How Much Should You Give Away?

What have you given YOUR list lately?

All weekend I thought about my newsletter I was going to send this week.  The end of the month is a busy time for wrapping up projects, meeting deadlines and looking toward the month ahead. I had a lot of cool freebies and was wondering how much was too much to give in one newsletter. However, my dilemma wasn’t about giving too much.  My fear was that the week before Labor Day is likely to be a busy week and that readers might miss out on everything I had to share this week.

Synchronicity being ever present, I received an email from a client who wanted to know how to balance what I call “value added marketing”. This was also a category which was included as part of the Fall Marketing tool we sent last week in my newsletter.   Here is what she asked:

Question: “How do you manage to give away so much information, resources, and tools and still make m.o.n.ey? I’m having a hard time planning revenue producing activities, let alone things to give away that are completely free.  You seem to give away more than the big name internet marketers.  Is this because you’re trying to build your list or because of who your target clients are?”

That is a great question to which there are many answers, asked and unasked. I believe that the main questions lie in the why and the how, so I’ll start with the why first.

Let me first say that every business needs to decide what their own values and philosophies are in terms of who they are, and how that translates to their business. There are a lot of internet marketers who focus on selling much more than giving.  Consider if this sits well with your brand, and the type of clients you want to attract.  Then, consider what the specific needs are for your customers and if you can find ways to offer more value in those areas.

What I mean by this is if you came to my house for dinner, you’d notice that I made the dinner from scratch from organic and seasonal ingredients.  The dinner would be healthy with many choices, the table would be set, and no details would be overlooked from the wine, to the dessert, to the napkins. You may even think that I went a little overboard.

Case in point, a friend of mine told me once that he has never experienced hospitality like he receives at my house, which is one of the most heart-warming compliments I have ever received. Yes, I do go a little overboard but I enjoy it! My name IS Cher after all 😉

My point is that I’m a giver. It’s true that many marketers don’t send fr.ee marketing tools and resources very often, if at all.  They have excellent articles in their newsletters. They in most cases give fr.e.e content during their teleclasses as well. There is always a measured balance between freebies and sales pitches.

Of course there has to be a reasonable ratio between gift and sales. We can’t just sell, and we can’t just give. Everyone needs to feed their families and pay their mortgages.  But I don’t want to be that type of sell sell sell in your face aggressive type of marketer.  That isn’t how I want to market my business, and the people in my inner circle typically don’t believe in becoming that type of marketer either.

My point is that I give more because I love to give. It’s part of my brand. My archetype is the nurturer, and my friends and family would be able to tell you that without looking at my assessment results. So why I give so much away is because it truly is a natural expression of who I am offline, and it satisfies my need to be creative.

To make time to create these tools, I build them into my monthly marketing plan. I delegate the creation part to my graphics team who make my ideas come to life, so it really isn’t any more time consuming than sending a couple of emails and approving the concept.

We do get what we give. The time and expense in giving away valuable freebies comes back ten-fold in the way of traffic, relationship building, community appreciation, credibility, and gratitude (my favorite).  Tools that I create for my tribe can be instrumental in boosting visibility and publicity on social networking sites, blogs, email marketing, and other ways also.

It always goes back to the golden rule, treat others as YOU wish to be treated.  In evaluating your value added marketing, consider what you love to receive from your mentors, or what you wish your mentors would share more of.  Survey your subscribers and connections and find out what they need more help with, and see if you can brainstorm ideas for simple tools and worksheets that would be easy for you to create, yet have a big impact for your tribe.  Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to give too much.

Please leave me a comment below, I’d love to know your thoughts.

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