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Top 10 Freebie Mistakes

And What To Do Instead


Top 10 Freebie Mistakes 

And What To Do Instead

Do you have a freebie that you use to attract ideal clients?

If so, great! And how’s that working for you?

Most people tell me they either don’t have a freebie, or it’s not really working to attract the clients they want. So I’ve put together my Top 10 freebie mistakes, so you can double-check yours (or create it!)

MISTAKE 1: Writing to a general audience, rather than to a specific person who is your ideal client

We are bombarded with information and advertising 24/7. It is no longer sufficient to put out generic messages that ‘speak to everyone.’ In trying to speak to ‘everyone,’ you will speak to no one.

For example, if your expertise is weight loss, the challenges, motivations, and desires will differ from a person wanting to lose 10 pounds to look good for their high school reunion and another person wanting to lose 50 pounds to reverse Type-2 diabetes and drastically improve their health. 

INSTEAD: Know your ideal client’s exact pain points and desires and speak directly to that one person. (Remember your avatar.)

MISTAKE 2: Having too broad a focus

Related to the weight loss example above, you do not want to create a freebie that 

simply addresses ‘weight loss.’ 

INSTEAD: You want to make a specific promise as a result of consuming and taking action on the content in your freebie.


  • ‘5 Steps to Reversing Type-2 Diabetes’  
  • ‘3 Mistakes You Might Be Making in Trying to Lose the Last 10 Pounds (and what to do instead…)’
  • ‘7 Steps to Losing the Post-Baby Weight’

[Note: Be cautious in using the terms ‘weight loss’ and ‘losing weight’ when advertising on Facebook. You will have to find a different doorway to address weight loss, such as ‘increasing energy’, or ‘looking and feeling your best.’]

Mistake 3: Giving away 80-page ebooks and hour-long videos 

Not long ago, an 80-page ebook was the norm. However, we’re all overwhelmed and there’s a plethora of information, so people are more likely to opt into an instant gratification offer.

INSTEAD: Break up your content into shorter ‘slices’ of transformation and deliver a ‘quick win.’ Focus on ONE thing with 3-5 action steps that will ‘move the needle forward.’ Do not give them more information than they need. Drip the content one bite at a time, so you can have them wanting more.

Mistake 4: Making too bold a promise

The depth of transformation you provide may be enormous. However, people tend not to trust you if you promise too much, too soon. It’s like meeting someone for the first time and proposing marriage. 

INSTEAD: Focus on one smaller result within each freebie.

Mistake 5: Using jargon or tribal language

A confused mind never buys. Avoid using industry jargon or “tribal language” (words and phrases that identify your brand and make sense to your community.) This belongs in your fulfillment phase, not in your marketing. 

INSTEAD: Use language that everybody can understand. Check out the Hemingway app, which can help you write in a more clear and concise manner.

Mistake 6: Selling to ‘need’ and not ‘want’

Just as in paid offers, a free offer must address what ideal clients want or solving their pain points. 

For example, ‘Grow Your Sales by Identifying Your Target Audience’ or ‘5-Days to Knowing Who Your Target Audience Is’ may be attractive as secondary-level offers. You may know that they need to know their target audience. However, someone who wants to grow their sales wants to grow their sales. 

INSTEAD: Consider:

  • The 7-Point Checklist to Grow Your Sales
  • 5 Stress-Free Steps to Overcoming Objections

Mistake 7: You’re educating, or asking people to know too much up front

Beware the curse of knowledge. You may be really excited to educate your audience about how to get what they want or what is holding them back. However, the freebie is designed to meet them where they are.

For example, “Are you at risk for vocal nodes?” or “The 7-Step Checklist for Avoiding Vocal Nodes” would most likely attract vocalists who know what vocal nodes are, or that they could be a problem for singers.

If you’re trying to attract speakers, they may not know anything about vocal nodes, and so this freebie isn’t working.

INSTEAD: Consider:

“The 7-Step Checklist to Improve the Power of Your Voice,” which allows you to educate within the free (and sells to ‘want’ and not ‘need’).

You can educate your prospect once you get them into your freebie. Do not try to educate before they download the freebie (or on the landing page). Instead, you want to  equip your ideal client with a few key pieces of information needed to get a result and inspire them to take action. 

After your freebie is downloaded and consumed, you can invite your prospect to take further action into the education portion. 

For example:

“If you’re interested in how to _________, _________, and _________, I invite you to check out more details at _________ (URL), where you can find out more about my _________ program.”

Mistake 8: Trying to attract those who do not know what their problem is

For example, if your freebie is entitled, “The sensory integration disorder toolkit,” someone would have to know that they have sensory integration disorder to be able to take advantage of your freebie. If you’re trying to attract people who don’t know what their problem is, or don’t know enough to even want your freebie, then you need a different freebie.

INSTEAD: Address core desires (i.e., ‘want’) and solving pain points.


Core desires

      • 7 Steps to Maintaining Your Focus in a Noisy Environment
      • 5 Tips for a Calm & Peaceful Workspace
      • 3 Simple Tricks to an Organized Work Schedule (for the Highly Sensitive Person)

Solving pain points

    • 3 Surprising Tricks for Reducing Your Sensitivity to Noise 
    • Stress-Reduction Toolkit: 7 Small Changes to Decompress in 30-Seconds or Less
    • 5 Strategies to Eliminate Energy Vampires from Your Daily Life

Mistake 9: Writing on a topic that isn’t your main focus

You’ve heard the saying, “There are riches in the niches.” You may be good at many things or have expertise in different areas. However, if people do not know what you do or what you stand for, they will not know how to find you (or who to refer to you). 

Choose a main focus and be the ‘go to person’ for that topic. Sometimes you have to ‘give up the good to get to the great.’ (And, you do not have to choose a topic and stick with it forever. You can always pivot or branch out when it makes sense for your business.) 

Especially when you are first starting out, it is important to pick a topic and stick with it.

Mistake 10: Have the free offer be independent

 It’s a waste of time and expense to create and run ads to lead magnets on topics that are not of interest to your target market, or not related to your Signature System. It should be part of an overall strategy that causes a client to take a specific action.

 INSTEAD: Your freebie should be congruent with your Signature System. It’s the entry-point designed to get your ideal client a ‘quick win’ or a ‘slice of transformation,’ so that they can take the next step in working further with you. 

 Think of the free offer as the ‘first step’ in the process of working with you. In a ‘sales funnel,’ the freebie is the first step in getting a prospect to take action and get to know your business.