As you know, Brian gives some of his knowledge about the creative industry away completely free, but have you ever wondered why? This episode of #askVENTH covers why you should consider giving your products or services away for free as a business strategy to get you started and let your audience know that you exist! Because we all want to be rolling in those dollar dollar billz, but you’re never going to start generating profit unless your audience see that your product is actually of value to them.

A lot of businesses fail to see the benefit of providing something for free

We get it, the whole point of being a business is to make money for your services, so that you can afford to keep doing what you do – but in order to start making money you actually need to attract the customers. Attracting customers can often be the tricky part, as getting people to part with their hard-earned cash is a difficult task unless you prove that what you’re offering is of value to them. So how do you prove your worth? Give them part of your product to test for themselves! Once they see how valuable it is they’ll want to come back for more or will want to look into what else you offer.

This method works across all types of businesses, for example it’s not unusual to walk past a bakery and be offered a sample of a new cake or bread that’s been introduced, after which a percentage of people who enjoyed it will be enticed into the store to buy something. That business has then made a profit from offering something for free to prove to their customers that it’s something that they’re interested. They may not have set out that day to buy cake, but once it’s been introduced to them they’ve realised that it’s something they want.

That my friends is Business 101. It’s called promotion, that’s the whole point behind it, you’re putting out something that you have to prove to a potential customer that you’re worth paying.

It really is that simple. You have something to offer your audience, but when you’ve just started out they have no way to know you exist or that there’s even anyone offering what you can provide, until you get out there and show them. If you watch Brian’s videos or read the articles on this site that are provided for free and you keep coming back to see what’s new, you’re clearly getting some value from the information that’s being presented to you. Guess what? If you want MORE value, you can pay Brian to attend a photography, social media or creative business workshop – is it working, are you tempted?

Anyway, what we’re saying is that this is how Brian proves that he has something of value to offer an audience, and this is how he practices what he preaches and gives away part of his product for free to promote the other parts of his business. He has knowledge to share that can help people further their passion and make it into a career, so he makes videos for free to tap into his target demographic to show them that his larger workshops are going to be worth their time and money if they want more information.

I know not everyone is going to come back and hire me to do something, but that doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter if every time you provide something for free it doesn’t turn into making a profit for your business, because you’ve still exposed your brand to a larger amount of people. You may give someone a freebie and they decide it’s not for them, but they might know someone that they think will find you valuable and will refer them to you instead, generating word of mouth promotion for your business. That’s how you start making money, by exposing what you have to more and more potential customers and letting them know that you exist and where to find you if they want more of what you have.

You can’t just expect to open up a business and think that people are automatically going to pay for what you’ve got. Even if you think your product is better than somebody else’s or if you are the only person that offers that particular product – if nobody knows that you exist then you don’t exist. Get out there and start promoting your product yourself, utilise social media and word of mouth promotion, and you’ll start reaping the rewards!

Stop thinking about things in purely cash money when it comes to return on investment for your time and money, start thinking a little bit longer term. Remember you are not entitled to have customers just because you open your doors, you have to prove your worth to them. Just because you know you have value doesn’t mean that anyone else knows, you have to show them that value before you can expect customers to come back. Not that you can ever really expect people to do whatever you want them to do, that’s up to them not you! But trust us, show them your worth and you’ll be locking down those repeat customers that feel like they know and trust your brand and find your product valuable.