Are you confused about when to offer ‘free’?

From time to time I get emails from my readers who are really confused about the whole issue of ‘free’. I want to explain some of the things that I’ve said so that you can harness the power of free.

Here are the principles of ‘free’.

  1. Each one of these concepts comes from the idea of service.
  2. Giving away free tastes of your work is a great marketing strategy, and a way to serve people.
  3. Giving away your WORK for free is a bad idea and causes people to devalue it.
  4. You serve people best when they pay well for your work.

These may seem contradictory, but let’s look deeper.

A free taste of your work could be a free teleclass, a free report, audio or video. It’s short, and gives people a brief sample of what you do. It’s like the little pink spoon at the ice cream store, just enough to let them know whether they like you and want more, but not enough to fill them up.

Principle: You serve by helping them get clear.

Giving away your work is a bad idea because people value what they pay for. Although everyone loves the sound of ‘free’, one of the best ways to get people to NOT show up for coaching calls is to offer to coach them free. Just think back to the last time that you got something for free. Did you value it as much as something that you paid for with money, sweat or effort? If you’re like most people, you’re probably much more likely to value what you paid highly for.

Principle: You serve by helping them value your work.

Instead, if you look at what you charge for a program or product, and then keep adding value to what you’re offering for that price, you end up with something that is an investment for your readers, but gives them far more value than they paid for, usually in the form of bonuses, or additional products that don’t cost you extra or take more of your time. That builds connections, and loyalty. (Just a hint: it is possible to throw in too much, so that you make the offer seem ridiculous. This doesn’t serve your or your clients. If you’re giving too much, there’s a lack of self-worth at the bottom of it. That’s something to tap on.)

Principle: You serve by adding more value than expected.

So by all means create a free gift or several, and they will be helpful. Just be very clear that the transformation that you offer is available to those who in.vest in the themselves (through you), meaning those who purchase a product or program.

I hope this clears up the confusion. You weren’t meant to give it all away, any more than you were meant to take too much. Find the happy balance of free tastes and paid programs, come from an attitude of service, and your clients will feel well-treated, and you’ll be well-paid.