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Free Resources and Bad Advice
Free Downloads and Bad Advice

Free Downloads and Bad Advice

Free Resources and Bad Advice

There is so much bad marketing advice out there. And there is no shortage of misleading infographics, trendy marketing “hacks” or free downloads that regurgitate outdated, incomplete, or flat-out wrong advice.

And the quantity of such ‘resources’ continue to flood LinkedIn feeds and email inboxes.

Let’s ask 4 questions about free content and bad advice

      • WHO is creating this content and WHY?

      • WHY does this look familiar?

      • WHO wants this stuff and WHY?

      • WHAT do people REALLY want?


    WHO is creating this content and WHY?

    Someone somewhere once said that in order to get leads, you need lead magnets. And like most everything else, it trends. By creating a sample guide, trial version, or something for free in exchange for an email address, you can build up a lead list where your sales team can (theoretically) begin the sales process.

    While getting leads is certainly critical to growth, there is a difference between getting leads from a free resource and getting qualified leads – that is – those who actually want to buy from you. Most of the time, people searching for free tools and resources are not ready to buy, not your target audience (i.e. buyers), and probably won’t become a paying client anytime soon.

    When brands give away free resources and guides, they think they are providing immediate value and demonstrating their expertise. The problem is that giving something away for free rarely equates to value. When you start a relationship by giving away something for free, it can be difficult to charge for ‘the good stuff’. In other words, despite the content being potentially valuable, the recipient usually doesn’t think so. Furthermore, most of the time, the resource is nothing more than a watered down sales pitch requiring additional resources to properly execute in order to get the promised results from the resource.


    WHY does this look familiar?

    Depending on your business and the brands, people and organizations you follow, you’ll likely find basically the same information and content. Much of the information used in the free guides and tips is variations of the same information. Just type the title of any free download into Google and you’ll literally have dozens of similar resources.

    So why would someone click your content over another brand? What will make yours that much more valuable? Many brands don’t differentiate enough to be ‘clickable’.

    But since brands have been conditioned to ‘advertise’ and attract leads this way, we continue to see the proliferation of such content. Your content still needs to be unique, relevant, and have intrinsic value. If not, it’s just noise and won’t help your brand or your marketing.


    WHO is reading, clicking, and trying to learn from this content?

    No matter what you do, you must understand your audience. Who is searching, clicking, and downloading the content? Is it a decision-maker you ultimately want to reach or someone who just wants free education?

    Many times, the people who click and download tips, hacks, and downloads are still in the information gathering/education process. They are not ready to buy or even open to hiring someone to do it for them.


    WHAT do people REALLY want?

    This brings us to the most basic question that all businesses need to answer about their customers – what do they want?

    If the people you want to reach are those ready to hire your company or buy from you, then they don’t need more information about what they don’t know how to do. They need confidence that you (not your download) will solve their problem. And quickly.


    We Don’t Offer Free Guides (often)

    Resources and guides have their place. We’ve have a few that we give our clients and leads but is usually after we’re in a relationship. This allows us to create materials and resources that are designed for THEM, their culture and which are aligned with their specific growth and branding goals.

    In other words, what we offer has real value and 100% useful.

    We don’t rely on them to drive business. In fact, we usually end up sharing resources from trusted partners or colleagues instead of investing our time and resources into recreating the wheel.

    In the end, we know our clients don’t want another regurgitated PDF guide. They want a TEAM to guide them along their journey to growth and greatness.

    Book a complimentary 30-minute advisory session with our team today.

    We’ll talk about your business and how we can help your team achieve your strategic and business goals.

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