People Rarely Appreciate FREE. Make 'em Pay. Don't Give It Away.

Many consultants, attorneys, CPAs, and other professionals fall into the trap of giving away free information and/or services. You can do this, on a limited basis as a client attraction tool, but you have to do it correctly. If you do it wrong, you'll kill any chance you have to develop new relationships. I show you how to use FREE information to grow your business and attract new clients on this episode of The Do This Sell More Show. Season 2 Show 40 Episode 162

When the COVID-19 pandemic began I immediately reached out to people in my community and on the periphery of my community. I wanted to help business owners and professionals.  Here's what I did:

Offered FREE Daily Podcasts

I was already doing a podcast but I increased the frequency and expanded the areas of focus to accommodate people who had been impacted by the pandemic and the business shutdown.

This has been highly successful and it will continue.  Many listeners have converted into clients. The reason: I provide enough info for people to act, and they see the value. They want more.

Provided FREE Videos

This has also been successful. People will watch videos and act. They also like the perception of a relationship that develops as a result of the videos.  Since the frequency of videos is less than podcasts (I've moved to posting 2-3 videos each week vs. daily podcast) the frequency of contact is proportionate.

This is clearly successful and it will continue.

Created a Limited-Time Program for Clients Who Were Worried About the Economy

The success of this remains to be seen. This is a "FREE Trial" and some folks have become clients as a result but some have not taken full advantage of it.

Invited Some Former Clients to Participate For a Limited-Time

This has been an unmitigated disaster. Many former clients took advantage of this offer and did not convert. In fact, not only did they not pay to be a part of an ongoing relationship, they have not referred me to others, many have not expressed appreciation and few have promoted my services to the people they know.  In fact, in a few cases, these folks have reached out to people and invested in complimentary services or in people who will help execute the services I provide without offering to my a small fee to me.

This is going to end soon.  While I certainly will always help people who have been my clients and have invested in my services, that investment is a value exchange.  When there is a sense of entitlement, and no attempt at equity, the relationship needs to end.

What you should do for free:

Your opinion: You can provide this via articles, podcasts and videos. People will be drawn to you because they want to hear what you have to say.

A sample of your service: This is the "free consultation."  If you feel like yo need to provide value in advance, mix a consultation with some of your persuasive skills. Use this as a sales opportunity.

Educational information for your ideal clients: This is my favorite tool. Do a free video seminar. Offer educational information in exchange for contact info - so you can follow-up.

Tools that require your service: This is something like a checklist or a worksheet

Limited use of your product or service as a sample: This could be attendance at the first part of an event and then payment to continue. You can do a half day of a three day event for free and they pay to stay. 

Here's the bottom line on FREE: Give away only those things that get people MORE interested in you. Podcasts, Videos and reports are great for client attraction. Entire learning programs are not. People value things they pay for. Make 'em pay. Don't give away things you can sell.

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