I am sure I am not alone. I am positive that every entrepreneur, especially small business owners, can relate to this. In the 5+ years I have been in business I have been asked to “trade” services or to do an event for free to “get your name out there.” Have you been asked those questions? If so and you did this, did you get business from doing something free? Did your business grow? Did you get more business from it? If the person(s) who you have given the “free” services to does not refer your business to their peers or hire you when they need your services again, then you do not or will not benefit.
It’s always a story behind the question on why you should do something or provide a product or service for free. Of course I have done it in the past, but as time goes on and your business and brand grows, there is no room or time to do this anymore…STOP lowering your standards.
I have promoted events, businesses and industry professionals who have asked me to do so for them for free and never asked for a dime because I thought in the long run I would benefit from it. However, in some cases, I did it because we traded services or product but in most cases I did not benefit from it because they never referred business to me or hired me for future business. Sometimes the irony of all this would be me seeing them (via social media) refer business to others, promote other businesses or hire someone else to do business for them.
Of course throughout this journey of being an entrepreneur a lesson has been learned and that is the reality of this game is to keep things business, not personal because when you make it personal, it’s almost expected to offer free business. You will never go into any store and get a product free and if the item is free, it’s usually buy one, get one free. Believe you me, you will not see this in any luxury/high end store so if you market yourself as luxury, top notch, the best or high end, STOP giving away your talent and know your value.
Bottom line is this: if you are going to offer free services, make sure you are going to get something out of it. Even if it’s just referral of business. That is so important. Until next time…