There are things to be added to the “Future of Freemium” cornerstone piece, which I will do after this is out.
One last thing: on relationships
One thing was obvious to me but not to the people that I talked to about this concept: relationships. It’s crucial to be aware of this.
The reason why building a lightweight freemium product has fantastically higher chances of succeeding than the main business/service you attach it to is because of the dynamics between you and people.
And when I say people I want both of us to take a very pragmatic stance and assume these people are the worst: the kind that believes “Why should I care about what you do and why are you pestering me with your product/services?”
When you sell something, which is the case in the your main activity, people don’t have any incentive to tell others about what you do.
If you don’t believe me, see it for yourself: write a Facebook status, a Reddit post or a Medium article and no one will bat an eye.
And it makes sense why: biologically speaking we’ve adapted to look for positive-sum games.
You cold calling or cold messaging may be a positive-sum game. In other words: you might deliver more than you ask for.
But it’s a risky bet. So our adapted brain sees that Reddit post and automatically dismisses it as useless — probably in the back of the head.
No more cold calling. You’re not allowed to cold call anymore if you’ve read this article (exceptions apply, of course, if you really need short term capital).
If what you’re putting out is this freemium, this is where these dynamics change.
You’re not selling to people, so the relationships between yourself and them is pure. Or at least better.
If I’m giving people the free meal-planner I wrote as an example above, of course our adapted brain says “Hey, good stuff. Positive-sum game here without a doubt! Let me share it with my community”.
The same way our common ancestor was wise enough to think “Let me share this mammoth meat with my community, maybe they’ll also take care of me if I ever need it”.
That’s why you and I dismiss ads or whatever looks like a negative-sum activity: someone in the street selling you something, for instance.
Just to recap: promoting your services? No way, we’re not listening.
Telling us about this useful positive-sum thing you’ve made? Okay, let’s see. Oh, what you’re giving us is also super good and useful? Tell us more, what do you do, do you offer services?
Notice the difference in the dynamics of this relationship. And the very important side-effect explained above happens: people will share it with their community.
About Ch Daniel
I’ve updated this signature in July 2020, so older mentions of the signature might not make sense.
I currently don’t write on this blog anymore. I wrote daily for 9 months on this very blog, but now I’m focused on building the CH Group.
If you want to follow my newer articles, check out the CH Group’s blog.
See everything I do here: Chdaniel.com