Chris Brogan is back at it again.
Pissing people off by releasing a new book, Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything (aff. link)
If you don’t know Chris, he’s a pioneer of a business model that has really taken off in the last few years.
“People have been doing it for years!” you scream?
Not like this they haven’t – and it’s pissing people off.
Let’s take a look at this “new business model” and see if we can figure out why it’s hard for consumers to accept and people like Chris to deal with.
The Freemium Model: A Double Edged Sword
In order to build a large following of people with your blog you need to create great content.
You need to position yourself as a thought leader creating unique ideas and twists on things people find useful. One of the easiest ways to do this, is give valuable information away for free.
Everyone likes something for free. Especially when it’s valuable to themselves or business.
The sharp side of the sword
You’re giving away stuff for free.
The hard earned knowledge that you’ve accumulated over the years from trials and tribulations you’ve been through. Wether it’s a decade worth of blogging or a half century as a master carpenter – the greater your experience, the greater the value of your content.
Now you’re faced with giving this all away for free? Are you nuts Matt?
Well, you need to prove yourself to the internet. Why would people spend a dime on you if they don’t find you credible? Chris does this every day. How do you think he feels?
When the time is right, you strike with the sharp side of the sword. You keep feeding your following with free and then when it’s time to charge for the real niche content – you ask to get paid.
You can ask to get paid for speaking engagements, guest blogging, webinars, newsletters, or books. Whatever it is you’re doing, it now has to be more than free grade. Your “product” should have an increased value or something that a person can measure immediate results from.
This works because you’ve built the rapport with your fans or community. Gary Vaynerchuck said he gives away free to the point he guilts people into buying something from him when the time comes.
The blunt side of the sword
People want everything for free.
I’ve watched Chris take a couple roller coaster rides in the last few months. Whenever he makes a bold move to sell a product or a service there comes a rush of complainers.
He hosted a webinar and people moaned.
He launched a new newsletter and people cried.
He published a new book and the townsfolk rioted.
See, the thing with the freemium model is people get addicted. Addicted to all this great valuable information for free. They come out of the wood work to post on your blog, your Facebook, or your Google+ profiles to tell you it just aint right to charge now.
Instead of you slicing through profits with the sharp end of the sword, you’re getting bludgeoned with the blunt side.
It’s certainly an interesting social interaction to witness.
It’s Easier Than Ever To Make Money Online
In 2011, you have a lot more tools than you had in 2001. Take a step back 20 years and you can achieve what only a major corporation or publisher could do.
I’m talking about branding, promoting, connecting, and creating like it’s never been seen before.
There’s so much you can do to self brand yourself and reach a major audience. All the tools are right in front of you:
- Social media
- E-mail campaigns
- Paid advertising
- Video production
- Digital downloads
These are just the major categories that can produce money for you. Within each of these, there’s another half dozen ways to generate revenue. My favorite service to buy from Chris are his webinars.
I get the most value out of them and enjoy the interaction element.
Be an automotive giant
Here’s what I think people are forgetting about Chris: He’s a brand.
Think General Motors.
Say you’ve been buying Camaros for the last 40 years. Do you get mad about the Corvette?
“Damn GM for making a faster, sleeker, beast of a machine for 25k more!”
No you don’t get mad, you simply don’t buy it.
So when you’ve been enjoying your free product from a knowledge retailer (wow did I just coin a phrase?!) don’t get mad they came out with a better, faster, product for a few dollars above free.
It’s Harder Than Ever To Be Great (and noticed)
And here comes the part we all struggle with, getting noticed.
You’re up against a lot of competition. You need to create great stuff in order to be found. You need to go at it every single day. You need to constantly promote and work your Digital Media Marketing efforts to the bone.
Chris has been doing this for over a decade. He is one of the highest paid speakers in the social media world – for good reason.
In one of the webinar’s that he hosted, someone asked how many people had signed up. He calculated his earnings which was just north of $6k for the hour. Then summed it up with:
“Six thousand dollars for 10 years worth of knowledge – not bad.”
So if you’re ready to start pissing people off by making money online, there’s no better time than now. If you’re just getting started, I suggest reading Step 1 of Digital Media Marketing.
In the mean time, pre-order Chris’s new book won’t you?