In this sharing economy, freebie-ism abounds. Offering free trials, free downloads and free endorsements are facts of startup life.
Let’s talk about freebie blogging/interviews and your freebie download strategy.
Freebie blogging or interviews do not = business for you or the person being interviewed.
Freebie downloads do not = conversion to paid business.
What’s typically missing in these equations is engagement. Between you and the folks downloading your stuff or your free 30-day trial. Between you and the blogger or latest thought leader you try to interview.
Ever think you are asking thought leaders for their Endorsement, not a content-swapping Freebie?
Asking thought leaders to write about your company without you establishing a credible relationship with them is an empty proposition. What value do you offer the thought leader?
Consider this: thought leaders represent the Voice of Your Prospective Paying Customer.
These thought leaders will conduct their due diligence about you and your startup. Before you pulled their name off a list, did you reciprocate? Do you truly complement each other’s businesses?
That’s why your freebie blogging/interview content swapping strategy comes across as a one-sided “ask”, skewed in your favor.
You are asking them to buy into you. You are expecting them to rave about your product, service and platform.
What’s the risk involved to them if they participate in your content-swapping strategy?
In featuring your company on their blogs, thought leaders co-brand with your startup. It’s an endorsement. It’s a testimonial.
That’s the price these folks factor into the equation when you request a content swap freebie.
The same holds true for converting early adopters into paying customers.
Ever consider a Free Download as uncompensated beta-testing by real people?
When you offer people free downloads or trials, you ask them to invest their time in your company.
How do you grow your relationship beyond their freebie download? Do you have a “one download and done” strategy?
If you don’t use the download or trial to leverage increased engagement, you miss the boat when you ask them to convert to a paying customer.
In your mind, the folks who download your App for free are a statistic. They join the “number of users list” which you present to potential investors.
In their minds, users of your freebie are real people. Your freebie download users have something to say to your startup.
Why don’t you want to engage with them?
There is no value in anything that you get for free. The value is created in what happens after the download, trial, blog post, thought expert interview.
Perhaps that’s why your content swapping strategy and free trial conversion rates aren’t gaining significant traction.
Downloads are opportunities for ongoing dialogue with Early Adopters. Blog Posts / Interviews catalyze industry experts and thought leaders to become your startup’s Brand Ambassadors.
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC is a management consultant and business coach. She catalyzes startup and small to midsize business growth through her provocative and engaging programs and workshops.