4. What should your free video be about?

The Robora · What should your free video be about?My first important point is this: keep the benefits the same.

This first point might seem obvious, but a lot of people get it wrong. And in the past, we’ve tried out videos that didn’t stick to this rule and they didn’t work.

When you’re deciding on what your free video workshop should be about, it’s a good idea to think about the main benefits of your course/programme.

What is the main goal for people who take your course?

What do they want to achieve?

Why are they going to buy your course?

Whatever the main benefit to taking your course is (whatever the desired outcome is), you want your free video workshop to be the same.  That’s because you want your free video workshop to attract the people who desire the same outcome your course will deliver. If you do this, your free video workshop will act as a natural stepping stone to your course.


For our ‘How to sell an online course’ course, the main benefit is simply: “learn how to sell more spaces on your online course.” And so, the free video workshop outlined some of the strategies we use to sell online courses.

By watching that free video, people would learn stuff that gets them closer to that goal of selling courses. ‘Outline’ is an important word here – we don’t explain exactly HOW to implement the strategies. More on this in a moment.

Another example:

A few years ago, we wanted to have more success with Facebook ads. We began searching for help online, then, of course, started getting targeted by ads for a ‘free video training’ for ‘three killer Facebook ads strategies”. We signed up, did the free training, and were then offered an ‘advanced Facebook training course’, which we bought. 

The point is, we were attracted by the free training because of our desire to be better at Facebook ads. Whilst we enjoyed the free training and we were enlightened to new ways of doing things, we knew there was a lot more to learn, so we bought the advanced course, again in pursuit of our desire to be better at Facebook ads.

An example from outside the marketing world

With one of our recent consultancy clients, we began discussing ideas for her free video workshop. She is in the sound therapy world and her course taught people how to become certified sound healers so they could practice on others. With this qualification, they would be able to set up as a freelance soundhealer or add sound healing to their existing holistic therapy business. 

Early on, we looked at the possibility of offering some kind of ‘general benefits to sound healing’ free video – picking out a couple of exercises perhaps. But we quickly realised that a video like that wouldn’t be speaking to the main benefits of the course, and therefore, would not be attracting the right people. The free video had to appeal to people interested in practising sound therapy as part of their business. So we began work on a script with a strong business angle, with the benefits of sound healing woven in.

The second important point is this:

Your free video should enlighten people to new ways of getting them to where they want to be. 

But it shouldn’t show them exactly HOW to do it. 

We’re not saying “never show people how to do something”, (you can do that in your blogs and on Instagram etc). But in the context of this free video funnel, we want to maximise the chance of selling. And the best way to do that is to enlighten your audience to a certain concept that they might not have known about. 

If you show them HOW to do it, here’s what will happen:

A while back, we created two free video workshops; one for our PR course and one for our ‘How to sell an online course’ course.

We popped them on to two separate ‘funnels’ and used Facebook ads to send people over to watch them. The main goal was to sell spaces. But we would also be building our email list at the same time.

The results (in terms of sales) for the two funnels were very different.

In the same time period, the ‘how to sell’ course sold more than ten times the PR course. 

Interestingly, the PR course was getting much cheaper email sign-ups (we were spending less on ads to get people on our mailing list) than ‘How to Sell’. But those people who signed up for the free PR video (a lot more than ‘How To Sell’) were not going through to buy the course.

Now, this isn’t a completely fair test, because they’re different courses, and there are a number of factors which affect the success of a campaign. 

But one of the big differences was this:

The PR video told people HOW to do something. 

The ‘How to Sell’ video showed people what was possible, WITHOUT explaining exactly how to do it.

The people who watched the PR video were told HOW to get PR, so they just took that information and applied it, rather than buying the course. We even had a couple of people message us saying ‘thanks for the great advice, I just got my business featured in a magazine!’.

The ‘How to Sell’ video, however, gave an overview of some of the strategies we use to sell our online courses. One such strategy was ‘the video funnel’. We explained what a video funnel is and how we use them to ‘warm’ up potential customers.

If you really wanted to sell a course but had never heard of a video funnel, the information in this video would be exciting – like a little revelation. You’ve learnt that something exists that will help you achieve your goals. So, they were getting value from the video, felt like they were getting closer to their goal, but they weren’t learning HOW to do it. That’s where the course came in – “now you can see how a video funnel can help you sell courses, would you like to learn exactly how to make that happen? Then sign up to our course.” 

It was the same with the Facebook ads training that we signed up to. The free training outlined ‘three killer ad strategies’. We were excited by the idea that these strategies could help us. But to learn how to actually make those strategies happen, we had to buy the course.