What Should I Charge for or Give Away for Free?

The New Age Dilemma: Content Everywhere, Yet What to Charge For?

In a world abundant with free content and information, we find ourselves in a paradox. Sure, you can Google your way to almost any piece of information you desire, but what should you, as an entrepreneur, thought leader, or brand builder, charge for? Is there anything left that people are willing to pay for? Here’s the revelation: People don’t pay for information. They pay for the organization and application of that information.

The Simple Formula: Give Away the “What,” Charge for the “How”

So you’re grappling with the dilemma: what should be free and what should come with a price tag? The answer is surprisingly simple. Give away the “what,” but charge for the “how.” Yes, you read that right.

You can see this formula manifesting in countless places online. Headlines will tease you with phrases like, “Five tips to grow your social media following” or “Three things to double your income.” What you’re looking at there is the “what.” They’re giving you the outline, the broad strokes. It’s a free buffet of concepts, yet scant on the specifics, the “how.”

Take tax-saving strategies, for example. I recently downloaded a guide that listed ten different strategies that could save me on taxes. But how to implement them? That was conspicuously missing — that’s the “how,” and that’s what you charge for.

Leveraging the “What” to Build Your Platform

So why give away the “what” in the first place? The “what” is the bait, the hook, the allure that draws people into your sphere of influence. It’s the indispensable ingredient in content marketing. It’s the key to building your platform and your audience. Give it away, and give it away generously, but do so strategically.

Make the “What” Valuable

Hold on, let’s clarify something crucial here. The “what” you give away should be valuable. We’re not talking about churning out sub-par content. Make your “what” compelling enough to create an inherent desire for the “how.” It should pique interest, trigger questions, and leave your audience wanting more.

The Power Lies in the “How”

The “how” is where you bring everything together. It’s the processes, the frameworks, the methodologies, the templates — the secret sauce, if you will. When you charge for the “how,” you’re offering a roadmap for the application of the “what,” the exact steps that transform theory into practice, potential into results.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, the “what” is the teaser, a glimpse of what you offer. It should be valuable, potent, and engaging, enough to make someone want to throw money at you for the “how.” That’s the premium service you offer, the solution to the puzzle, the final piece that completes the picture.

So, the next time you’re stuck wondering what to charge for, remember this formula. Give away the “what” to reel them in but make them crave the “how” enough to open their wallets. That’s not just business; it’s the art of business in the age of free information.

Hey there!

I'm AJ Vaden

I am an entrepreneur, lover of all things creative and very proud boy mom. I am into personal development, spreadsheets and have a weird fascination with taxes. I write and talk on personal branding, entrepreneurship, business and life.  

P.S. I love Jesus, and I talk about my faith a lot. Just know that going in.

request a free personal brand strategy call

Get Clear On How to Build & Monetize Your Personal Brand

free resource

The Trends in Personal Branding National Research Study

This ground-breaking study was the first ever multi-generational and empirically-verified study of personal branding in the U.S. and its data markers prove that personal branding is no longer optional – it’s a MUST.

free training

How to DOUBLE Your Coaching Business in the Next 12 Months

Learn hidden revenue opportunities that most coaches and consultants overlook, plus an actionable plan for tapping into that $$$ right now. Attend my free revenue growth webinar!