Absorbing your Intellectual Property, distributed free of charge by you through content marketing, is one way that potential new clients make their hiring decision. They are not sure if you are worth the investment represented by your fee for service, so a factor in the hiring decision is the perceived value of your free content. Does the prospect find it helpful and credible?
Your blog, newsletter, white paper, podcast or webinar demonstrate your authority and may help to convince a client who needs reassurance about your expertise. A prospect who discovers your online content in theory could reach out and propose getting together for coffee, or scheduling a quick call to get some questions answered. Or maybe you offer a free 30 or 60 minute consultation call as part of your services? Either way, remember that you are in business to get paid and giving away free advice does not necessarily lead to a contract.
Preserve the value of your IP
When you too often give away your expertise, the incentive to pay for it decreases. Scarcity and unique value must define your services. You deliver the desired results and for that you are paid a premium price.
Establish boundaries because time is money
Your time and expertise are your most valuable resources and it is essential that you monitor their expenditure carefully. If you agree to speak with a potential client at no charge, do not allow the conversation to turn into a fishing expedition. Answer two or three important questions and then let it be known that if more information is needed, an hourly rate will be instituted.
If you are early in your Freelance consulting career, you must build a client list. If you have a new service that you’d like to test market, you will need exposure. Selectively offer your services gratis, for a limited time.
There are times when adding a free service upgrade is a way to maintain your pricing structure in the face of pressure to lower your fee. The cosmetics industry does the very well when a free gift with purchase is offered to customers.
Thanks for reading,