Who Is Entitled To Your Best Free Stuff?

by Paul Castain on August 1, 2012

By now you all have to know that I’m a huge advocate of giving away lots of free content.

I’ve seen, first hand, how it can build a business because that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do with Castain Training Systems.

I’m completely sold on the concept but . . .

I think there are some hidden challenges that people haven’t thought out. I’m only going to focus on one of them and it’s a doozy folks.

I see people putting on free webinar after free webinar. Offering free e-books out the kazoo and they are showing up all over God’s creation offering free advice.

Truth be told, I really want to say “Bravo” because they’re building their brand and I bet they’re generating leads but . . .

You might be thinking “Sounds like you Paul” Well think again. I don’t do free webinars, I’m limiting the amount of free e-books and I’ve decided to put a leash on the total amount of “free” I’m willing to offer so please read on. I’m going somewhere with this crazy train of thought even though I’m now humming Ozzie’s Crazy Train. God forbid I put the two words in a sentence and my “Metal Brain” kicks in!

Recently I had this “AHA” moment when I found myself asking a few questions centered around the strategy of giving away mucho stuff.

1)    What happens once they become a client? It appears like we’ve given everything away on the front end and now that they’re actually our client, they get nothing extra.

2)    And maybe its just me, but it seems to disrespect the existing client base. I mean here we are focusing all our “Free” on prospects and then nonchalantly give the people paying our rent the finger. Seems a tad unfair. No?

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to stop with the free things I offer

but . . .

In all fairness, our clients deserve a little something too!

This begs the question . . .

Who’s entitled to our best “Free”?

The people we are trying to bring onboard or . . .

Those who are already loyal to us?

Please weigh in with your thoughts!

I work with individuals and organizations to attain new levels of awesomeness. To hire me for training, coaching or to speak at your event . . . click here my brother from an aspiring rock star mother!

  • http://SellLeadSucceed.com/ Tim Mushey

    Paul this is a fantastic post, and I truly appreciate your insight. I heard an awesome audio interview once between Eben Pagan and Tony Robbins early on in my journey and I have never forgotten it. Essentially Eben said that people who have signed up have put up their hands and said “Treat me special”. Those are the people that should be the real focus of additional free perks.
     
    Human nature historically shows that we should always be looking for “that next kill” in sales. But that is not always the best strategy. If we are always focused on just bringing on new, I believe that current customer base can be somewhat neglected.
     
    I love the strategy of putting more focus of free content current customers, but certainly still offering some to those that you are “courting”. But if we don’t be careful, people will just run around looking for free stuff all the time and never commit to buy anything.
     
    If I use yourself as an example, your time, energy and effort to supporting others that are currently customers and prospects is second to none. And your time (no different than a 9 to 5 job) has value. I don’t think you (or anyone else) should be afraid to be compensated for it. Especially if lives are being positively influenced and changed for the better.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=hb_tab_pro_top Debbie

    Great thought-for-Thursday Paul — The free stuff can be a plus for our clients also, just approach sharing it differently. 

    Thank you,

  • Sandy

    I agree Paul.  I am a true advocate of freebies and good deeds for my prospects/clients.  Building goodwill with the right people will foster loyalty and lead to a fruitful career.  But it does sting when you find that one who forgets you are a team and seems to ask more than they should.

  • Scott Conway

    I like the idea of offering maybe one freebie to intice a customer to learn more about you, but after that they need to sign up and pay to play.

  • Rebecca Lacy

    Being in the knowledge business, it is so easy to give away the store – especially since we love to help others succeed. Thus, I too have been struggling on what to give away and to whom. For our business (Team/Employee Engagement), our strategy is to give away free stuff which is educational addressing what is it engagement and why is it important to the success of an organization. This builds interest and demonstrates the need for engagement in order to positively impact the bottom line. We also give away a few pointers on the how to accomplish improved engagement, but it is more how to structure a strategy rather than the nitty gritty get ‘er done stuff. True DIY’ers will try to figure it out on there own thinking “How difficult can it be?” Others rightfully see that they could spend years and never get it right on their own. As for clients, they do get more/better free stuff on how to implement and reinforce their efforts. We are new to this line of thinking and marketing, but we are starting to see the ROI.

  • Mtnye

    Exusting LOYAL customers should always get first consideration. After all, they are paying your bills.

    Free to prospects is a good way tp “prime-the-pump” but should never displace LOYAL customers.

  • Iris Salmins

    This has been the way that I have built my business. I feel like after someone becomes my client, I adopt them. 

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