To pay or not to pay



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Coffee Marketing
To pay or not to pay
By Jenn Chen • Issue #129 • View online
Based on some recent newsletter issues, I am starting to think I should add to the title. Perhaps “Coffee Marketing (& More)” is more accurate. I went to my first IRL throwdown for the first time in 15 months. In the last two weeks, I’ve also experienced two day-long social hangovers. Take it from me, a hardcore introvert, easing yourself into a social calendar is much better than spending days recovering from events.
I hope you enjoy this issue!

Featuring my own work & press
Featuring my own work & press
To pay or not to pay
If you’ve been in the business of providing services long enough, you’ve likely grappled with this question. “Should I charge for this X thing?” And even if you’re mostly a product-oriented company, you probably offer some services like classes or tutorials.
I do not have an easy answer for you, as it’s something I am also struggling with. Expertise comes with experience built on labor, whether physical or mental. When you reach a certain level of expertise, people start coming to you with questions. This isn’t about how to set your rates or prices, it’s about whether you should or not.
I am a believer in both not gatekeeping valuable information and paying people what they’re worth. It is unfortunate that we tie money with value but it is what it is. When you pay for something, you want to receive something back. This is an easy enough concept for physical goods but not so much about digital ones or intangible ones.
If you pay for a cooking class, you expect to learn how to cook that meal. The more you pay, the more detailed, personalized, and valuable experience you expect to have. Yes, you can watch a free recipe video on YouTube but maybe you want more.
And this is the hazy line that I’ve settled in. Generalized information and advice, like this newsletter, is free. Once you start veering into the personalized advice territory (i.e. “What should I do with my Instagram account for this specific goal I have in mind?”), it becomes a paid service. Digital worksheets could be both as long as the free one has some clear goal. It could be brand awareness or leading customers to a paid worksheet.
Likewise, you could offer free video tutorials on how to brew coffee with a certain method (there are so many of these out there). AND you can offer paid small group classes or 1:1 home barista training. There are many ways to slice this.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you’ve drawn a different hazy line than I have.
Understanding collaborative & working styles on your team
Quick text updates & links on what's new on the networks
Quick text updates & links on what's new on the networks
Instagram added a new Affiliate Tool for creators, giving them a way to earn a commission. This is rolling out and only available to select accounts. It recently revealed additional information on how its algorithms work.
Facebook recently expanded its Messenger API to include Instagram DMs. It’s already available through their partners to select brands and will soon be rolling out to everyone. If you use a 3rd party software to manage your Instagram account and get frustrated by having to log in to check DMs, this update is for you.
Twitter officially launched “Twitter Blue,” its paid subscription offering. Birdwatch the fact checker has also launched. It’s pausing the verification program again.
Helpful links on how to improve your digital marketing
Helpful links on how to improve your digital marketing
Ad Fatigue: Bringing New Life to Your Facebook and Instagram Ads
Company Core Values: 200 Examples (+How to Establish Yours)
Community-Led Growth: How to Build a Community from Scratch
Anything I've enjoyed reading recently
Anything I've enjoyed reading recently
Social media and the neuroscience of predictive processing
What It Takes to Turn a Video Game Into a Tabletop One
What Happened To The 'Going-Out Top'?
An update from my container garden!
An update from my container garden!
I like adding a little bit of whimsy to my planters. This one is of my elephant bush plant.
I like adding a little bit of whimsy to my planters. This one is of my elephant bush plant.
What'd you think?
Feedback, questions, or fist bumps 👊 – send them my way by hitting the reply button. Also happy with the 👍 at the end. Or find me on the social networks @thejennchen.
This newsletter is free to subscribe to & takes several hours to put together each issue. If you’ve enjoyed or benefited from my work and would like to support me: donate to your local bail fund, forward to someone who would enjoy the newsletter, buy me a coffee, or Venmo/Cashapp/PayPal me @thejennchen.
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Jenn Chen

💭 Thoughts on digital marketing as they intersect at specialty coffee, social media, writing, photography & social issues.

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