Marketing your services to people is a hard task. Doing the work, fine-tuning it, shipping the minimum viable product is fine. Try convincing people to try your amazing product, and you will be surprised to see how many people run the other way.
One way to go about marketing is to build the service or product which people want. If your users have already paid for the product which hasn’t been produced yet then you win.
Another way is to make a fantastic product after rigorous research that there is a target audience. And then give a part of your service or some products free of charge. Because that’s the only way, strangers would interact with you.
For example, if your product is physical, then give out some samples free on launch day. By doing this approach, you are expecting that the product is impressive so the people would buy that the next day if they need it. Giving it free is so that they can use it and compare with their needs or existing product they use.
If you are providing a service, then you can enroll people for a part of your service – free of cost. This way, they can have the taste of your service, and if they desire more, they can pay the premium.
Sure, there would be lots of people who would try to keep the free services forever. But you can provide the free service only for one month – that’s enough time to test. So the freeloaders won’t become a headache impacting the paid users.
Hence, the approach shouldn’t be free version Vs. Paid version. Instead, you should mix them to let the users have the feel and probably pay for your product and/or service.
All this approach is about the strategy about pricing. This isn’t an excuse to do sloppy work. Your product or service should be impeccable, always work in progress. Keep on making the tweaks and improving. It ain’t about how much people you can fool to pay you. It is how much people’s lives you can change for good with your offerings.
Your generosity, work and ideas will live on for much longer than you anticipate. And it will reflect in your humility, approach and care.