Just a note: For this week edition: Al’s Opinion Corner about freebies. Most of the information here are coming from my personal experience because I want to tell everyone the current value of freebies.
Have you noticed how some companies or websites appear to ‘offer’ something for free, only to find out after clicking a button that it needs payment or registration? Is it so hard for businesses to give with no strings attached?
I found myself asking this question one day after browsing through websites that claimed to offer tutorials on blogging, social media, or digital marketing. At first, I thought a link or button would lead me to a downloadable file. Instead, I was surprised to see dollar signs. It was certainly frustrating.
So it made me think on whether or not I was doing the same thing to visitors of my website. Was I deceiving them into free services, only to surprise them with fees?
Freebies Don’t Have To Be Tangible
One reason why many businesses refrain or limit giving away free stuff is because it’s COSTLY. As a small business owner, I agree to this. However, over the years, I found wonderful solutions on how to provide something my prospect clients would love – without it costing me a single cent.
We often underestimate the power of intangible freebies.
This could be in the form of tips, tricks, hacks, or free services. If retail shops can offer coupons, we in the digital marketing sector could offer free consultation services. Normally, these things would cost potential clients hundreds of dollars (depending on the complexity of the problem). But if you are confident in your knowledge and experience, this would be a tempting offer for people who are just inches away from signing up to your services.
I once joined a contest that gave away Premium Spotify subscriptions for a month. That’s another example of a non-tangible freebie. You can’t exactly touch it or eat it – but you can use it. Find out what your target market needs the most – and offer it for free.
Freebies Are Worth More Than You Think
You’re probably thinking ‘but I spent years to develop my skills. It’d be a shame to just give this advice for free’. I understand that it’s difficult. As entrepreneurs and consultants, we spent a lot of time, blood, sweat, and tears into our craft. However, think about your customers for a minute. Digital marketing expertise doesn’t come cheap – would you be willing to take a leap simply because several people said the service was ‘great’?
As I was looking for a particular online tool one day, I chanced upon this cool-looking software that everyone seemed to be raving about. I read one stellar review after another. After checking several forums, I came to the conclusion that this product may be the one I was looking for. There was just one problem: it was super expensive. I was ready to become a customer – until a roadblock hit me.
I looked for a trial period of the tool but there was none. So I left it at that. At one point during the day though, I found another tool that offered the same services with a free 14-day trial period. Awesome! I was instantly hooked and I am now ready to buy their services (I don’t even mind that it’s a few dollars’ more than my budget).
What made me so eager? The company removed the roadblock for me. They knew what doubts their customers would have and challenged the idea by giving a part of their expertise for free. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have similar customers out there like me, who came to love their product thanks to their generosity.
Treat Freebies as More Than CX Hooks
The normal view of freebies is that it’s bait. It’s what you give to customers to lure them into something else. That’s not always true – and if you keep buying into this mindset, your business might become stale. These days, especially in the digital marketing sector, a freebie is a ‘trust signal’.
As mentioned, when you give away a part of your expertise without cost, it makes your customers feel confident that you are the best. That you don’t mind giving it away because you trust in your knowledge so much.
Remember: you can’t give what you don’t have. So if you don’t trust yourself, how can your customers trust YOU?
When You Give Without Strings, The World Gives Back
In a world of extreme competition and deceitful tactics, businesses can stand out by doing small acts of kindness. These pay off in the long run better than other marketing strategies because people respond naturally to generosity. And don’t discount how these ‘acts of kindness’ can spread by word of mouth. Although it has changed in form (it’s now known as social media), people still like sharing random experiences with friends and family.
By asserting yourself as a reliable source of free practical advice, you boost yourself – as well as other people. Why not see what you could give away to your potential clients today? It could be secret life hacks or digital marketing tips; whatever you’re willing to share.
They’d be thrilled to know that their favorite business is giving back to the community.
So, what do you think of freebies? Don’t hesitate to leave your opinion below.