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Free or freebie? There is a difference.

In marketing, we talk about the power of the word “Free”

One of my Direct Sales Leaders was oft found telling her teams “People love ‘Free stuff'” in an effort to generate a feeding frenzy at parties. “They don’t even care what it is, as long as it’s free.”

Um. No.

There was a time when you could give away your business card with a coupon on the back of it for 10% off their next purchase, and people got giddy.

That bird has flown.

Free has been reduced to a watered down, hackneyed attemp on the part of almost everyone to get your contact info, pawn off old junk, or avoid the real work of coming up with something really valuable.

Freebies are those little “goodies” of insignificant value that people give willy nilly to their clients, potential clients, hair dresser, bell hop, flight attendant, and your uncle’s brother’s nephew’s cousin on your great grandpappy’s side.

Everybody gets ’em, and very few people really want them. They accept them, offer a cordial “thanks!” and you think you’ve done a good deed for the day – or worse, that they’ve just invited you to share about your income opportunity for the next 45 minutes.

Stop it.

Free is a value proposition. Free doesn’t have to be expensive. It DOES have to be valuable.

Free will cost you something. More often than not, it’s not the monetary investment, but the time or effort expended to make, develop or acquire the valueable free item in the first place.

For example, when you’re creating an opt-in offer, be sure that the person would be willing to PAY for whatever you’re giving away. An ebook full of recipes is nice, but include a special, exclusive recipe that they can’t find just doing a google search. Yeah, it takes a little effort. But the effort you invest on the front end will pay you back many times over.

There’s a big hullabaloo going on right now that because so many people are giving away “free stuff” that you’re watering down your value. Forget it.

If the only value you have is in whatever you’re giving away, you’ve missed the boat. The idea is to give people a valuable taste of what you have to offer so that they want more. You’ve heard me talk about creating a customer “crack addiction” before. The idea that people get a taste,and can’t get enough of you. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

But if you’re getting a bunch of “tire-kicking, freebie seekers”, maybe you need to look at the value of what you provide.

If you know you’ve got a quality product or service, the next thing to look at is the market you’re targeting.

You don’t have to plaster the word “FREE” all over your website 8 gajillion times. Emphasise the value of what you offer, rather than the fact that it’s free. I’m sure your perfect fit customer isn’t a freebie seeker – so why market to them?

There’s a difference between free and freebie. The value makes the difference.