Introducing new clients to your product using a free offering is a fantastic idea; but how do you convert that free customer to a paying client?
The following are steps to convert your freemium customers to premium clients:
1. Ask for Their Help– Change management 101 teaches that when you are changing someone’s current state of commitment, you should get their buy-in first. The best way to get buy-in is through asking the affected audience for their input on how to implement the change. Do you think they’ll be more committed to the new format if they created it? You betcha! When Hootsuite upgraded their clients from free to pro, they didn’t follow this principle and just forced their clients into a new model. As a result members were jaded and some left the software. Get your clients’ to create the change before you make it, and they’re more likely to convert to premium.
2. Add Incredible Value – Would you start paying for something you were once getting for free if there wasn’t any added value for paying? Absolutely not, and don’t expect your clients to either. When you are upgrading your clients from freemium to premium, make sure that the added value MORE than outweighs the new price. Work hard to WOW your clients with how much they get for so “little”.
3. Give a Grace Period – Sudden change sucks. Involve your clients in the creating of the change, give them so much they can’t refuse, and then give them a reasonable amount of time to get adjusted to it.
4. Convert Freemium to a Low-Cost Entry Offering – Your freemium clients may not jump to premium right away, but is there a mezzanine offering that you can present to them? Something with a recurring low monthly fee that gives them access to your product or service, but still leaves a lot to be yearned for.
5. Auto-Sell New Clients Into Premium – Even though this blog is about converting freemium to premium, you want to make sure that you never have to go through this transition again. Sell your new clients the premium service at the outset with with a short freemium period included.
6. Let the Nay-Sayers Go – No matter how good you are at change management and converting freemium clients to premium, there will always be someone who objects to the change and feels “cheated”. If this attitude is present in only a small percentage of your freemium clients, chalk it up to the cost of doing business. If a bunch of your clients are mad, you may be wrong in what you’re changing or how you’re changing it.
That’s it! You have now converted your thousands of non-paying fans and followers into paying clients. When you do this right, you will be considered a change management and human relations master. Your clients will also be incredibly happy with their new premium product.
For those of you who have converted clients from freemium to premium in the past, what other advice can you offer?
Jamar Cobb-Dennard is a MegaRev™ Business Development Coach, and creates rapid revenue growth for small business owners. For 6 Business Development Must Do’s You’ve Probably Missed, please visit jamarspeaks online.