Not to be rude ... I know you're new tianakaesha so WELCOME! And thanks for having the bravery to post ... and please don't take this as anything other than an interesting point that fuels into the whole thing ... I look forward to having lots and lots of conversations with you!
... but this kind of proves my point.
You'll take the product if it's free - but you won't pay for it ... I understand as a start-up business that that's the position you're in ...
BUT if you think about it from the point of view of your OWN business ...
If people can't afford to buy the products that you sell - are you going to give them away for free? Or maybe you'll have one or two products that you give away in the hopes that the people who take the free stuff will buy things later?
People who don't want to pay for stuff (no matter how valid their reasons are) are NOT clients. A client is someone who gives you money.
Sure, you value what Melissa has to offer.
You just don't have the money to pay her for it.
Which means you're not her client.
(PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT trying to speak on your behalf, Melissa - just using you as an example to make a point)
You're basically saying you would use Melissa's service if it was free ... but then, she wouldn't have a business! What would be the point of her providing the service at all?
And to a certain extent it DOES mean you don't value it. At least, not as much as you do other things.
What HAVE you spent money to in the lead up to your business?
I'm sure there are some things.
A domain name.
Our job as business people is to make our product / service as much of a necessity as these things - to have our clients see our product or service as OXYGEN ...
When people feel this way about a product, when they value it this strongly, they will find the money for it.
50 years ago the idea of a business needing a computer was ridiculous.
Even 10 years ago, most companies still needed to be convinced that they needed to get on the internet.
These days, having a computer and a website is like OXYGEN to businesses. You wouldn't DREAM of running a business without them.
That's the end game ... to make your product a computer or a website (the target markets equivalent, of course).