Filling Your Books With Clients Fast: A New Twist On An Old Strategy

Editor’s Note: This post from 2012 was a HUGE hit with our readers, so it’s definitely time to bring it back. Why now? So you can put this strategy into place ASAP and lay the groundwork for an incredibly profitable 2014. Read all the way to the end to learn exactly how I continue to use this strategy to drive sales for Social Media Marketer! 

Do you want to keep the cash rolling into your business?

I thought so.

Whether you’re a service provider, or a maker of goods, you’re bound by at least one basic rule: communication.  You can’t serve or make good if they don’t know about you and what’s in it for them.  And the best way to communicate your passion and your value is to communicate LIVE!

Old-School Strategy:  “Free consultation!”

This is dead.  (Well, mostly dead — which is slightly alive — and we’re going resuscitate.)  This is dead because “consultation” is associated with “sales pitch” — no one wants to be pitched.  Don’t do it!

Highly-Effective New Twist:  “Live Freebie.”

.What’s the difference?

  • A consultation exploits weakness to make a sale.  A live freebie serves by showing strengths.
  • A consultation takes and then gives.   A live freebie gives and then gives more.
  • A consultation can be done impersonally via email, webform, or letter.  A live freebie is LIVE! — either virtual, or in-person.
  • A consultation can be done over the course of days.  A live freebie takes place over the course of 10–20 minutes.
  • A consultation is one-on-one.  A live freebie can be one-on-one, or in a group.
  • A consultation is a one-shot, one-way street.  A live freebie includes a conversation and focuses on developing a know, like and trust relationship.

Do the twist!

A live freebie is designed to provide value to potential clients, and not to give them a sales pitch about your services!

The primary objectives are to:

  • Build a “know, like and trust” relationship by delivering value and solving problems immediately.
  • Determine if potential clients are a good fit for you.
  • Give them a chance to experience your services and access your knowledge.

In his book, “Book Yourself Solid,” author Michael Port addresses the importance of having a free offer to serve as an invitation to prospective clients.  The live freebie takes the sales pitch out of your business.  When you give something of great value for free at no risk, potential clients have the opportunity to get to know, like, andtrust you.  You get to see if they are a good fit for you.  It’s win-win. 

If it’s a good fit, then a conversion is a natural consequence of your giving — there is virtually zero trace of a traditional sales pitch.  If it’s good fit, they’ll want more!  It’s like a delicious potato chip — can you eat just one?

Just make it delicious — like this potato twist!

Don’t worry about giving away too much valuable information!   How much can you really deliver in 30 minutes anyway?

Example of a Live Freebie

  • A live conference call with 5 potential customers
  • 20 minutes of HIGHLY-VALUABLE content
  • A 10 minute Q&A
  • An offer

Fun Examples of Real Live Freebies

Erin GilesLaunch Pad Session
Jenn BurtonIgnored to Adored Session
Kathleen ProphetEmbodied Arts Session
Harriet PittmanVisit to the Farm

(Please note: some of these may have changed since being posted here.)

The Live Freebie Action Plan

Here’s an action plan for creating a live freebie:
1.    Determine the highly-valuable content that you will give away and how long you’re going to spend giving it.
2.    Come up with a fun name for it!   (Not “live freebie!”)
3.    Create a webpage — a sales page —that “sells” the live freebie
4.    Get out and hustle!

How to Sell Your Live Freebie

Sell your live freebie as if you are asking money for it.

There are two primary reasons people won’t take advantage of a live freebie:
1.    They don’t know what to expect.
3.    They feel dumb.

People hate the unknown.  Put them at ease by telling them exactly how the process works, and what’s in it for them.

People hate feeling dumb.  Prospective clients will not know as much about your industry as you do!  They are scared to ask “dumb” questions.  Set them up for success by educating them a bit.

How to Hustle Your Live Freebie

Here are a few ideas on how to hustle your “Live Freebie:”
•    Tweet about it
•    Post about it on Facebook
•    Blog about it
•    Put a link to it in your newsletter
•    Send out a LinkedIn message about it
•    Make a list of people you’d absolutely love to work with, craft a personal email to each person on your list and include the link to your new live freebie page.

Note from Laura:

“If you’ve ever been on one of my webinars, then you’ve seen this very technique for landing customers IN ACTION! Here’s how I do it:

I offer a 30-60 minute free online workshop (like Your First 1K Fans) that teaches you about a particular strategy of social media marketing. Then at the end for the workshop, I give you a chance to sample one of my products, Social Media Marketer, for just $1. Yes, this is a pitch, whereas Heidi encourages you to leave the pitch out. But because the workshop gives so much value in itself (and anyone can opt to leave the workshop when I start making my offer), I don’t worry about turning prospective customers off.

Usually I get about 2,000 people signed up for any given webinar. 150-200 will take the $1 trial offer, and then 15-20 people will usually convert to paying customers who actually stick around in this subscription-based library of online courses month after month. So that 100% free webinar ends up bringing in a whole lot of recurring revenue.

You don’t need 2,000 people on a webinar to land you a boat load of sales – you just need the perfect offer for your webinar’s audience! So don’t let nerves about a live event stop you from putting this strategy into place. It’s just like Heidi says: you’ll be blown away by how this technique can fill up your 2014 with revenue!”

Image credits:

Potato Tornado by the Black Azar

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