Free Content vs. Paid Content

What and where should you be posting your content on social media.

You might have seen my YouTube video on this topic, but I was decided to re-visit this topic, to give people more to think about and some tips to help you get the most from your content.

This topic really came up to me when I started to produce my own shows, and I noticed some dancers across several different shows (not all my own), posting up their entire performance to their social media before some shows had even finished airing. This makes it difficult as a producer to get a audience to see value in a showcase if an audience can get the same material for free, and so fast. The more I thought about this, the more I realized how many people were missing opportunities to get value from their material instead of putting out that material for free and so quickly.

We know that social media is very important in building a name, finding paid opportunities, and getting students these days, but we need to start seeing our content in two distinct groups and wisely posting these items in the correct areas to get the most from our material while not losing our greater value. The first group is “Free Content” and the second “Paid Content”.

Free Content is content that you use to engage, advertise and build knowledge of your brand. This is material that can include advertisements for what you offer, still images, getting to know you, and less polished work. This is the work your would do anyway, like dance practice or work that is just part of owning a business, like professional photos, teaser or short “How to” videos, or flyers.

Paid Content, should be the work you would be paid for in the real world. Your performances, teaching and expertise that makes you valuable.

While you can use any of the social media platforms, where you put your content can also effect how much value you get back.

Free Content-

These are the social media sites, I would focus heaviest on for “Free Content”, advertise your shows, share your backstage looks, costume photos, get people interested in “YOU” on these sites. But with little return value think twice about using “Paid Content” on these sites.

Tik Tok

Paid Content-

Not all of these options will get you paid immediately, but they build your brand to a higher value and can lead to more paid opportunities that free content may not reach.

Patreon, is the most obvious paid site, because you set the monetary value of your work direct on site. People also know that it is a paid site before visiting, this means you need to offer the best quality you can provide to this platform for what ever price you chose. Never offer anything free on Facebook/Instagram you want to charge some one for on Patreon, if it has value, keep it only on Patreon.

YouTube, don’t expect to become an instant star and it will take quite a lot of work to ever make money on YouTube, but YouTube is still in my opinion a high payback site. This is because many producers, especially in regards to online showcases are using YouTube more to book performers and workshops. YouTube also has the chance for you to build a return audience by getting people to subscribe to your channel. By building a following you can get content out faster to create an audience who is interested in you, but also likes, and subscribes can turn into future money. If you want to post an after show performance, wait no less then 2 weeks after a showcase, and post direct to YouTube and then post links on other Social Media sites, so you are building double views and creating a stronger space to showcase yourself, that has a possibility of growing into more.

Your personal website, is probably the least used presence online most of us have, because we do not need to update every day, some websites require more work to update and they honestly are easy to forget about. But your website is most likely going to be the very first thing people see when they Google you. Locals and people looking to hire you are more likely to find you through your personal website then any other source out there. So why not get people to visit your page? Build your searchability, make your page more exciting, and get people more interested in hiring you by posting these performance videos on your personal website! You can still share out the links on your social media, which again gets you more traffic, and maybe more people to join your mailing list to further build your audience!

It’s not that you should never post workshop or video content to social media, I am saying be smart! Tease the work you are doing, by thinking smart and taking pictures of the details, no matter how small, there is over a dozen things you can post about a single show giving you almost 2 weeks of content, if you pace yourself and if you work it out right. Let a producer bring in the money for the work that was done, for the better of all the show and dancers. The more dancers that do not share paid content on free content sites, the more likely audiences will pay to see everyone perform. When your audience has all but forgotten you even performed in that past show, that’s the time to pop up and remind them about that show, get content and traffic to sites that drive business, use the video to sell a choreography workshop based on that performance, use that hard work of performing to do more for you long term, instead of giving everything away for fast and for free.

I know we all have our take on this subject, but I definitely hope I gave you something to think about and if you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me!

I so miss being on a real stage!

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