How AU Startups Can Use Freemium Marketing to Compete

Freemium Marketing - discover why it’s been such a powerful force behind our growth, the prolific rise of major brands across the world, and how perhaps your business can utilize the approach to fabulous results.


In the beginning, early 2010, our company’s website URL was kind of confusing - (you might have trouble saying it aloud).

We fixed the issue during our 2014 transition into

And what’s responsible for all the astounding growth our startup experienced over the last near decade?

Freemium marketing.

Well, ultimately it’s the quality of our training programs and professionalism, but Freemium Marketing is our primary source of getting the word to small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout Australia.

(For those who would enjoy listening to me chat on the topic, here’s a 5min video)

The question has been repeatedly asked of me hundreds of times...

“Why do you and your team run so many free events Cham?”

We call them Freemium Events, and simply put it’s because a core pillar of our philosophy is:

Marketing is Matchmaking

It’s not sales-voodoo. We don’t bother trying to conjure magical intonations of, “Invest in our marketing programs and courses!” No twisting arms or psychological trickery whatsoever.

Freemium is a method you can use to go the extra mile and connect with those looking to connect with you - to find a wonderful match! Such an amazing process, definitely worth testing.

Now, let’s get specific.

What Exactly is Freemium Marketing?

Investopedia Definition: ‘Freemium’ is a mixture of the words, Free and Premium. The business model works by offering simple and basic services for free for the user to try, and more advanced or additional features at a premium. A common practice with many software companies who offer basic software free to try but with limited capabilities, and paid upgrades.

Freemium MarketingYoung kids know this model all too well - they can play their super-fun and high-def game on their phone or laptop to their heart’s delight, but the game’s currency needed to buy valuable in-game goods costs money.

Spotify, for example, is among the major brands employing the Freemium model in the music industry.

They're like,

"Hey, if you really enjoy Spotify and your ability to live-stream any song in the world from any device, do it without ads, the ability to skip more songs you don’t like, listen to music offline, etc., through Spotify Premium."

You pay a little bit of money each month and get all these awesome extras. Even though a small percentage of people decide to penny up, it makes the entire exercise worthwhile.

And, yeah, it's a fair exchange if you ask me.

The #1 Reason Freemium Marketing is Effective

The major benefit is you get your business, your brand, in front of much more people!

Whether that’s quality website-based leads and sign-ups, or referrals, the approach nets more than charging upfront for your product, service or SaaS (Software as a Service).

Evernote is another well-known example.

Evernote is a productivity app used by millions. Imagine if they charged just $1!

Instead, using the Freemium marketing model you can use the entire app without cost no questions asked. They don't hold back. Of course, a percentage of people decide to upgrade into Evernote Premium and pay a yearly subscription.

They could’ve tried charging a high price, perhaps through a monthly subscription service with upfront payment, however, a Freemium model worked out well. But, that’s just getting people to initially use something or sit in the seats at one of our Australia marketing events.

Freemium Marketing Traps

Sorry everyone, I wish this was a fool-proof way to get your brand on people’s minds, but there are traps to avoid.

  • Whatever you're giving away for free (e.g. a free one-on-one consultation, event, inspection, etc.), needs to have REAL intrinsic value.
  • Avoid terms like "information evening", "an obligation free call", or a "discovery session" because they’re too salesy. Subtly, those outdated ‘pitches’ tend to come across these days as ingenuine.
  • When you download Spotify, they’re clear on you getting pretty much everything for free. They don't say, "Hey download this app, it's just a preview for our paid service."

If you're a financial planner giving away a financial health check valued at $150, there's a whole list of benefits potential clients get with intrinsic value, whether or not they decide to take up your services, right?

Freemium marketing initiates relationships by giving as much as possible upfront, and then letting the laws of reciprocity play out.

To make millions, you must impact the lives of millions.

Maybe not if you’re a carpenter in Melbourne, or run a couple chiropractic clinics around Sydney, but you get the idea. Even a humble personal trainer in Perth values the growth of his clientele as much as a marketing director for an Anytime Fitness franchise.

That's just the way the universe works.

If you give a lot and you give your best value, a percentage of people will enjoy your passion and genuine nature enough to invest and by virtue of numbers, the money part sorts itself out.

  • It has for us.
  • It has for all of the businesses we’ve trained and helped to incorporate this approach.
  • It certainly has for YouTube, Spotify, and all these massive companies.

Freemium marketing can work for you as well. Of this, we have no doubts.

On a personal note, our ‘marketing is matchmaking’ philosophy fits within what I call the Universal Marketing Method - three adventurous steps required to make (nearly) any marketing strategy work and see a 500% return on every $1 you spend on marketing.

To see all this in action…

If you’re available, check out our Free Marketing Event Schedule. Stop by and see how we employ the freemium model - lavishing our audiences with free up-to-date marketing insight, data, and valuable knowledge that’s generated hundreds of millions.

Bottom Line: Get Started

If you've got a product, service, message, or idea that you believe needs to reach more people, then consider your core offering and how much of the intrinsic value can be given away for free.

Not a trial. For FREE.

Or, if that’s not plausible for a variety of reasons, what can your brand offer for free that will inevitably put more eyeballs on your platform? There’s no end to the possibilities, right?

So, it’s a matter of looking at the needs/desires of your ideal clientele, capturing them, and packaging value that addresses them while at the same time exposing your niche to your premium benefits.

For my business, after getting on stage at one of our free marketing events I…

  • Eagerly talk about strategies I've learned investing millions in my business.
  • Share specific breakdowns on employing methods like Freemium marketing.
  • Give my listeners the goods on cutting-edge tactics...and actionable truths!

It’s genuine, heartfelt, value. And yeah, people respond. They take up the challenge and invest in our Difference-Maker Accelerator program or learn my secrets of live speaking in Present Like a Pro.

See, no rocket science. Nothing complex.

Even if you're on a small business budget, we believe now’s (seriously) one of the most profound moments in the history of humanity on this planet.

Don’t you?

The immense global power of marketing, is in our hands. The playing field for the most part, well, really, there is no playing field anymore because it’s gone digital. Trends are swinging massively in the direction of smaller to medium-sized businesses (even if through major brand marketplaces). That said, if you’re an Australian interested in how Freemium and 21st century marketing in general really works, we look forward to meeting you

Attend Free Business Events Near You

We really give the goods at out marketing events around Australia as part of our Freemium model. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have lasted and grown for close to a decade. Discover how to show more your message, service or product. Come meet, mingle and network. Learn what's working right now in digital advertising, email marketing, social media and much more. See you soon and thanks for your time.

Marketing Your Message

Read more about: Marketing

Cham is the CEO and Head of Marketing at Authentic Education since co-founding it in 2009. He is passionate about productivity, empowering people, marketing and is creator of Digital Marketing Made Easy.

He has worked for Anthony Robbins, Chris Howard and Dr John Demartini from "The Secret" and has featured in BRW magazine, and newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.