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Marketing / Business marketing

4 strategic reasons to give your products and services away for free

Giving away your products or services for free in exchange for something of equal or more value is a brilliant way to build a business when you’re trying to get the ball rolling.

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Did you agonise over your pricing structure, and now stand firm against discounting so not to devalue your brand?

What if I told you giving away your products and services for free can actually add tens of thousands of dollars to your brand, and encourage more sales?

I have a business built on giving away products and services in exchange for media exposure. When I was first starting out, I was cold calling small businesses around the country. It was a really difficult and harrowing process, but it sure led to some fantastic customer insights.

One of the best questions I ever had was from an angry man who demanded I tell him why he should pay me to ‘give his shit away for free’. Good question, mate! I appreciated his honesty and I had a great answer:

Giving away your products or services in exchange for something or equal or more value is a brilliant way to build a business when you’re trying to save money and get the ball rolling.

But you have to be strategic about it. Here are four ways to best leverage those freebies for your business:

1. Testimonials

These are super important and if you have a website, you need testimonials. One quick way to get started is to offer your products or services to people in your network in exchange for video testimonials.

2. Media Exposure

Full disclosure: This is obviously my favourite as my entire business is based off this premise. Did you know you can give a media outlet $500 in products/services and get $8,000 in advertising from them in exchange? Media exposure can really blast off your business but it’s very expensive. So, give your stuff for free, get thousands in media ad space and save your coin.

3. Strategic Partnerships

Do you know another business that has the exact same target customer as you, in a non-competitive space? Then arrange a freebie for them or their customer base to introduce your brand to them. The more people who know about you, the more sales you’ll get.

4. Gift Bags

Is there an event coming up where there will be many people in your target demographic attending? Get in the gift bags!

These are a brilliant opportunity to get your brand name in the hands of your customers. It can be as simple as a 25% voucher (and most of those won’t be validated). However, they will be seen and it will be the beginning of your brilliant sales funnel.

Bottom line

Don’t be too shy to hustle and barter your business if it leads to genuine growth. In this current climate of micro and small businesses it may be the extra edge you can leverage to grow your business fast and lean – leaving your competitors in the dust, wondering how you can afford everything!

Amanda Westphal

created Prize Pig, an online platform busting with media competitions that any small business can access to get major media space without the media spend. Connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter

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