SOAPBOX TIME: I have a friend who loves to say, “If it’s for free, it’s for me.” That has always bothered me because that strips all value from the individual offer. If I take a free spot at one of your workshops when I have no interest in pottery making I am wasting your time and possibly taking a place from someone who would truly appreciate your offer. Do not accept anything just because it is free. Now back to your regularly scheduled post…
Think twice about offering your live event for free. I took a few computer classes from a non-profit company whose mission it was to help other non-profit companies become more efficient through computer training and grants for computer labs. They offered classes in Excel, Word, PowerPoint and other common computer programs.
I took a few of their Excel classes because I was self taught and one day after writing equations for a few years based on examining the equations in spreadsheets others had written, one of my not very “computer savvy” coworkers asked why I was not using the AutoSum button when writing the easy equations. Who knew there was an AutoSum button? (not me) I was sure there were other short cuts I did not know so when I got an email offering a $10 Excel class for employees of non-profits I jumped at the chance.
During my second class I discovered this company used to offer the classes for free when they started them because they felt free was the right fit for their mission. They soon discovered that the people signing up did not value a free gift and after a few classes that were reserved to the maximum capacity were attended by only one or two people they started charging $10 and most of the people registered showed up.
I absolutely believe that as a general rule someone has to have some skin in the game to appreciate what you offer. I do not offer any of my services for free, not even for my older daughter or my friends (I do give my daughter a discount… for now). I do give a workshop ticket away every month at a networking event, but the participants have to purchase tickets to get a chance to “win” and they have to choose to put their ticket in my gift drawing instead of the other choices. My reasoning behind offering the free ticket is that if the winner wants more help after the workshop or on another topic they will consider my services.
In the next post I will offer some specific ideas for ways to create value for your free events.
Until next time…
Have a great day,
Check out my upcoming workshops here!