Hear me now and believe me... well, also now.
Your ideal clients, your BFF, your Auntie Norma - people in general DO NOT VALUE FREE.
I'll say it again. People don't value free.
Don't take it personally. Don't get sad when they don't want your stuff. Don't assume that giving something away will entice people into buying and then get all sniffy when they don't.
One more time. PEOPLE DON'T VALUE FREE. Not really, anyway.
Just in case you're thinking I'm totes full of it, let's use a concrete example.
Let's pretend you own a donut shop - a good one, with fancy sprinkles and stuff.
When people line up in your shop, it's with the expectation that they'll purchase a tasty cruller, or even a bear claw.
Now, if you're giving away entire donuts to each person in line, you may have some folks stick around and buy a dozen, but the people like me, who were just there for a single item? Well, they're now full of sugar and unsure what to do. I mean, they wanted ONE donut, and now they've eaten ONE donut, soooo.... Now what? Do they have to buy a coffee just because they feel bad?
And that's an uncomfortable feeling. And uncomfy people - not only do they not BUY from you, they wind up associating that bad ickiness with you and then at least a tiny part of them winds up not even liking you.
"But Misha, I need to get people in the door! I need to give away free stuff to get them interested, or no one will know I'm alive! And PS - have you ever heard of Krispy Kreme, you big dummy?!"
Yeah, dude, I have.
Here's the deal, though - when you give away your goods and services for absolutely fluffing NOTHING because you think folks will appreciate them, you're putting yourself out there in a weird way. And if you're NOT in a storefront - if you're, say, an online entrepreneur or small biz service person (hello, photographers! interior designers! writers! and so on!), it's even weirder.
You don't have a REAL donut shop, and yet you're trying to hand me a free donut? Why, did you lick it or drop it or does it have drugs on it or something???
SO WHAT'S A BUSINESSCHICA TO DO?
First. Realize you're already giving away enormous value in your messaging.
What I'm doing here - me talking to you? It takes time. It makes you think. Hopefully, it'll change your business and life forever.
This is FREE, but it's not valueless. If you're here reading this, I don't feel compelled to GIVE you anything else for free.
THIS INFORMATION IS WORTHY ENOUGH. SO IS YOURS.
Second, admit to yourself that desperation stinks like a dead skunk in July.
Let's pretend you're a... fitness trainer. If you're offering to train people for a year and a half or until they get six pack abs - whichever comes first! - then serious people are going to assume you're a joker, and jokers are going to assume they can take advantage of you. And they will. And you'll burn out. And you'll hate your life.
Three, if you still NEED to give something away - and I get that, I do it from time to time, too - then DO NOT GIVE AWAY THE WHOLE DONUT.
(AND! Secret business secret of the people who wear their big girl chonies every darn day? *IT'S NOT ACTUALLY FREE.* Make them sign up for your emails, or join your group, or walk your pet chinchilla. It becomes an exchange, and not just a free freakin' donut.)
PRO TIP - Give a donut hole - share a bite sized piece of what it's like to work with you so that instead of being full and sugarsick, your people are salivating for more more MORE.
If people ask for another bite, happily point them to your sales page.
Like, with glee. Some will go away because they wanted a freebie - and seriously, they can take a hike, they will NEVER buy a dozen premium donuts anyway, and others will say, "That free taste was so delish, this is completely worth it, I'm IN!"
And THOSE people - they are YOUR PEOPLE. They are out there, I promise you.
OK SO NOW WHAT.
If you're yelling, "HECK YEAH, MEESH! But... no one wants what I'm offering yet", or you're struggling with how much to give away, or you just like to talk about donuts, go apply for an Email Opt In Strategy Session. I will set you straight and you'll be back on track to serving up bite-sized info with INTENTION.
All right, rock star. Go fix your freebies, have a glass of wine, and I'll catch you on the flip-flop.
Uncommonly Good CopyBoss