As introduction, we only have this to say: Who doesn't love free stuff?
What's an info freebie?
To put it simply, giving away an info freebie is giving away information for free. You don't charge for it, and you don't wait until people ask you for it. The freebie can take many forms, which we'll be looking at later.
Why information? Why not give away items related to your business? If you're selling headscarves, why not include a free pack of brooches in the package?
You can do that, but we give away info freebies for a specific reason. If you want to consider teaching classes and workshops as a source of income, then info freebies can help you attain that "teacher" status. People will be able to see how knowledgeable you are from the information that you're giving out. Customers are attracted to those they deem credible.
But even if you're not planning to teach, appearing knowledgeable makes your business more trustworthy. People will trust your products or services because they assume you know what you're doing. Besides, info freebies are relatively inexpensive to produce. What's the harm?
Gathering information for the freebie
You've most probably amassed a lot of knowledge and practical tips as you run your business in the industry. How do you know which ones to share?
1. Identify your core message and complementary messages.
Your core message should relate to your products or services. If you find it hard to identify the core message, it could be because you're offering too many types of products or services.
It's best to niche down so that it's easy for customers to remember you. There's always time to expand and diversify later when you have sufficient recognizability.
For example, Narrativity's core message is making passion happen through blogging and branding. To make my core message stronger, I focus only on branding as opposed to graphic design in general.
Complementary messages don't directly relate to your products or services, but are relevant enough to be discussed. They allow you to keep your customers' attention because they're probably interested in those topics too.
Apart from branding, I also talk about blogging, productivity and social media marketing. These topics complement branding well because they're also connected to entrepreneurship.
With the core and complementary messages, you'll always know what useful information you should share. Useful for your customers because it relates to their struggles, and useful for you because it adds credibility and authority to your brand.
2. Identify questions posed by customers or potential customers
When we search for an answer to a question on Google, we sometimes have to sift through multiple Web pages before finding one that works. Other times, we already have one bookmarked but forgot we found it in the first place, so we google it again.
Either way, it's a hassle.
As business owners, the freebies you create can fill this gap. Freebies that can answer questions related to your industry can remain useful for a long time to come. Visualize your freebie being tacked onto a wall or the refrigerator. It can be a powerful and constant reminder of your brand in people's homes.
To find out what people are asking, you can use the following methods:
- Use Google Trends to see what people are searching.
- Scout your competitor's social media accounts and see what their customers are asking them.
- Find out if there are local classes in your industry and see what the syllabus looks like.
You also have to be proactive in answering. Is there any confusion or vagueness on a particular subject matter, even if no one has directly asked you about it? That subject matter should make a good information freebie as well.
These are only ten types of info freebies that we're identifying, but there are many more on the market! They're ranked from the easiest to the least easiest to create on this list. But here's a secret, the least easiest to create (No. 1) has the biggest pay-off. Your best bet would be to make use of a couple of them together.
10. Desktop or mobile wallpaper
The wallpaper is probably the easiest to create, but there's no guarantee it will be used by the reader on their devices. People change their wallpapers all the time, so you have to balance the usefulness with its aesthetic.
9. Note card
If we had to compare, a note card is like the bigger, more useful version of a business card. On the front, you can put bite-sized information in text form or illustrations. On the back of the card, you can put your business information.
Example: Types of vegetables and their vitamin content
8. Collectible cards
Collectible cards are like note cards, except that they work as a collection. Each card has different information on it, so you can afford to be more detailed. You can distribute the cards one by one for customers to collect, or give them away as a pack.
Example: Vegetables and their best meat/grain pairing
7. Product tag or label
You can make better use of the space you already have by adding more information on the ingredients or materials you use. Explain its uses or benefits to attach an even stronger sense of quality to your products. This way you can educate and promote your product in one go!
Example: Benefits of eating organic vegetables
An infographic is basically an information-rich poster used to drive home a specific point. You can utilize bar charts and pie charts to highlight number-heavy data, or flowcharts and diagrams to map out processes. Either way, make sure that it has a good balance of text and graphics to make it attention-grabbing.
Example: The Best Cooking Methods for Different Types of Veggies
5. Beginner's guide
A beginner's guide serves to introduce customers to your industry. It answers the age-old question of "Where do I start?". To avoid overwhelming the reader, aim to cover the basics without going too in-depth on the subject matter.
Example: The Beginner's Guide to Choosing and Storing Vegetables
4. How-to guide
On the other hand, a how-to guide is best when it's thorough and comprehensive. Choose only one topic and explain it clearly so that the reader can follow along. Pair the steps with photographs to make the guide even more valuable.
Example: How to Prepare The Quitessential Vegetable Stir-Fry
A newsletter is commonly used to inform customers about a new product and service, but it can also be used to share regular tips about your industry. It doesn't have to be even 2 page-long, only consistent. Check out MailChimp if you're looking for a free and basic plan.
Blogging is easy, but blogging with a specific purpose and topic requires a strong commitment. You have to continuously deliver relevant information to your readers without compromising on quality. Personal stories are a no-no, unless the reader can take away something useful for himself or herself at the end.
Example: A Simple and Delicious Recipe for Baked Kale Crisps
Everywhere we look, we see social media platforms adding the video functionality to their list of features. Why? Because video is here to stay. The best videos are, on average, 3 minutes long, and shot under decent conditions.
Example: 10 Healthy and Delicious Vegetable Snacks
When there's more and more competition in your industry, the best thing you can do is to add more value to your brand. Information is good value. People have a deep-seated desire to improve themselves, so any brand that helps them do that will be considered a friend. Your experience and knowledge are valuable, and the info freebie is a great way to make use of them.
Which info freebie will you be using for your brand?