Is It Best To Create A Free Or A Paid Product?

free verse paid productI love it when people tell me they are planning on creating (or licensing and rebranding) a product of their own.

Why?

Because owning your own products is one of the keys to long term online success.

Yes, there are short term strategies that you can use to potentially make money here and there.

And for many people that’s not such a bad thing to get started with and gain some experience.

But really in the long run, becoming an owner of a quality product (or products) is definitely the way to go.

(If you doubt this ask yourself this question: Can you think of ANYONE who is long term successful who DOESN’T have their own products?)

This said, I do see a common pattern here:

STRATEGY #1

1) Create a product
2) Advertise it on a squeeze page
3) Drive traffic to build an email list

Now there’s nothing wrong with this approach and I’ve done very well with it myself. But what I’d like to suggest to you is to think about the process in a slightly different way with the aim of getting a lot more results for only a bit more effort.

So, what if you did this instead:

STRATEGY #2

1) Create a product
2) Put it up on a sales page with a PayPal/Clickbank/JVZoo/etc buy button
3) Repurpose a portion of the product’s content into a mindmap/template/swipe file/cheat sheet/resource list
4) Advertise that repurposed content on a squeeze page
5) Set the thank you page of your squeeze page to the sales page of your paid product

Now, let’s have a think about the advantages of STRATEGY #2 over STRATEGY #1:

1) There’s only a bit more work involved
It’s easy to think that creating a product to sell must be so much more work than creating a product to give away for free on a squeeze page.

Yes, it usually is more work but not really that much if you set out to create a low priced/high value product that you sell for say $7-$17.

At this price range customers are not expecting (or even wanting) a huge multi-module training course.

Instead, many of the best selling products in this price range are relatively short reports, a small video series or an audio recording.

Not really a huge amount of work.

Think about this and take note of what you are actually getting when you next purchase a low priced product. It’s probably not as much as you think in terms of volume of content.

2) You open up new traffic sources
Firstly, because you have got a paid product you can now offer a generous commission to affiliates or joint venture partners.

Obviously you can’t do this if you just have a free optin because no affiliate is going to send traffic to a squeeze page without the possibility of earning a commission.

Affiliate traffic is hugely powerful because it’s low maintenance, generally high quality (because it’s endorsed traffic) and readily available in nearly all profitable niches online.

By having your paid product in place you open the doors to it!

Also, having your paid product means you can also put it on deals and marketplace websites which are other very powerful traffic sources.

3) Buyers not just free optins
The most powerful and valuable type of subscriber is one that has purchased one of your products. So by having your own sales page with your own product on it you can create such a “buyers list”.

4) You have a way to monetize your free lead magnet
After people sign up for your free gift on your squeeze page or optin form on the side bar of your blog, you can offer them your paid product.

Crucially the paid product is highly relevant to their interest because it’s simply a more extensive version of the free gift they’ve signed up for.

Also, you keep 100% the profits from sales unlike most affiliate products which typically pay 50-75% commission.

Okay, let’s look at an example:

EXAMPLE

1) Pick a popular in-demand topic
Let’s say in the internet marketing (IM) niche, “How to secure your website from hackers”

2) Research, outline and create your product
Don’t need to be an existing expert, just go out and sort the good from the bad on the topic using Google, books from Amazon and even potentially ask a few experts for tips (e.g., you could hire a security expert on ODesk/Elance to have a chat with for 60 minutes on Skype).

Create your product based on your research using either text (PDF), video, audio or a combination – doesn’t matter really, whatever you feel comfortable with.

3) Create your sales page
How to do this is another topic which we’ve covered extensively elsewhere but obviously you need one in order to convert prospects to buyers. Model other popular sales pages, hire a copywriter and/or use some templates.

4) Repurpose your product into a free gift/lead magnet
Extract a few golden nuggets from your product and place them on a 1 or 2 page PDF. Nothing massive, just a summary of some of the key points from your main product.

5) Create a squeeze page
Easy. Just use one of the templates provide in one of the many WordPress plugins that are available (I use and recommend Thrive Content Builder or LeadPages for this).

Crucially, create a powerful curiosity based headline. For example:

“Free Report Reveals… The 3 Secret (Completely FREE) ‘Weapons’ I Use To Turn All My Websites Into A FORTRESS Against Hackers”

6) Set Your Thank You Page To Your Sales Page
You can do this in your email service provider account (e.g., I use Aweber).

So after people enter their email address in your squeeze page or blog optin form they are taken to a version of your sales page which has the headline…

“Congratulations on Signing up! Your Free PDF download will be sent to you by email in 5-10 minutes. In the meantime, please check this out…”

And the below that you have your sales page for the paid product. This is a nice congruent way of introducing your paid product while they are waiting for the email.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and all views are welcome, good, bad or ugly! Please drop a comment below – I’ll get back to you personally 🙂 Cheers, Rob 

11 Responses to Is It Best To Create A Free Or A Paid Product?

  1. Trevor May 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

    Hi rob is it blowing a Gail force wind there in sunny Cornwall it is here in selsey I do like what you have done here to get started would it be best to sign up to ghg first Would it make it easier to start off
    Regards Trevor

    • Rob May 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

      Hi Trevor,

      Thanks for your feedback. Obviously I’m biased but yes, the members area is perfect to get started with creating your own products/

      Kind regards,

      Rob.

    • Allan May 5, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

      Hi Rob

      You encouraged me recently to produce my own product to sell rather than give as a freebie and I am on the way but my initial time has been well spent on the research element and it’s really exciting.
      I think I may have played a part in this blog………………as usual your support is greatly appreciated, good stuff.

      Kind regards
      Allan

      • Rob May 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

        Hi Allan,

        Yes, I remember your questions and it’s part of the reason I wrote the post as I know a lot of people are thinking along similar lines. Really great to hear you are finding the process exciting. It is and I love product creation myself. Keep going through any challenges that come your way. You are more than capable of doing it!

        Cheers, Rob.

  2. Ahrale May 5, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Rob,

    As a customer, this method sometimes works on me,
    When I find the product as useful & reasonable price for me,
    So of course, it can work on others & for me as a marketer…
    Always a game of try… Nothing works for all, but sure works for some…

    Thanka & Enjoy Life 🙂
    Ahrale

    • Rob May 5, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Ahrale 🙂

      Cheers, Rob

  3. Super-RAJ May 5, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    I agree 100% having your own paid products is the best.

    I transitioned to having my own products this year and its been a Huge leap forward.

    I released my first product in February and it did very well, and is still selling today.

    Also I have started to build the BEST ASSET online, a customer LIST

    Cheers
    Super-RAJ

    • Rob May 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

      Thanks for the endorsement on product creation Super-Raj and congratulations on the success too!

      Cheers, Rob.

  4. Dale Reardon May 5, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    Hi,

    I will give this a go with a PLR modified product.

    Sure is nicer to get some monetary reward for the work!

    Dale.

    • Rob May 5, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

      Hi Dale,

      Sounds like a plan! A lot of people would steer you away from PLR or product licensing but it’s absolutely fine in my book provided the quality is there. Keep the quality high, help people and “sell into demand” and everyone benefits.

      Cheers, Rob.

  5. Ben Doyle May 6, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    This is good advice – I was watching a video by Russell Brunson the other day who gave similar advice….

    1. Start by outlining you dream customer

    2. Figure out where you want to take them i.e. their ultimate goal/your ultimate upsell and then work backwards in the funnel – that way, the funnel is made up of smaller part of the ultimate high end product, all the way back to the squeeze page.

    Sound advice,

    Ben

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