The difference between "giving your best stuff for free" and "working for free"

A couple of days ago I shared an article about 'not being salesy' which means giving away a lot of your best work, for free. But I don't want you to confuse this with working for free. There is a massive difference, and it's important that you can differentiate the two.

You need to value your work, you need to value what you do (if you're good at it, otherwise why are you even in business), and you need to charge appropriately for what you do.

Most people could make more money in their business, simply by charging what they are worth.

But I digress.

What's the difference?

Giving away your best stuff for free HAS to be scaleable. It can be a free mini course, a PDF, a webinar, something that you can share with multiple people, for the same amount of work.

A one hour strategy session is a terrible way to 'add value' - people will use and abuse that, but a one hour webinar where you help 100 people. That's gold.  (A discovery session or a shorter session to see if you're a good fit is fine.)

When you are providing value on a mass scale it's leverage-able. It is using your highly valuable time, in the best possible way. 

I don't care if you're a coach, a nutritionist/dietician, a PT, a chiro, a masseuse, a party planner, photographer or a caterer. You need to stop working for free. Stop offering "mates rates". Stop undervaluing the service you provide.

I promise, the people and friends who actually value your services, will be happy to pay for them. 

The One Exception.

There is one exception to this rule. One. If you do not have any proven results yet, you don't have a single testimonial of how good you are, then, and only then, may you work for 'exposure' and 'experience'. In fact I encourage it. 

If I'm breaking into a new market I don't have a lot of experience in, I'll offer a campaign or two for free, and highly discounted coaching sessions - once. To one person or two (if I'm feeling generous), and the second I have the results to back it up. The price returns.

So as soon as you have a testimonial or two, you have your portfolio, or you have your outstanding success - Stop it. Start charging what you are worth. And focus on creating value that is scaleable.

Remember your time is valuable, and those who value your work won't hesitate to pay you what your worth.