By Mackenzie Thomas
They say hanging out your shingle and deciding to go into business for yourself is the hard part. What they don’t tell you is the weighty balancing act that comes after that of finding your tribe, keeping them happy/interested and then there’s getting paid for what you do.
They do tell you that there’s often a period of time in the beginning where you will rely on family and friends to support your vision and offer several freebies to those outside that circle to entice them to leave reviews, join your tribe and test your products and processes.
Remember when you got your first paid client……winning the lottery wouldn’t even come close!
Business owners often get confused about when the family/friends support and offering free value phase ends and being paid for services consistently begins. The truth is, if you let people think you are at the beginning for too long and/or lack confidence in your offers, you will never turn the corner on turning the profit you know you can make. The other truth is that building friend/family support and giving some free value never really ends.
The truth is, there will always be a place in your services for some free work. Whether that is the free offer of value you commit to when performing a product launch, completing a small offer as a sample for a client/customer you are hoping to have for a long period of time or recreating something a client was not completely satisfied with, these all equal time in your day you are giving for free.
Once you establish programs/offers for sale, however, it’s time to establish a free offer that does not give your full value but rather shows off your capabilities. Free work should always lead to the purchase of a higher value offer than what you are giving away or an established referral partner in which the value being exchanged is of value for both parties.
It’s common to increase rates as your offers evolve but it’s a delicate dance to ensure that the value you are providing exceeds the amount you are charging so that those you work with not only feel they are working with the best in their field but also getting a great deal. By “exceeds” I mean you are giving 100% to each and every client/customer, no shortcuts.
Setting up your value in such a way will allow you to receive payment in more ways than just money. The chances of you also receiving a referral and a great review on the platform of your choice increases exponentially and is worth its weight in gold.
Fishing with Freebies
Freebie value is a great way to gain interest from others for the offers you are selling. Some great ways to fish with freebies includes:
-Lead Magananents- The creation of a lead magnet that feeds into the quick fixes we all desire is a great way to spread the word about what you are able to do for a potential client. Make sure your website and social media platforms are as up to date as possible and lead anyone who lands on them down the marketing path you want them to follow.
-Webinars- Hour-long focused webinars are a great way to give real value and form an actual connection with people who want to join your tribe. Be sure to hone your call to action, your potential to collect several clients at one time is high after a successful webinar.
-Challenges- Most adults don’t have a ton of time, so if you want to host a challenge make it fun, easy, consistent, about a week long, be sure you are also participating and offer value and a significant celebratory end giving participants the option to continue to the next level (which could be your webinar) or moving on to join your paid program.
You are the only one doing you
Even if your product is similar to other products or services being offered, no one is you. No matter how hard any of us try, the only one who can offer those individual nuances that make your tribe love you, is YOU! It’s those nuances that will make your clients choose you over a competitor every time. Foster those nuances and natural abilities to connect with others, people do business and refer business to people they like, trust and admire.
Mackenzie Thomas is a Delegation Expert Business Development Strategist Cascade Virtual – Virtual Assistants for Busy People.