Shouldn’t I save my best speaking content for paying clients? If I give everything away for free, then no one has an incentive to hire me, right?

BY TJ Walker

No and No. It may seem paradoxical, but the more you give away on the Internet, the more you will get back. Your number one problem in your business life is not that people have too much of your free content, ideas and videos. Your #1 problem is obscurity! Unless you are one of the 100 most famous people in the world, chances are that the vast, vast majority of the people in the world who could hire you or book you don’t know anything about you, including your name. This is why it’s silly to worry about giving away too many of your ideas.

If you have good ideas and I am assuming you do, then the more people come in contact with your ideas the more likely they are to want to hire you and pay for your ideas in other forms, i.e. a book, speech, etc. Oprah “gives” away her ideas, empathy and stories on “free” broadcast TV every day. And yet organizations gladly pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars to come and give a live speech. Why? Because people already know and like her ideas.

Anthony Robbins sells his books for $20 each and the ideas from his books in an audio format for $300 to $600 and the very same information at thousand dollar 3 day workshops. Oh, and he also gives a lot of the very same content away for free in YouTube videos. And he also posts a lot of video on his own web site.

Don’t be stingy! Give people your best content. Of course you can sell your content too. I give people sections of all of my How to Speak Like Obama DVD. And I find that the more people who watch the free sections on YouTube, the more people seem to buy the DVD on Amazon and elsewhere. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I also sell many of my videos as downloads and download rentals on Amazon. Yes the lengths may differ but much of the content is the same. So why would anyone pay for something they could get for free. Why isn’t cannibalization a real threat?

  1. Major businesses, institutions and corporations aren’t looking for free content. They want to pay so that they will have no hassles or legal headaches regarding rights. They don’t want to get sued. They much rather pay me $99 for a video than save a few dollars and worry about spending $30,000 of their time if I were to sue them.
  2. Ease of format-some people want to play a DVD in front of a large audience on a DVD player. They don’t want to have to figure out how to download a video form YouTube, store it on a hard drive, then burn to a DVD, process the disc and then put into a DVD player. They are just happy to have you mail them a final DVD.  But they often won’t buy the DVD unless they can see the content online for free. Everyone wins.

Finally, if you doubt me, then I urge you to test for yourself. Pick a name oaf a wildly successful speaker/public figure and put them in the search box on YouTube. Chances are you will find thousands of videos that pop up featuring them. Now put your own name into YouTube’s search box. What do you find? Do you see the difference? See if you can make the numbers a little more even. So if you want to be the next Anthony Robbins and he has more than 3000 videos available on YouTube, and you have only three, you see what you have in store for yourself to even things out. Get recording!


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