I always tell clients and customers they need to be generous first before taking anything. Sometimes though it can seem challenging keeping up the generosity in the face of bills and expenses.
We don’t want to go too far the other way either – who wants to be seen as someone who takes, takes and takes?
How can we strike the right balance? What do we need to do in order to be generous but still build a profitable business?
I Was the Free Guy
A few years ago I had a real problem.
My list was growing but I would get hate back in my inbox any time my articles contained a link to an offer.
Essentially I had trained my audience to only expect free stuff from me. All the time.
That is cool … for the audience … but no way to run a business that pays the mortgage.
Now, I did ok. I had regular consulting and coaching work and I had my flagship course, Authority Blogger, so it was not like I was going to cry buckets at those unsubscribes.
Train Your List
What I needed to do was train my list as to what to expect from me.
One of the key things you need to do right now is show that you are in business.
Being generous is not about being a charity or being a doormat.
You are in business. Your time has a value. The stuff you put out has a value. If they don’t like it then be happy they are parting company, let them find someone else who is a better fit.
There is a trade that you are making, your free stuff leads to being given offers. They don’t have to take them but if they want the free stuff they have to accept that offers will be made.
It’s a fair trade and if you do it right then people should be ok.
We might not like to be sold but we do like to buy … if the offer is valuable and relevant.
In theory, everyone should be happy … right?
Don’t Always be Selling
When people get upset though is when the balance swings the other way.
Don’t pound your audience with constant offers.
Value first, then the offer.
You can do that in one article, or over a series of articles, but give people who are not ready to buy a lot of value because they need to be rewarded for paying attention.
Create Content that Leads to a Next Step
Your content can naturally lead to your core offers and your launches as a next step.
Have Core Offers and Flagship Offers
It is much easier if you don’t HAVE to be selling all the time in order to pay the bills.
So have stuff on sale all the time and income streams that don’t need to be pushed hard. Don’t always be obviously launching.
And when you DO launch, launch to the segmented list that is interested in that subject – don’t pound your main audience about something they don’t have an interest in.
Now, clearly, you will always annoy a portion of your audience, this is just a fact of life, but you can limit the damage.
- Work out how you help people
- Determine the target audience who is right for you and who you can get best results for
- Give content that solves problems and demonstrates your ability to help further
- Provide relevant offers at the right time
- Keep building relationships based on mutual respect and generosity
If you are giving everything away then you are going to just burn out, but you must still be generous. It is about being strategically generous, and about attracting the kind of people you can most help and most want to work with.
What is your experience with this? Please share in the comments …