The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

NOTABLE! Unpopular Opinion: "Give Value for Free" is Bullshit More Often Than Not

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

Johnny boy

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
702
3,363
757
23
Washington State
My lawn care company:

In the winter I offered free lawn care for people.

Most of them signed up for our premium plan in the spring.

Average profit per contract: $1000 a year + lifetime value if they stay with us.


My web design and marketing company:

Talked to people over the phone in long conversations and gave away all of my best advice for them to grow their business. I’d tell them most of what they were asking me to do wouldn’t actually help and would just be a waste of money to pay anyone for.

They’d send me $1000 for a two hour conversation.


What is content marketing?

How do people become celebrities in the first place?

Why is Gary vaynerchuck bigger than all of the social media “gurus” out there?

Giving for free works. Ask Facebook.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

itfactor

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 18, 2019
53
191
128
A little late to the party.

As a freelancer who is always on the fence on this issue, I think its important to distinguish one fact.

Giving value and demostrating value aren’t the same thing.

Using the cookie store example. Instead of giving away free samples to passerbys, demostrating value can be holding community baking classes for local families.

At the end of the day it’s about identifying what qualifies as value, extracting maximum benefits for both you and your prospects, without reducing your business into a charity.

Also, what makes something valuable can come from the opinion of those that surround us.

Instead of focusing on delivering value to just your prospects (free cookie samples), think about how you can offer collective value to a market (teach families how to bake).
 
Last edited:

FierceRacoon

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 1, 2019
165
234
153
At one point I taught social dance (Argentine Tango) for a new studio. The studio used promotions on living social heavily and attracted lots of bargain-hunters. On the surface it was successful, as the owner was able to keep renting three huge studios at a prime location in New York City. However, the model was not sustainable as he had to keep offering promotions.

We would sell 30 passes for a series of classes, and maybe 1 person would stay long-term; more often than not, nobody would. Instead we'd see those people who didn't care about learning as much as they cared about bargains. They would take Salsa-1 at one studio, Salsa-2 at another studio, and if there was no deal for Salsa-3, they would take Swing-1 or whatever else was on sale.

At some point we wanted to do a student performance group that would rehearse once a week. We wanted them to pay about $40/month... and that was a deal-breaker! I believe that not a single one of the ten or so interested people was prepared to pay. The going rate for regular classes was like $14; our charge was completely symbolic, yet those people weren't prepared to pay. They wanted to pay $100 for a year of unlimited classes and then they would come and really take whatever there was, indiscriminately, without much regard for learning.

In the end the whole thing collapsed. The owner made other mistakes, but that was a part of the problem: we had effectively selected a very cheap group of people that was immune to any attempts at upselling. It was not just that we were giving value away; we were attracting the wrong kind of people who absorbed the value much like people take free cookies. It did work in the sense of filling the studio with people, but dance studios don't survive on this kind of clientele; we had to transition not to charging those people more money, which was impossible, but to attracting a different kind of people.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Fox's Web Design Guide: Earn $100K this year (Yes, 2020!) and Go Fastlane
How do I sell to a different country with an accent? And a foreign number. Cold e-mails don't...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Kill Bigger Incubator
Hey @Cruiser I just shot you a reply! Amazing product BTW!
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
Well, we made it halfway through the year. Don't know what the rest'll bring, but it's gonna be...
  • Sticky
FEATURED! Introducing... WEALTH EXPO$ED, A Short Story By MJ DeMarco
Not really a teaser but it does employ a fictional story, so that is similiar. This upcoming...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Dropping a quick note in here to say... if you are on TFL, you are part of an elite group of...



Forum Sponsor

sponsor

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom