Heard of The Free Line?
On one side of The Free Line is information that you get for free. On the other side, information you pay for. Pretty simple.
Information marketers such as the uber-successful Eben Pagan like to talk about “Moving The Free Line.” Instead of giving away a nickel’s worth of information, give away hundreds of dollars worth of information. Then, the theory goes, you can sell thousands of dollars worth of information. (Or, if you’re Pagan, tens of millions of dollars of information.)
But there are a couple of rockstar types – actual rockstars in this new digital world, not just guys or gals who say they are rockstars – with, arguably, completely different approaches to The Free Line.
Chris Brogan. Most things he touches turn to gold – he wrote a best seller called Trust Agents, and he’s constantly out there speaking and meeting with people. (Gee, he even has a Small Business Newsletter.) (And he gave us one of the more popular posts from the Area 224 blog last year; an interview you can read here.)
A Brogan Approach to The Free Line – a $9.97 a month blog advisory service. Which is interesting because, as someone who has been out there in the blogosphere since before it was called that (1998, according to his site), there is a TON of information out there from Chris, about blogging, that you can get for free.
Here, The Free Line is moved way into the expensive category, and the “Pay Line” is at under $10 a month. So the value here is not just in the how-to you’ll get from the newsletter, but in the fact that Chris Brogan is aggregating his own information, sharing with you the good stuff in regular intervals, and using the service to help “coach” you along.
Timothy Ferriss. To say Area 224 has a desire for a “bromance” with the author of The 4-Hour Workweek is an understatement. [Here’s our affiliate link – I think if you buy the book from this link, we make about 52 cents. But, honestly, there’s never been a book that we have recommended more. The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.]
So, when we learned that Ferriss was coming out with a new book called “The 4-Hour Body,” we pre-ordered it. So, apparently, did about a zillion other people, as the book is now number 4 on the Amazon best-seller list.
A Ferriss Approach to The Free Line – One concept in his newest book is called “The Slow Carb Diet.” Given my own age and newfound need for middle management, I am diving in with both feet and giving this diet a whirl.
Now, Ferriss has always been a proponent of “the companion site” – where anyone with a copy of the book can login and get so much more information than is found in the book. Worksheets, tools, links, those sorts of things. NOTE: “anyone with a copy of the book” meant, in the case of The 4-Hour Workweek, a password would be something like “the fifth word in the third chapter.” If you can’t find that somewhere, you probably don’t deserve all of the “free” content.
What intrigues this cub reporter about The Free Line for The 4-Hour Body is the Slow Carb Cookbook. Cookbooks are a unique animal – and another one that has changed because of the onset of the Internet. This one, available via instant, free, PDF download, is one that could be dressed up in hardcover and sold in stores for $20.
What he’s giving you is less of a cookbook and more of The Manifesto to the Slow Carb Movement.
Your Own Free Line
Where do you draw the line? How much do you give away? How much is free?
Maybe you’ve got a $30 E-Book, but you need to explain to the world that you can deliver on $3000 worth of content first.
Maybe you’re a high-priced consultant and you charge hundreds an hour – but you need to demonstrate that you are indeed worth that much.
In any event, don’t be afraid to draw The Free Line – and figure out when to move it, what to hold back, and how much to charge for your expertise.
[NOTE: Here’s another Affiliate Link, this one for The 4-Hour Body. The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman]