When and why highly paid speakers and experts should share their skills for free

Former Hollywood and Facebook exec Chris Adams often shocks me with his contrarian views and his actions – and this post is another example of his disarming honesty.

Chris now lives in Brisbane running digital media agency Beachball Media. He still travels the world as a highly paid social media expert and speaker.

What shocks me is:

1.Chris is an expert who downplays his “expertise” and admits that “the teacher needs to be taught”. Many experts down want to admit to not knowing stuff

2. Chris does so many things for free and he isn’t afraid to reveal that he does a lot of stuff for free – speaking, teaching, charity work.

Now, I have three deep-seated fears about the “F-word” – Free and I’m sure many other people in business share the similar concerns.

  1. I’m afraid if I do something for free – people may not value it and think it’s it can’t be good quality if it’s for free.
  2. I’m afraid that if I offer “some stuff” for free – everyone will want it for free
  3. I’ll be too busy doing the free stuff  – it will eat into time for my paid work

Anyone else share any of these concerns?

I found this “chat” with Chris about “well paid people doing things for free” very reassuring.

Chris is open about the obvious strategic benefits of doing stuff for free – breaking in to new markets, trialing new offerings – but he reveals other things too.

  1. Some people “can’t help themselves” in wanting to share
  2. When it comes to “teaching” for free, the teacher can learn so much
  3. Experts can drop their Expert masks – and your audience can respect you more not less as a result

It’s funny, one of the reason Chris gives his time and shares his knowledge in this low-fi project (The Chris Adams Project) is that he wants to me more accessible and approachable. I thought Hollywood execs tried to keep their distance and tried to not be approachable.

One of the reasons I found this chat with Chris so reassuring is that I like to help good causes (NFPS) spread their messages. I’m a massive fan of Bono’s advocacy work and communication skills and I call my free (pro bono) helping causes learn Bono communication techniques  – Pro Bono Bono.

Pro Bono Bono combines my professional skills with my personal passion for U2’s music and Bono’s advocacy work. I’m what you would probably call an 80’s optimist (Feed The World, We Are the World!) To borrow from Chris -with this Pro Bono Bono I “can’t help myself”.

Yes – a self-confessed Bono fan – not just of U2s music but for Bono’s advocacy and charity work

Here is a link to the offering:


If you are from or support a good cause you can contact me on: tonybiancotti@ozemail.com.au

You can contact Chris through Beachball media:

Beachball Media

33 Vulture Street

West End, QLD 4101

Tel 07 3106 0647


Here’s a link to Chris’s speaker profile at Ovations.com,au



Just be aware if you contact Chris, he may be interstate of overseas with his work.

I catch up with Chris every month or so to capture his business advice on video.

Yes I do it for free but I Iearn so much!

Hey, do you know what else I found out? Chris volunteers  is an ultra-busy guy yet he also gives his expertise and time sitting on the Global Advisory Board of the Global Poverty Project.

Do you know who else supports this cause?


You can check out The Global Poverty Project here:


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