Free “bribes” are meant to entice and seduce potential clients to buy your products… but how do you choose what to give away free and what to sell?

One of the classic advertising examples of using an irresistible bribe to make sales was Columbia House’s carefully crafted *almost* free offer.

The magic was that Columbia House would practically give away music albums (pennies for full albums!) and before you knew it, you were signed up for a monthly billing cycle, unless you expressly told them you didn’t want any more music.

While this approach is “sneaky” (and illegal in most parts nowadays), that same core strategy is still used in effective content marketing funnels today.

In a nutshell, you offer free articles, videos, podcasts and more in exchange for building a qualified email list.

Once you have your email list, you create irresistible “trigger” offers (kinda like 11 cents for 12 albums), and convert prospects from leads into clients.

Which means that, good quality free content is crucial for your successful online marketing as an entrepreneur.

No matter what business or industry you’re in, you can effectively use a blog, free bribes and sales funnels to optimize your website traffic and convert more clients.

Of course, choosing what to give away free and what to sell isn’t always easy.

If you give away too much, will your leads have any reason to buy from you?

While the specifics of your free bribes and sales funnels will depend on your business, there are certain rules to follow to choose the best bribes and sales funnels.

Why bother giving away bribes?

The whole point of giving away free articles, podcasts, videos, and presentations, is so you can attract the right audience that grows your business.

In order to that, you want to create the right type of free content with automated follow-up strategies.

Here are 10 rules to create awesome free bribes:

Your free bribes have specific results you want to achieve. Whenever you’re creating free resources, use these 10 rules to make the most of your marketing.

    1. Does it attract your specific target audience?

      Your free content should be carefully created for your ideal client avatar. Be sure to use your ideal client avatar so you can use the right wording and angles that attract your perfect audience.
    2. Do you give free guides in exchange for email addresses?

      The best use of free content is to package it as resources, checklists, PDF’s and more, to deliver to your prospect’s inbox.This means that you are using your free content to exchange for email addresses and in fact, turning your prospects into qualified leads.
    3. Is it easy to share?

      Once you’ve created awesome free content for your ideal client avatar, you want to make it easy for them to share your resources.Be sure to optimize on social media plugins and share buttons on your free resources so your audience has easy ways to help you spread your content.
    4. Does it tell your audience about problems you solve?

      Your free content should give your audience a general idea about how your products and services solve their problems.

      More often than not, people use search engines to find solutions so make sure you’re catering your SEO keywords to problems you solve.
    5. Are you showcasing the uniqueness of your brand?

      Always use your unique branding to create your own audience and following.

      Let your brand unique positioning show in your free content. And remember, you aren’t trying to be everything to everyone, you want to carve out an ideal target group in your market and be true to your company.

    6. Does it answer common objections to buying your products or services?

      Try this exercise.

      Write down the top 5 objections that typically occur when a lead is making a buying decision for your products or services.

      Now, create free content and bribes that address those objections with specific stories and personal anecdotes.

    7. Are you showing proof and results?

      Case studies and social proof are powerful.

      Whenever possible, be sure to share case studies and social proof that illustrate how your strategies and solutions deliver results.

    8. Does it give your audience small bits of solutions they can implement?

      The difference between useless and shareable content is action steps.

      Consider this.When you bookmark an article, what types of information do you store for later use?

      Most typically, the articles with the most shares and traffic give your audience small bits of actionable solutions.

    9. Do you tell your story?

      Storytelling is a key aspect of creating engaging content.

      Try to include your own opinions, anecdotes and experiences to connect with your audience on a personal level.

      Having a personal connection helps your readers to build trust and rapport with you, which is crucial for buying decisions – especially online.

    10. Is it entertaining?

      Once you give away free content and bribes that entertain, provide actionable steps and ultimately a great experience, you create something truly valuable…

      You turn your prospects into clients.

      Use these 10 rules to guide your content marketing creation and deliver awesome free stuff that helps you grow and expand your business.

      You don’t have to implement all 10 of these into each piece of content, but it’s a good idea to hit at least 6 out of 10 each time.

      Now that you have a good idea of what your free content should look like, here are a few things to avoid.

    Here’s what you should never give away free:

    Your bribes aren’t supposed to be overly complicated.

    Don’t try to answer all your prospects questions because you’ll wind up undervaluing your services and overwhelming your leads.

    You want bribes that focus on what and why so you can sell services and products that show how.

    Your bribes should be straightforward and clear, while your services provide the exclusive in-depth trainings.

    However, you do want to give away some ideas and tactics that work for free because otherwise your content and resources won’t gain much attention.

    Plan to give away simple bits of actionable information, and then sell the more advanced content and training. This way you hold your readers attention and deliver meaningful value.

    A good rule is to make free content that tells your readers what not to do, and focus on selling what to do.

    When you deliver valuable free content and bribes, your prospects are more likely to share your content, engage and buy your products.