Give it All Away (or How to Let Go of the Fear of Giving Away Too Much for Free)

“But I don’t want to give away all my expertise for free. Then they won’t need to buy anything from me, my business will fail, and I will be in a pit of despair...and will end up adopting fourteen parrots and being a parrot lady!”

Okay, so it’s not that dramatic, but I do see a consistent pattern with online entrepreneurs who aren’t comfortable with the concept of inbound marketing--that is, the idea that your milkshake does indeed bring all the boys to your yard, especially if it’s a well-crafted, delicious, high-quality milkshake.

The fear of giving it all away (anyone else thinking of that super equality-driven phrase about the milk and the cow and that godforsaken farm?) comes from the idea that expertise is limited.

But is it true?

Is your expertise really limited?

Besides that scarcity, our fear of giving it all away and being left with nothing more to offer comes from the naive, but optimistic, assumption that each person is reading and remembering every single thing we produce.

I don’t know about you, babe, but I don’t even remember what I write, so I can’t expect someone else to remember every single detail.

Here’s the point: Be generous with your knowledge, your stories, and your hard-learned lessons.

Here’s what this does not mean:

  • That you now have to give everything away for free. - Dear god, please don’t give everything away for free. You need to make money. I need services. I need to make money. You need services.

  • That you have to write 3,006 word blog posts to stuff all of your wisdom into one place. - For the love of the Internet, please know that quantity does not always translate to quality. Yep, in the same way that length does not always translate to pleasure.

  • That your opt in freebie has to be lengthy and in-depth.- While I understand the logic behind thinking that a higher-quality freebie means a more in-depth one, I don’t subscribe to the belief that it has to be long to be valuable. IN FACT, I believe that shorter, simpler, and more actionable opt ins are the way to go. That way, this person who needs your help has clear instructions of what to do next and is able to put that piece of advice into action almost immediately. Then she sees the benefits of hanging out with you, and that makes for a pretty loyal fan base.

In short, your expertise is not limited, and I know this because you’re here reading this article trying to better yourself and your business. You’re actively participating in your growth, which will lead to an ever-expanding library of knowledge.

Share what you know in ways that help people move forward, end some kind of suffering, or make their lives easier.

Let the fear of giving it all away and the prospect of having nothing left sit for a while and then leave. Because, trust me, I know you’re capable of helping people in so many ways -- many of which you don’t yet realize -- and there is always more to come.

See that for yourself, and then give it all away.

Have questions? Pop a comment below.


Hi, I’m Cher!

I write about the place where business + social responsibility meet. When I'm not researching whatever my latest obsession is, you can find me re-watching Remember the Titans, posting on Insta @___whatthehale, or hiking somewhere in the PNW. If you're interested in working with me on a marketing or PR campaign, I do that, too.

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