The Strategy Behind Free

The Strategy Behind Free

When is free too expensive? When should you offer things for free?

Never, unless you have a strategy behind free offerings you’re providing for your potential customers.

This is a topic that comes up a lot with new business owners so it was one of my earliest Periscope topics. They have a brand new business, they don’t have an established customer base yet, and they don’t have any testimonials. They start to think they should do some work for free to try and create those testimonials or build up their experience and exposure in the hopes of then gaining customers.

That way of thinking is messed up. Seriously. Don’t do that.

You do not have to give away what you do for free.

How often do you hear of lawyers working for free? Not often. What about a Psychologist taking on patients for free – have you heard of that? No? Me either, because they don’t do that.

If you are a web person, a social media expert, a life coach, or a business coach – it doesn’t matter – you do not have to do what you do for free.

There is a place in business for free – it’s called SWAG: stuff we all get. When you go to a trade show you get pens, and key chains, and coffee mugs. Basically cheap and cheerful giveaways that are used as lead generators. There is a strategy behind this type of free offering.

Free is OK when it is about generating a lead into your business so that you have a conversation with a potential customer and potentially close the deal.

Free is the little pink spoon of ice cream from Baskin and Robbins that you get to taste before you buy a cone. You don’t get a free double scoop and then decide which ice cream you’re willing to pay for – you get a free taste on a little pink spoon and then you buy.

Stop giving away your #services for free! Share on X

When you give away the thing of yours that has value – your zone of genius – you get resentful. You start to hate the world and your potential customers because you’re not being compensated for what you do. You run the risk of getting bitter about your business.

Free is OK when it’s something like an eBook or a webinar, or SWAG – it’s stuff we all get. At the end of a webinar, you get the opportunity to ask your participants to work with you. At the end of an eBook, you get the opportunity to invite them to take the next step.

You must have a strategy behind free things that you offer – the idea is that anything you give away free should generate a lead for a possible sale.

In my Pilot To Profit Program I carefully walk you through the process of creating something you can offer for free, and how to create a strategy behind free offerings.


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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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