Most companies out there will give you free samples of their products as an incentive to make you want to buy it, or buy something else they have. Even if you’re selling your services, and not necessarily products, you can still give some stuff away, and it’s a pretty effective way of getting new clients, or re-enforce the business relationships between you and your existing clients (get them to hire you again for their next project).
Your cell phone company will give 3 months of unlimited calling when you sign-up, when you go to the grocery store you get a little sample of that new product (mmm, peanut butter), you can find tons of free wordpress themes out there. Heck, even drug dealers will give you samples!
But What Can I Give As Samples?
Depending on your field of expertise, there are many things you can give away for free, here are some examples.
Give a copy of your book or ebook and invite potential clients to visit your blog.
Free css templates, icons or vector images will usually work really good.
Going to an event and taking pictures for free will definitely get you some exposure.
Free samples of your original music, free sound-bites people can use in their music royalty-free, or even software plugins.
A free half-hour phone consultation, or even a face-to-face meeting. Public speaking is also a great way to gain recognition.
Of course you don’t wanna sound like you’re desperately looking for new clients, and you don’t wanna just give it all away for free, you want to see profits eventually. It is really important to ask your potential clients what their new projects are, what you could maybe help them with, are they thinking of hiring you for a project, are they looking for someone with your skills?
But It Costs Money!
Sure it does, but most forms of advertisement will cost money. Sometimes you have to spend a little to make some. How much money does writing an ebook costs? Does it cost a lot of money to design some free graphics? Not really, even a half-hour phone consultation, that doesn’t cost anything.
What it comes down to is “do you have time?“. It won’t cost you a penny to create those free css templates, but it sure will take some time (you want them to be real high quality, don’t you?). But it’s time well spent. Make sure your free samples are not lesser quality versions of your work, you want your free samples to be just as good as the real thing. Why would I hire you to design my website if the free templates you have are crap?
I Don’t Have Time!
That’s something I hear a lot: “I don’t have time to design something for free or do a free consultation, I have to work so I make money“. True, but I’ll usually say something like “So, you don’t have time to invest in creating something that will get you more clients, and make you more money? How much do you spend on advertisement every month?“.
Usually I get a “humm, well.. yeah, you’re right..” (or something similar)
What Can You Give For Free?
What can you offer for free to your potential clients, or existing ones, that’ll make them want to do business with you or hire you (again, or for the first time)? Something that won’t take you months to create and won’t cost you a fortune.
I’d be interested in reading your suggestions. :)