Yesterday, I shared two ways to build demand for your services in a new consulting business or niche.
One idea I shared was to give away as much value as you can for free.
A reader, friend, and fellow consultant, Andrew, made an excellent point that deserves clarification.
On your second point, it may be helpful to add some more detail: give away as much value as you can for free in public.
In my view, you should never be doing customer specific, private work for free (beyond a short consultation call, which is really part of the sales process).
This is a great point and was what I had in mind but didn’t articulate.
Your free content should be generally applicable to people consuming it. It might be any number of formats ranging from blog posts to entire free mini courses.
But if people want your advice applied to their specific situation, they either need pay you for it or you can do it in another way that benefits you.
Here are three examples of those other ways:
- Record a coaching call and turning it into a podcast episode. People will see how you thing and it de-risks hiring you.
- Sharing your responses in a community so others get value from it, too (for the same reasons as above).
- Do your first one or two engagements free in exchange for feedback, case studies, and testimonials. Only do this if you need to really iron out your delivery and/or prove your credibility.
Free resources are there to attract your ideal buyers and show them value. If you do it right, some percentage of them will want your expertise applied to their situation.
That’s what you’re paid for. If you work for free, you’ll be out of business and nobody will appreciate it anyway.
Hope this clarifies an important distinction.