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How much should I give away for free?

One of the things you’ll read in any book about marketing, or what any marketing or business coach will tell you, is that freebies get you business.

It works in every industry. It’s why in the olden days you used to get free shampoo samples in the mailbox (remember that?!) It’s why, at races and conferences, you get your swag bag. And it’s why every bugger on the internet has a free download.

The part that gets hard is if you’re a service business, who hasn’t got product to give away, but their knowledge and expertise.

Say, you’re a copywriter. You don’t want to create a freebie that makes it so your potential clients can go away and do their own copy. Or you’re a designer. You don’t want to give away all your good colour schemes. An illustrator doesn’t want to give away free logos, and a nutrition coach isn’t going to give away a bunch of meal plans. I could go on.

Here’s how you figure it out.

You give the what, and the why for free. A designer might talk about what a colour scheme is, and why you need one for your brand identity. The copywriter might talk about the essential elements you need on a landing page, and why you might use a landing page.

But if they want to know how, they pay.

The idea is that you give away enough to show that you know what you’re talking about, and to make them realise they need you to help them.

How much is too much?

That’s where you’ve got to listen to your gut. If what you’re thinking of giving is more than you’re comfortable with, that’s when you know you need to dial it back.

As far as adding value goes, I believe it’s always best to come from a place of generosity rather than clearly trying to create a lead gen freebie. I’m happy enough to talk about this stuff on a blog, because I know that it might help someone reading it, and if I’m working with a client I can always go into more detail for their specific situation.

And I hope that this checklist helps to give people a little clarity on where they’re at with their business.

There are no rules about what and how much to give.

Just make sure it’s something you’re happy to give away, and something that you know provides so much value, you’ll be remembered for your expertise.

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