Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Here’s a Simple Way to Get People to Care About What You Create

There’s a question every person is asking when they pick up your book, glance at your website, or consider buying your product. And it’s something we creators don’t often think about.

Photo Credit: Ian Sane via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Ian Sane via Compfight cc

“What’s in it for me?”

This is what every reader, every, audience member, and every prospective customer is thinking. And the best thing you can do to share a message that connects, is to answer that question before they ask it.

In other words, make your work so valuable that sharing it is a no-brainer. Some examples include:

  • Offering an eBook that you could charge for and instead give it away to anyone who signs up for your email newsletter.
  • Spend an entire year (as I did) being as generous as you possibly can be to whatever readers you have, without asking for a thing.
  • Offer the first 15 minutes of a coaching or counseling session for free so that potential clients can see the clear value you offer.

Instead of making it about you, make it about them.

A funny thing tends to happen when we take this generous approach with our creations: When you make it about them, they’ll make it about you.

You know this already, of course. You just need to apply it. You’ve heard that people won’t care about you until you’ve shown them how much you care. The same is true here. We have to discipline ourselves to not be selfish, to open up our hands and not be stingy with the world.

I think you just might be surprised at the response you get.

To see exactly what I mean, watch this video (and don’t miss the other two in this free series I’m doing): Check it out.

What could you share with your audience? Tell me in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Dan Erickson

    It does help. It’s still a process.

    • Totally. Like all good things, the journey we take to get there can be costly and time-consuming, but hopefully worth it. Stay the course, Dan!

  • As a DIY blogger, I think I could work on making my tutorials more appealing (better quality pictures and descriptions) could help readers feel more inclined to try the tutorials and receive the content I’m sharing.

  • Alan Allard

    Jeff, useful suggestions, thanks for sharing. As a life coach and corporate executive coach, new clients come to me primarily by referrals. Someone who has been referred to me gets two hours of coaching (free) to actually experience my coaching.

    Coaching is very hard to describe but easy to experience. What they go away with knowing what I can do for them. Two hours gives me enough time to actually create a breakthrough that amazes the prospective client.

    • Wow. Love that generosity, Alan. Well done!

  • Yep, great advice Jeff. Generosity begets generosity. For a lot of us who are still building an audience, giving away an eBook or other content builds trust and goodwill. As I hone my writing and develop my blog, I plan to adopt your advice as much as possible. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

    • Thank YOU, John, for the generosity of your blog. Keep up the great work. I love your writing!

  • Hey Jeff,

    Great point you’ve made here. I was actually discussing this just yesterday.

    A lot of creative people expect people to be invested in what they do, purely because they’re doing it. I think many of us, myself included, quickly learned that this just isn’t the case. (Nor should it be!)

    Thanks for posting this, great reminder.


  • Terence Verma

    I actually think the prospect already has the big Q in his mind even before he sets eyes on your headline. So, the attraction starts there.

  • This is so true! It’s never about you. Definitely an important thing to remember.

    • Thanks, Adam. I mean, I don’t think you, the author or content creator don’t matter. It’s just that your job is to make your work matter to the rest of us. And I happen to find that really fulfilling. 🙂

  • I just told my husband this when he asked me about how to get his music career going this morning. Great minds think alike:)

    • Awesome, Lovely. He’s got a smart wife. 😉

  • Great article Jeff. I have a question. How do we give out free ebooks from amazon? I believe I tried to do this once with no success, having to pay for it?

    • It’s a program called KDP Select.

      • Thanks, yes, I know about Select KDP, but if you aren’t running a free promo, Amazon doesn’t allow us to send books free to others.

        • Right. That’s the only way I know of giving a free book away on Amazon. I’ve heard of people hacking the system by doing a free book elsewhere and getting Amazon to match the price. But I don’t have any experience with that myself.

  • sal

    “discipline ourselves to not be selfish” that my new years resolution! thanks Jeff 🙂

  • Love this Jeff. It’s easy to forget it’s not about us and that it’s actually about what’s in it for the customer or what we can do for them.

  • Nice sentence Jeff: “When you make it about them, they’ll make it about you.”
    I’ll remember it always.

  • Stevensen Liu

    wordpress ecommerce themes
    Feel good beautiful ,resource sharing.

  • I can’t grow tired of this message… Ironically it feeds you with so much to write about, you are creating something bigger than yourself and sharing it with the most important people (your clients). Thanks!

    • Well said, Ame! I agree that it helps you get more and more inspired to create!

  • Michael Wilkinson

    Jeff, we often forget this is such an important truth. Your reminder helps. And it helps even more, because, through you, we get to see your words in action. Your example is the best message you could ever send. Thank you!

    • Wow, Michael. Thanks so much. Super nice of you to say!

  • Jeff what if you are not sure if you have any “value” to give away? I have made a downloads page for anyone who would like to download some Bible studies I have created. Do you think that, that is enough value to be giving away? I am also trying to do a book-give away contest when I reach a certain # of twitter followers, does that count?

    • Hey Paul,

      You have to be 100% be confident on your product; ergo, if you truly believe what you created will help others, then you’re in the right track. Also, be specific on how these Bible studies can actually help them. State these info in your download page, either in bullet point or video format. Just some thoughts.

      Keep inspiring,

  • Jeff,

    Thanks for reminding us to give first, before we receive. Personally, I’m more grateful knowing that my product or expertise actually helps others. There really is no better feeling.

    Keep inspiring,

    • I completely agree, Warren. It’s invigorating!

  • David Mike

    You are definitely generous. I have benefited from your generosity. Thank you a million times over!

  • We learned this in Instructor School for the Navy. It was called WIIFM (got to love military acronyms huh?) What’s In It For Me. Being able to answer that question, in anything, not just writing, will create what we term “buy-in” and get people more involved.

  • If we put the people first then thats to our advantage.

    The power of giving. How easily we forget.

  • Inside Cyber

    Obat Maag

  • Mubeena Soomro

    I just joined your blog and it’s really owe-sum. I am from Pakistan a student of an university. But its really good to be the part of your community 🙂

    • Cool! Welcome, Mubeena. Great to have you!

      • Mubeena Soomro


  • KeithBresee

    Hey Jeff!

    This is such a great point! This should always be remembered!


  • Roy Saunderson

    “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.”― Elizabeth Bibesco

  • Jack

    Great stuff!

  • Clara Meierdierks

    Jeff i applaud your sharing Spirit. Many thanks,

  • I have been following you closely for several months. I believe you have a passion for helping people. Even when you are not talking about your faith, it shines through everything you write. Thanks for all your help.

  • I am currently offering the e-book of my 9th book…and it raises some interest…i am getting positive feedback so far:)