the online courses that I create, I'm probably on camera 10% of the time, maybe even less. Whereas, on my YouTube channel, It's more of a talking-head-style video.


The bulk of my courses our slide decks, because I found that I can deliver a better product doing that. It's also what separates my free from my paid content. People can download PDF slides of each lesson for when they need a quick reference to one of the points that I made, rather than having to skim through the entire video or audio file.


The format alone is another way to differentiate your content and add additional support.


How can you upgrade the amount of support that your students get in your paid content?


The next differentiator between free and paid content, and probably the biggest one, that puts everything we've covered up to this point together is...




Free content, while always valuable, actionable, and answering people's questions, is more like buckshot.


Meaning that every single week or day that you put out content, you don't really have a step-by-step system for that content. Unless of course, the piece of content is in a step-by-step format.


Take me for example, I come up with different topics every week. I also have content buckets to pull from so that I always have something to put out, but there is no real order.


The purpose of our free content should be to...


  • Get discovered 
  • Build authority
  • Capture leads


And of course, provide value in every one of those areas.


Now, our paid content (like an online course) compacts all of our best content into a step-by-step system that gets the viewer a specific result.


For example, if you're a financial coach, and you have a coaching program that helps people set up an entire automated money system, allowing them to track their spending, automate their investments, and so on, your course should teach its students step-by-step what to do in the beginning, middle, and end.


Whereas your free content would teach the same information just a bit more fragmented. 


The structure is what people pay for.


Something else to consider is that people are in a different mindset when they're looking for answers and content online compared to actually being inside of a course that they paid for.


For example, people on social media get in the habit of just scrolling and glancing at a post or video for a couple of seconds or maybe a couple of minutes. Whereas, if people paid for an online course, they would be more committed because they put money into it and they have skin in the game.


So free content should always be adding value and getting people results, while simultaneously setting the right viewers up to eventually buy your products. We do that by always giving people the next step.


And the next best step that you can give people inside your free content, to turn them into email subscribers and ultimately buyers, is to offer them a lead magnet.


And that's exactly what I teach you in this lesson.




Moving forward, do not hold back with your content. Get people actionable results. Give them tips they can implement that day and make your course highly structured, tailored to a specific result, with a bunch of support.


I'll see you in the next one.

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