I do not believe that you always must pay for something to appreciate it. Giving information away is an important way to serve your customers and clients, inviting them to join you, introducing them to what you do, building trust, and showing your appreciation for their loyalty. If you are giving a free teleseminar you can expect fewer than half of the people who register to show up for the event. When you charge for an event, most everyone attends.
No matter how valuable your product or service, it is competing for the time and attention of your clients. It may be an unfinished assignment, calling a friend, taking the dog for a walk, or mowing the lawn. Whatever the list, it is likely that your client is going to choose one of those options that are also on his list of things to do, rather than listen to a free teleclass.
You have a better chance, however, if your client paid for the course that he will put those chores aside. That is not to say that I have paid for teleclasses and not attended them or finished the programs. That does happen but my efforts to attend them were much stronger than my efforts for a free class.
Usually, your ability to give away free content depends upon your ability to produce an income. The ideal situation is when you achieve a balance of giving away content that brings value to your clients and customers and in the long run, contributes to your business.
There are also times, when you are beginning your business, that you must also give away some free content to demonstrate your expertise and your respect for your potential clients and customers. The outcome may be down the road but giving away content, with little or no income, still needs to be part of your marketing plan.
Whether you are selling something or giving it away, you still must know who are your ideal customers and clients to know what information they need to solve their problems. Otherwise, you will not be regarded as an expert. You do not need to spend money on pens or change holders with your name. The information you give them must be relevant, simple, and easy to use.
When your prospective client uses your information they will either want more information or they want out of the loop. That means your information should identify the next step they need to take such as visiting your website, attending a free teleseminar, or opting in for a free report. If they want out, that is okay because they probably will not be one of your clients.
By providing free content you are creating a marked path your clients and customers can take to you. You are not forcing them. You have started to create a relationship with them and asked them to join your community.