Why you should never work for free and I can highlight the why.

 
This happens all the time and usually its no big deal but the amount of requests for free work has increased ten fold. Having been helping some close friends I had a bit of a moment where I was up late working away on solving my friends problem  and when reviewing the problem had seen that my previous suggestions were not followed. Here I am chasing my tail in circles trying to help someone else and I dont have a problem being buddies but if advice cant be followed I cant really help. 
 
I made the mistake of telling people in my friend zone I was into marketing and web design when I first started. The word must of been passed throughout the wider friend network because I was getting asked by people I had not heard from in years to help make them a “cheap” website or to “take a look at my Adwords campaigns” and make suggestions. 
 
Im a decent person, and I like to help others oit with their problems.  So after agreeing to the request for help I asked what payment terms we could agree on and where should I send the invoice. I figured they wanted professional help thast why they called me and not just because they could get freebies and discounts, well ill tell you this human nature is a horrible thing and money can get in the way of friendships.
 
After asking for payment terms and the usual business formalities, I was met with crickets over the phone. No sound, no agreement just silence and then the long pause. The typical reply was “cant you just do it as a mate?” and “But its just a look at the account, cmon mate”.  
 
This my friends is pure professional undervaluing your time and your skillset in order to get cheap or free labour. This is a reason I would charge friends and family double normal rates. The hassle it can create is just not worth that hassle and drame.
 
I’m sure you have been here before!
 

Ok so lets go through my situation, some months ago, a friend of mine asked me to help them come up with a marketing strategy for their supplement business.

Of course as a friend, I wanted to help and I really do enjoy the supplement space as market research, but the reality was that I was pretty overwhelmed with my other work and never got to follow up and help them find a solution for their problem.

I was a dusty to even contact him months later about this. However, I wanted to help him get his new business off the ground and I said that I would help him so I started to think: what can I do in order to help his business het a good start at no cost at all?

Then I thought about his brand positioning and what assets he had and where he wanted to get to, so I went with a customised strategy guide based on HIS business, HIS inventory USP and HIS target audience. I was feeling pretty damn good about the level of work I had put in and the damn value packed into this PDF guide. 

Inside this guide I covered the platforms he should be using, organic paid and influencers to connect with. I provided a lot of industry specific examples, methods used in Facebook ads and why they work

even to the point of including 2 to 3 examples of each traffic method and created a solid 20 page how to do it all guide for him to really blow the competition out of the water from month 1

I was smiling ear to ear, super pumped about my contribution to the potential growth of his new supplement business so I went ahead and sent it over to my friend.

Fast forward today 6+ months later, ask me if my friend had even opened the guide? You guessed right, this lazy so and so hasnt even opened it and hes still struggling to get traction with his new business. What a D  bag right?

This is not the first time I see something similar happen to me or even to other people…

The truth is, people don’t see the true value of what you offer unless it costs them some 💰they dont appreciate the value unless you take the $ out of the wallet. This rings so true in every aspect of the word value. Charge for something and dont give it away, dont work for free.

This made me think long and hard about how much value I deliver and how it has been under appreciated so… I made a strategic pivot in my businesses now and have changed some wording on my offers and sales pages. The no free passes rule is in effect, if businesses want a service I deliver they can pay for it the extra value I usually deliver fro free as a value add Ill be adding it as a micro upsell at either $47 or $97 payment add on.

Note Added: After this post I had 3 new clients and I offered the value add on for some paid advertising work I did for them and they all took the $97 micro upsale to get the value add on guide. This looks like it is working for me and I encourage you to do it in your business and monitor the results if it works for your model.

Do yourself (and your clients) a favour and don’t offer free work unless you are brand new starting out in a business and need to build reviews, social proof and just get your feet wet with doing the actual work. This is the ONLY time you should do some free work to help build your business.

What you could do instead is offer your product or service at a discounted price in exchange for a review, testimony or case study, not only will this help you validate that this person is willing to spend some money with you but also it becomes easier to ask for the 💰a second time around 😊.

 

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