5 Easy Ways to Promote a Freebie and Grow Your List

Jenna Kutcher 

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June 20, 2018


We need to flip the script and instead of creating new content 90% of the time and marketing them 10%, we should be creating less and marketing them more. Last year we created over 50 new opt-ins! Growing our email list was our number one priority and so we created a ton of new material that quite honestly, didn’t all need to be made.  I recently talked about how to create less content with more impact and today I want to take it a step further and show from start to finish how we continuously share one opt-in.

This year we’re prioritizing working smarter (not harder) and have come up with a plan on how to share what’s already been created and get the most mileage out of our existing content. Whether you’re like us and are content creating machines, or if you have limited content and sometimes don’t know what else to share, today’s episode is going to walk you through 5 ways to promote your opt-in.

OPT-IN 101:

Before we get started, I want to make sure that we’re all on the same page when I say “opt-in” and why it’s important to create them. Opt-in’s are also known as freebies or content upgrades, put simply is free highly valuable content that your target market is interested in and willing to hand over their email in order to receive. Why is this important? When we create content that the people we want to do business with are interested in, it attracts the right people to us and captures their email so that we can serve and ultimately sell to them in the future. (Check out episode 73: 5 Ways to Supercharge Your Email List Growth to learn more information on why creating free content is so important.)

Too many people create an opt-in, share it once and move on. We want to make sure we get this free material we worked so hard on in front of as many people as possible. Here’s how my team promotes each opt-in:

1. The Blog!

The first, most obvious place to share an opt-in is on your blog. This allows you to talk about a topic your audience is interested in and then the freebie goes deeper into that topic when they opt-in. Many entrepreneurs complete this step and move on.

I checked and one of my most popular freebies appears on 16 different blog posts. 16! My advice is to keep a freebie library that you can easily scan when you’re creating your content calendar and writing new blog posts to see which might fit with whatever topic you’re talking about that week.

Another way we dig deeper into sharing a freebie within in blog post is by having a pop-up generate about 5 seconds after someone has arrived on a post with a freebie on the same topic. Start with looking at which blog posts are getting the most traffic to your site, then make sure you have a way for people to opt-in on those pages whether it’s  a sign-up within the post or a pop-up (or both!).

2. It’s Insta Time!

Remember, different types of people will consume your content differently and so you want to make sure you hit all of your channels (and then share it again, and again because not everyone is seeing it the first time!).

Ways you can do this: a link tree in your bio with your downloads. Or better yet, a direct link to the freebie you’re talking about in your last post or swipe up story. If people have to hunt for something, they will get disinterested and click away and you will miss out on the opportunity so you want to make this as straightforward as possible.

Does the freebie have to be new for you to talk about it on social media? Not at all. Any time you’re inspired to talk about the freebie, do it. “I was just working on this in my business and wanted to make sure you guys all have had a chance to download my guide to xyz”, I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently on this topic and want to make sure you’ve seen my xyz guide” and so on.

3. In It To Pin It!

You’re going to start to notice a theme here. Of course, you’ll pin your freebie, but again – let’s not stop there.  As an example, let’s talk about the freebie that appears on 16 of my blog posts and see just how many times we can get this content in front of our audience on Pinterest:

First, create two pins solely for your freebie with different designs and test different description copy for each of those pins to see what your audience responds to better and include different searchable keyword terms. Next you’re going to want to pin these to all of the relevant boards on your account. We use a site called Tailwind to schedule these and spread them out. So two pin designs multiplied by 5 or so boards is 10 pins right off the bat.

Now, remember we talked about this freebie in 16 different blog posts as well, so if we also created two designs per blog post and pinned them to 5 different boards – that’s 160 pins. Schedule those out throughout the course of the year and your freebie will consistently be generating new leads for you.

4. Hit Your Email List

Let’s not forget about the people who have already chosen to sign up for our email list. Think about new opt-ins as a way to serve your existing list. Even though the purpose of creating them was to attract new followers, there’s no reason you can’t use that content to better serve the audience you already have to continue to build the know/like/trust factor.

Remember, we want people thinking “if she gives this away for FREE, how awesome must her paid content be?”. A freebie is a great way to achieve this.

5. Bring it to Facebook!

Is there a topic you wrote about in the past that is relevant again? Maybe something you wrote about last year is still valuable to your audience today. Also, remember if you’re focusing on growing your following and list, there are a lot of people who haven’t seen what you created last year (or last week even!). We use a site called Meet Edgar that will allow you to pre-schedule posts to FB and even in your groups. Take some time and think through the calendar and schedule some posts of content that already exists to serve your FB group audience in this way.

6. But Wait, There’s More!

The sky is the limit with creatively sharing your content! Here are just a few ideas I can think of off the top of my head: create an FB ad pointing to your freebie, promote it on a podcast, collaborate with another freebie, target a different audience, etc. The point? I hope this episode inspired you to make the most of your content and work more on SHARING it to get the most bang for your buck! Goal Diggers, take this as your sign that it’s officially time to work smarter not harder.


 Looking for more inspiration on this topic? Check out episode 149 where I talk about how to create less content with more impact!

Check out today’s sponsors, Slack and Weebly!

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  1. San says:

    Fantastic episode/blog post! I’ve been learning and doing opt ins and post them 1 and if I didn’t get leads I thought they weren’t good so I just forgot about them. Thanks for this fantastic advice I will definitely use it! Btw love your show blog insta! ❤️

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE your podcast, I am a childcare provider in KS but I also do photography and love graphics so because of your encouragement working on a Template Etsy page. I think you have a genuine personality and thats really hard to come by these days I listen to you all the time and you get me pumped to do my personal best and just go for it!

  3. This was SO helpful, Jenna! Thanks for sharing! I often feel like a spinning hamster trying to constantly come up with FRESH content.. when in fact I should be putting my energy into actually marketing it! THANK YOU!

  4. What do you use to make your free quizzes like “what type of ___ are you”?
    I have found a lot of online platforms that create standard quizzes, but nothing that allows you to use answers to give them an immediate result.
    Similar concept to your “what’s your secret sauce”. I want to give them an answer immediately. “What shade Cheek & Lip Stain are you?” .. that type of thing.
    Thank you! I LOVE your blog and I love The Instagram Lab course I’m in!

    • Hey Jessica! Caitlyn here. The quizzes are custom built. You could check out Interact Quizzes – we’ve heard good things! Thanks for being in the lab, we appreciate you!

  5. Charlie says:

    This is so helpful! A freebie library is such a great idea for us organised peeps who need to stay on top of our content!

  6. Love this! After racking my brain for a while I finally realized I had a recipe page on my website that I could remove form the menu and direct traffic to these recipes. I am thinking about offering seasonal recipes as an option for site, but am not sure how to go about adding a popup, or option to my site. I am a WordPress user. Thank you in advance for pointing me in the right direction… pretty sure the answer is somewhere in your massive digital library.

    I’ve very recently implemented Pinterest Lab suggestions into my site and social media and am seeing my analytics jumping a bit. I’ve been taking it slow and am just starting module 3 this weekend. It’ll take me a while to understand it all, but enjoy learning so much. Thanks!

  7. […] This year we’re prioritizing working smarter (not harder) and have come up with a plan on how to share what’s already been created and get the most mileage out of our existing content. Whether you’re like us and are content creating machines, or if you have limited content and sometimes don’t know what else to share, today’s episode is going to walk you through 5 ways to promote your opt-in.   – jennakutcherblog.com […]


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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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