How to Give Stuff Away and Make Money

Give away good stuff for free and you'll profit.

Seth Godin's been doing it for years.

Last month, Hugh Macleod released The Stormhoek Guide to Wine Blogging to the world. (Hugh helps Stormhoek, a small South African winery, converse with its customers.)

The results?

according to the top sales guy here, [the guide is] getting a lot of buzz in the UK wine trade.

The idea being, when one of the sales team cold-calls a potential customer in the trade, trying to set up a meeting, he no longer has to explain to the customer who he is. The guy on the other end of the phone line has already heard of him.

Does that make the sales process easier? Does that lead to an increase in sales?

There was no immediate ROI for the guide.

And more time went into writing it than running a few banner ads.

AND the guide can help Stormhoek's competitors (if they're smart).

But Stormhoek did it anyways.

And they are reaping the rewards of out-teaching their competitors.

The lesson?

If you create something cool that will make people feel smarter, cooler, sexier, funnier, etc... give it away.

(Some might say to do this as long as you can make money from complimentary products or services.

That's a good idea, but that's not a requirement.

Social capital is immensely valuable, even thought economists haven't yet figured out how to value it.

You'll make a living in the long run.)

So give it away for free.

At worst, you'll gain street cred.

And at best, you'll go to bed every night on top of a huge pile of money.

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Comments (Post | Latest)

1. Hugh MacLeod said on Jul 18 2006:

Hey, thanks for the kind words...

btw Groovy site. Enjoyed it.

Good luck with the Fox gig...

2. kareem said on Jul 18 2006:

Thanks for stopping by, Hugh. Please keep up the good work!

3. Robert Feisee said on Aug 16 2006:

I am stuck in a paradox. I want to provide some free useful advice on the web. However, I need to get SEC regulatory approval before I can post anything. The process takes months. It is taking the wind out of my sails. I guess I lost my right to free speech when I obtained my post grad degrees and designations. Yipee.

About

Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

Contact: blog -at- reemer

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