The Value of Free

Consumer research has shown that people are more likely to use products that they pay for; such products carry more intrinsic value to the consumer. But have you ever considered the value of free when you actually give something to your customers or potential customers?

Who would ever want to pay for the initial enquiry with business if you were considering sending work their way? Or would you want to pay for a quotation of that work? Image if we paid for every email we sent out? Of course not. But imagine if the answer to the enquiry or their question was found on your website or publicly broadcasted or simply offered as a ‘no strings attached’ offer i.e. download a free E-book, give away sample or promotional material like a stubby holder or notepad etc.  This will keep the customer’s thoughts and focus onto your business for a lot longer the maybe the life of the item. Hey, and you’re thinking what a nice company to do business with!

Free Wifi is almost expected at public places  especially cafes in today’s world, where would be prefer to have a mobile office and work in a comfortable environment being able to access the internet, emails, banking or the like. The spin off for the cafe is that you will buy a drink or maybe a meal whilst you are basically renting their seat.Its Free

When you blog, you are basically giving away your intellect to someone for nothing. The simplest way to give something away on  a blog is to create the freebie, write a post about it and include a download link at the bottom. When doing this, it is important to outline the benefits this free item might have to someone if they download it (remember…..’what’s in it for me’ rule).

When people get something for free, they tend to share the resource with their friends especially in regards to social media. Sharing your freebie posts on your social media streams such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ will help your freebie posts gain more exposure. It also doesn’t hurt to ask your friends to share it with their lists as well.

One of the world’s best freebies is WordPress (website platform) as the designers built their business by giving away free web design resources. The founder now sells thousands of themes a month on ThemeForest.net, but continues to release free design files on his blog.

Look at the phenomenal growth in mobile apps, many of them being free and a must have for some businesses. Clever marketing tool since after you’ve used the free version for a while, you want more features and then buy the upgrade version.

Think about all the free websites that you can use for your business tools from accounting to CRM’s and more.  There is always a few features not quite available unless you upgrade and the makers are hoping (and a fairly sure bet) that within time, you’ll outgrow the free version and subscribe for the next level. Caching! They have a customer.

Giving away freebies is an effective way of building a relationship with your audience or customers in your niche. You can also make people enter their email address before they get the free version therefore capturing their contact details for your CRM. You can use free stuff to entice people to join your email list, like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, etc. A small price for a customer to pay if they want your freebie. This method is a common one that many top bloggers practice. I’m sure you have seen an email opt-in form that says something like “Sign up now and get our free e-book”.  I bet you were tempted too.

Everyone in the world loves free stuff.  I don’t know anyone who would rather pay for something than get it for nothing. And you will feel warm and fuzzy inside giving something away to benefit others.

One very clever marketing agency refers to the principle of “Free, Free then Fee” so in giving something away eventually you will buy. Their strike rate was impressive. But ensure that the freebie has a perceived value which will add to the ‘value of free’. Please take my freebie valued at $xx but yours to keep for nothing. Now that has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

No blog on freebies would have a value without offering you my freebie as well, so please be happy to download my complimentary presentation on ‘How a Virtual Assistant Can Grow Your Business‘ and enjoy my priceless offering.