Larry BraunerDiane Hochman spoke recently in My Private Classroom about moving the free line, a concept that every marketer engaged in list building these days ought to understand.

Internet marketing expert Brad Fallon explains the “free line” concept in this YouTube video:

Sales FunnelWiden your sales funnel at the top to let more people in, but don’t widen it so much that you have nothing left to sell. You have to find the right balance.

You can give away free information, training or product samples, even free trials of services. However, choose carefully where to move the free line, and once you’ve made that choice, stick with it.

Don’t let the customer move the free line. You do have a right to get paid.

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19 Responses to “Moving the Free Line”

  1. Mari Torres on September 16th, 2008 7:06 pm

    Larry,

    This is exactly the confirmation that I needed to know that I am definitely on the right track.

    Thank you so much for the information.

    This is valuable indeed!

    Mari Torres
    “The Network Marketing Rebel”

  2. Rick Vaughn on September 16th, 2008 9:10 pm

    Good post! I know this is a trend in the market of late and I would be stupid not to follow suit. However, the Internet is full of free stuff. How do you make money on here anymore?

  3. Larry Brauner on September 16th, 2008 9:33 pm

    Rick,

    You need to brand yourself using social networking sites, blogging, video marketing, etc.

    Then people will find their way into your sales funnel.

    You can learn all that stuff at My Private Classroom.

    Larry

  4. Jeffrey D. on September 16th, 2008 10:05 pm

    Larry,

    In these times of bad economic conditions with people looking to make more money on the side, or wherever, most people will move forward to do something that will most easily gain return.

    In other words, when people find out how hard internet marketing is and how much training it takes and all the multiple streams of outgo, how can they be motivated by putting out even MORE money to learn how to do this?

    My experience with people is that if it doesn’t work in the first week or immediately then on to the next venture!

    I believe that very few are willing to give what it takes to see the big picture and would rather just get by knowing they are safe, like getting a second job. No risk, no loss, but still able to keep their house and pay their bills.

    I can’t see but would love to learn how so many people are ATTRACTED to certain marketers, like yourself?

    How am I to become successful in this business with 90% of all people being skeptics?

    Thanks again to you and MPC for being such great human beings and helping people instead of hurting them.

    - Jeffrey Dietsche

  5. Larry Brauner on September 16th, 2008 10:22 pm

    Jeffrey,

    “Very few are willing to give what it takes” is indeed true.

    Leaders focus their attention on the “very few”, not on the masses.

    Be one of the “very few”.

    Seek the truth, be deeply concerned about other people, and let your deeds match your words.

  6. Linda P. Morton on September 16th, 2008 11:20 pm

    Larry,

    Another great post and a good thread of comments on the free line.

    I agree we can’t give away everything and still make any money. If content is king, it’s surely not a rich king these days on the Internet.

  7. TeasasTips on September 17th, 2008 12:22 pm

    It’s interesting you talk about the “sales funnel” Larry, that’s a concept widely used in sales and marketing.

    As a former radio sales rep, we were frequently asked, “What’s in your funnel?”

    Content is king.

    You give away the stuff that people say they need.

    Using this barometer you can determine what to giveaway and what to sell.

  8. Larry Brauner on September 17th, 2008 12:40 pm

    What I’m going to say now harldy deserves to be tucked away in a sequence of comments.

    Perhaps I’ll elaborate in a future post.

    Are you sitting down?

    Okay. Here goes…

    Content is not king.

    Let me say that again.

    Content is not king!

    So if content is not king, what is?

    Branding is. Branding is king and has been for a long time.

    Content may be king in the world of search engine optimization, but in the universe of marketing it’s branding that’s king and content content a faithful servant.

    That’s what social marketing is all about. It’s about branding. Same for the really big mass marketing campaigns. Can’t do it without content, but the content is ruled by the branding strategy.

    And that’s why “moving the free line” works. It helps to build and strengthen the brand.

  9. Janet on September 17th, 2008 9:07 pm

    That sounds good except when you are just getting started in business.

    How can this work for you if you don’t have a big budget?

  10. Larry Brauner on September 17th, 2008 10:08 pm

    Janet,

    You can give away something that doesn’t cost you money “out of pocket”. For example, you can give away free training.

    At My Private Classroom members give away free social marketing training. By giving away free training we’re getting to meet people whom we might otherwise never get to meet.

    I give away the information in this blog so that you will get to know me better than if I didn’t.

  11. Debbie Morgan on September 18th, 2008 1:01 am

    Hi Larry!

    Until I get a faster internet connection I won’t be able to view videos, but I agree. We have to be very careful about what we give away.

    Consumers are looking to get more than they actually pay for, and as business owners we want make them happy but we have to be smart about it.

    Thanks for this great blog.

    Deb

  12. Larry Brauner on September 18th, 2008 10:14 am

    Hi Deb,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I want to avoid a possible misunderstanding.

    While it is important to be careful about what we give away, the main point of the article is that we need to be moving the free line to give away as much as is feasibe.

    We need to widen the mouth of the sales funnel to be able to educate more people about our products and services. Moving the free line is essential.

    Where we stop is a matter of analysis, judgement, testing and refinement.

  13. Barb on September 18th, 2008 9:47 pm

    Very interesting comments.

    I went to Youtube to listen to the video. I liked your comment that content is not king. Branding is king, because its about who we are and developing our own character and story.

    Had not heard of moving the free line before. I liked Brad’s style.

  14. Jim Phelps on September 22nd, 2008 5:17 pm

    Hi Larry,

    I agree with everything said here about moving the free line. And, I agree that branding is incredibly important. But, let’s not short-shrift content.

    Speaking as a myth-creating copywriter (yes, I’m smiling when I say that), long before there was SEO and anything remotely called the Internet, there was a guy named David Ogilvy - the copywriter who practically invented branding. And what made branding king in the world of Ogilvy? Content.

    Taking the lead from Barb, “branding is king because it’s about who we are and developing our own character and story.” That’s content at work.

    Effective branding only works when there’s something worth saying…and worth remembering.

  15. Larry Brauner on September 22nd, 2008 8:52 pm

    You won’t get an argument from me Jim.

    If content didn’t matter, I wouldn’t be investing countless hours to write, edit and revise the articles that make up this blog.

    Thank you for your input.

  16. Steve Warwick on April 11th, 2011 4:47 am

    It’s clearly been a while since this post was first written and a while since all these other comments appeared. Thanks for posting the video. The ‘freemium’ model is interesting, but nothing new to the internet world. Pre-internet marketing experts called it ‘buying market share’ and it is indeed about balance and value.

    Incidentally, I can’t agree more about good content.

  17. Larry Brauner on April 11th, 2011 8:32 am

    It has been quite since I wrote this. In my opinion, the free-line concept has backfired on the web. Too many people now unfortunately expect all information — and even assistance — to be free.

  18. Dave on June 6th, 2011 1:32 am

    This is quite an interesting concept. Very smart. Although, some products and companies may be a little more difficult to give away for free. Software you can give away trials, but for real physical products like chemicals (see my web site) online videos are the extent of our free content! Thanks for the article though.

  19. Gary on June 6th, 2011 10:05 am

    @Larry I remember when a lot of marketers like Brad Fallon and his ilk talking about how great an idea moving the free line was, there was a small group like Dan Kennedy who said it was a bad idea.

    Looking at it now, Dan still has a popular paid newsletter while many of the other marketers have moved onto other things.

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