The Two Faces of Free

When free is a bike pump

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ --  Small business leaders are often told that one sure fire strategy for attracting new prospects is to offer them something for free. Major magazines, blogs, industry leaders and books champion the "Free makes you money" mantra.


And cashing in on this phenomena it's seems like every website today is in a hurry to give something away. The word "Free" pops up on more websites and Social Media today than ever before. But is it accomplishing what you think it is?

Not if what you are giving away has no significance. Giving you a bike pump for your car's flat tire is an example of giving something for free that has no value.  Just like a complimentary drink of water in the middle of a long desert trek is an example of something that is both free and valuable.

Buyers are suspicious of "Free"

If you are offering a "free consultation" that is nothing more than your sales pitch in the guise of "free advice" – you are offering a bike pump. If you are giving "free consult" by actively listening to your buyer's needs while providing real time solutions - you are indeed a refreshing glass of water.

 "We only want your credit card to validate you're of age and that you have a valid credit card".

This is one of the most commonly deceptive "free" offers.

If it is age discriminate, how does using a credit card online validate the users age?

And if it's free then why do I need a credit card? If I want to buy it I should be allowed to make arrangements after my free trial – agreed?

How to know when "Free" means "Free"?

When the "Free" part you are receiving has a real and immediate application and you are not required to provide anything more than some cursory information, then that "Free" is the glass of water type of free. When it's anything else, it's a bike pump.

So what can you do to make your FREE the "glass of water" kind of free?

  • Look at what you do and determine what you can provide in the form of education, enhancement or value that will improve your client's current situation  
  • Make sure whatever you offer comes with no strings attached
  • Gather only basic information upfront (i.e. name and email) and avoid long forms asking lots of personal questions
  • If it has value make sure you get the word out using every forum available (Social Media, YouTube, PR, Website etc.)
  • Have a follow-up program that engages the prospect in discussing both what is free and what is for sale

Now that's a list of "Free" tips that can make an immediate difference. Impress your prospects and spread the word that getting something free from you is both truly "free" and beneficial.

Our Free "Everything Online" Analysis  offers an honest comparison of your online presence as it stacks up against your competition and looks to your buyer's "end game thinking". We do this while offering practical tips you can take away and put to work immediately to improve your online situation. In addition, we record every event, both audio and visual, and provide a complimentary copy that you can download and refer to as a way to make use of our suggestions down the road –and all of this is FREE!

For more information on our Free "Everything Online" Analysis or any of our educational programs email us at Visit us online at

Media Contact: Frank Bosson, TBG/3-YZ, 209 642 2821,

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