Why 'free' alone isn't good enough anymore

Why ‘free’ alone isn’t good enough anymore

Many articles and videos are touted as “free” and, to be fair, they don’t charge a payment to read or view.

However, the playing field has changed dramatically for consumers today.

Think back to the time that Benjamin Franklin was in publishing and what was required in the 1700s to produce a newspaper. They used a technology that required a great deal of learning and labor to produce the final product.

Producing the content took a lot of time, money and energy to make the final printed page that was distributed.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll see a flip in the resource allocation required. We can produce content very easily. Anyone with an internet connection and a device that can accept text input can have a blog.

A video can be created in stunning quality on a mere smartphone and placed into worldwide distribution — for free — on several platforms. It is less costly to create content today than to consume.

You might be thinking, “But Terry, wait a minute. You said the material produced is free. How is it less costly to create than to consume?”

Ah, good question. The answer is predicated on the “cost” being more than money.

Time is the key

Time is your most precious resource. You can lose money and then earn it back. If you lose time, it can never be recovered. Giving me a free article to read or a free video to watch costs me my most precious resource, time, even if there is no monetary exchange.

Providing something at no charge is not enough today. This applies to content creators. I used to think that by giving more and more PDFs, videos and MP3 audios I would enhance the quality of products I sell. That is not necessarily true because of the extra time someone will have to spend to consume the text, video and/or audio. So what is the solution?

Shift your thinking, entrepreneur.

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