[Note: This article is part 1c of 4 in the series “4 Principles I Never Break As A Practitioner”. In this series I am discussing four of the fundamental principles I never break in running my business. A new article will be added to the site every two or three weeks. You can read the full series and you can check out all the free practitioner resources.]
photo by lazysupper
In part 1a we looked at the reasons for giving things away for free. In part 1b we looked at the costs and benefits of different types of free information and services. In this part we are going to look at the ways I use free in my practice.
Let me be very clear; this is not the best way or only way to use free stuff, it jus the way I am doing it.
1) The Web Site And Podcast
This is by far my biggest effort when it comes to free. I will be honest; my publication schedule is crazy. There is a new free resource on this site every three or four days. I spend as much as 20 hours a week on content. I would not recommend this for you (or anyone for that matter), especially when you are first starting out.
There are some great websites I read and podcasts I listen to that only produce content once a month. If you are starting to produce free content once a month is a great publication schedule to start with. People’s lives are busy and they don’t have time to consume all of the content that is out there.
I have other goals for the content that I create beyond just what we are talking about here and that is part of the reason I have such an ambitious publication schedule. [Read more about why I have this site.]
2) Six Audios + Newsletter
My newsletter is very important because it gives me the opportunity to reach out to readers. It is one thing to have a website that people are going to visit, but everyone has busy lives. They are going to forget you are out there. But when you have permission to send them e-mails then you have a chance to remind them that you are out there. Every Thursday I send a note to my readers that lists all the new information on the site, if there are any new products, and just a quick note to say hi.
I am sure we all have newsletter overload. There is so much out there. The free six audios I offer are an enticement to get visitors to sign up. Sure they can unsubscribe anytime they want (like right after they receive the sixth audio), but it cost me nothing to offer it to them once the audios were produced and hopefully they will stick around.
A common mistake I see made with newsletters is they don’t contain any content. There are a number of newsletters I get that only have announcements of new classes and new products. Yes, I want to hear what these people are up to, but if it is nothing more than a string of announcements I am not going to rush to open it. About once every three or four weeks I send a direct sales letter, but every other newsletter I send out over the month contains links to at least two free resources (sometimes more).
I want people to be excited to get my newsletter because they know they are going to get content that will improve their Emotional Freedom Techniques(EFT)/tapping skill set. Every time I deliver something of value I am building my credibility and reputation with my readers that will lead to sales and session.
It is important to note that less than 5% of my readers are ever going to buy anything. That is fine because it cost me very little time to provide this free information to my readers.
3) Being Interviewed
I can’t think of a time that I have turned down being interviewed. This true for articles, podcast, teleclasses, and radio programs. Being interviewed costs us very little time and gives us the benefit of having someone else speak to our value by introducing us to their readers and listeners. I see a spike in newsletter sign-ups and have tracked sales directly to these interviews.
When people are interviewing you they know you are giving your time and expertise. In exchange for this they are willing to let you promote yourself. When I do an interview I always set up something for the listeners. I will create a special web page just for the interview and give the listeners a free audio.
4) Free One-On-One Sessions
As we talked about before this is a high cost, but high impact give away. The main way I give free sessions away in through the podcast. In each podcast I share a word or phrase with the listeners. If they e-mail the word or phrase in they placed in drawing. One any given week I will do between one and three free sessions.
I have a very specific follow plan with these sessions. Three or four days after the session I send a note thanking them for giving me a chance to work with them, I ask them for a testimonial, and I offer them a chance to purchase a session or a bundle of sessions at discount.
5) Enticements To Buy
It has been proven that giving bonus with any purchase works. Every sales letter I have sent to my list (with only one exception) have contained bonuses. Yes the phrase, “But, that’s not all” seems very cheesy, but the sentiment works. My basic rule of thumb is to offer 125% of the price of what I selling worth of bonus.
The nice thing about digital products (like tap along audios) is they cost me nothing more to add. I have already invested the time in their creation and it costs me nothing to give the buyer access to them.
These are just five ways you can use free to build your readership and/or client base. There are a million other ways to use free. What is most important is that you are doing it with a plan and to track your results to see if you are getting value for your free offers.
In part two if the “4 Principles Series” we will look at the most important thing to keep in mind when working with a clients: Do no harm!
Note: Gene enjoys helping new practitioners build their practice and current practitioners grown there practice. Let Gene know if you would like to chat about how he could help your practice today. (And yes, the consultation is free)]