Creators and content entrepreneurs put a lot of time and effort into free content to feed the machine that is their creative platform.
But what I see time and time again (especially with folks early in their journey) is that they fall into this trap of looking beyond that free content and into the paid product at the end of the rainbow.
The reasoning typically sounds like, “Well, I want my writing to bring in new client leads for my business” or “Well, I hope that my podcast will lead people towards my paid course…”
And I get it! I think the same way a lot of the time.
Yes, of course we want to help people, but we also realize that the best way to build trust is to give first (for free) so that some day some number of people will opt into our paid products, programs, etc.
The trap is getting so fixated on the product or theoretical sale that you speed past the free content.
Because here’s the thing – expectations today are super high. Not just of the products or services we invest in, but simply the content and information we give our attention to.
If that content you’re creating isn’t very good (meaning it isn’t educational, entertaining, comforting, or useful in SOME way) then we aren’t going to pay attention.
If we don’t pay attention, that theoretical sale is going to stay theoretical!
And even worse, sometimes we don’t just ignore content that isn’t useful, we actually subconsciously lower our opinions of that creator’s work!
Once again, your eventual sale will not happen, no matter how good the actual product or service itself is.
Instead, you want ALL of the work you create to be consistent in quality and care. You want it to ooze with legitimacy and the love that you’ve put into it.
You need to start considering your free content as a product itself.
Over and over, I’ve heard creators on Creative Elements and in other interviews talk about pouring themselves into a single platform. And for a long time, that registered for me as, “OK, just focus on one platform. Easy.”
But over time, I’ve come to realize what they really meant was they were putting so much love, effort, and care into every Tweet, every post, every Reel, and every TikTok that each piece had a chance to take off. Most of them won’t, but they’ve all been given that level of effort.
Think about your own content – from social media posts to YouTube videos to podcast episodes and blog posts. Are they good enough that they might catch on and be shared? Did you invest that level of effort?
I do believe consistency is important in the beginning. Consistency helps you:
- Find your voice
- Find your taste
- Build an initial audience
- Improve your skills rapidly
But once you have your voice, your taste, an initial audience, and enough ability to create great work…there are diminishing returns to consistency.
Once you’ve begun to build your creative platform, everything you publish is a reflection of that platform and the other pieces of work attached.
Is your content a positive reflection on the rest of your creative platform?
If not, odds are you need to start thinking about that content itself as a product.