It happens to all female entrepreneurs, I imagine.
At first, we’ll talk to anyone who will listen. We dispense free advice everywhere we go and want to build a reputation as an expert in our area. Women, and moms especially, have an instinct to help and please people. As we develop our passions into a business, friends and family begin to seek us out, expecting regular free advice. It can be difficult to decide when they’ve exhausted their “call me anytime” status and are now in the “fee-for-service” category.
There’s a fine line for sure. But, if you want to be taken seriously as a business owner, you have to cross it. It’s awkward and scary, but feel the fear and do it anyway.
To help you get started, here is the #1 way to stop working for free and politely hint that you have advice, services, and products for sale.
The #1 Way to Stop Working for Free
So, just how do you stop working for free? It’s pretty easy, really.
Have free stuff to give away.
I’m not suggesting that you stop talking to your friends and family or ignore their emails and texts. But next time they ask for some free advice, point them to one or more of the following free things you offer:
- A freebie or giveaway on your website available when they opt-in to your email list
- A particularly helpful blog post and then recommend they subscribe to your posts for more free info
- Your social media outlets where there’s loads of free stuff
As a good rule of thumb, I suggest that you offer ten free tips to every one sales pitch, whether it’s on your Facebook page, in your emails and blog posts, etc. It sounds like a lot, but when you’re consistently providing quality information, your fans are more loyal to you when they’re ready to buy.
So, why does this work?
When people have you at their fingertips, they don’t visit your website and don’t subscribe to your blog. They aren’t seeing all of the free stuff you are giving away, and they certainly don’t see how hard you are working behind the scenes.
- Point them in the direction of your work and they’ll begin to see that you have an actual business that can help them, not just a wealth of information, and they’ll probably thank you for it.
- When a subscriber gets free, valuable, and relevant information from you regularly, they will be loyal to you when the time is right for them to buy.
- What goes around comes around. They’ll be more likely to refer you and your business when someone they know needs help.
Something to Remember
Feeling like you’re always working for free can wear on a budding entrepreneur. But remember, they’re asking you because they value your opinion, and that’s something to be grateful for.
How have you stopped working for free? Share with us in the comments.
About the author
Tara Hantske is a Holistic Lifestyle Expert, Board Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC), and member of the America Association for Drugless Practitioners (AADP). She helps women, mostly moms, take control of their health and lifestyle. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Health Coaching and Immersion Program, and is the creator of a five week online holistic health program called WellBody Lifestyle, and coming in summer 2013, a program just for moms, Radiant mama.