Have you had a time in your business when you took a big leap of faith? Was there a period where you did a lot of personal shifting in order to help your business grow?
How much time, energy & effort did you spend to bring your dream to fruition? Seriously, spend a minute with that one – it’s a biggie!
And when you really stop to think about it, it will become extremely clear to you exactly why you’ve gotten to where you are – and why you deserve to charge the rates that you do for your products and services.
Business Shifts Are Teaching Opportunities
Each of those shifts – when you made a big decision in your business – represented an opportunity for you to learn something new. As coaches, when we undertake a learning process, it empowers us to be the force of change for our clients.
These shifts form the basis of how we move our businesses forward. In return, we ask for compensation from our clients for full access to our knowledge.Â How much of that process should you share for free?
The age old question of free consulting comes down to a very simply business issue: We cannot give away what we would typically sell and still have the ability to profit from our passions.Â
How to Get Away from Free Consulting
It’s time for you, as a business owner, to assess where you are giving away too much of yourself. Let’s be clear that your time is YOURS.
Of course it doesn’t mean that you can’t give advice to a friend and/or answer questions on Facebook, but do you ever find yourself feeling a little taken advantage of by others?
Have there been times when someone asked you a question and you found yourself shifting into “coach mode” without even realizing it? (Again, this is perfectly acceptable as long as it’s your choice to do so.)
At the end of the conversation, maybe you realized that you’d spent an hour when you should have been cracking away at your business to-do list instead. Oops.
Instead of shifting into help everyone mode, here are a few easy ways to offer a glimpse into your world without providing free consulting:
Build a library of free resourcesÂ
Create an amazing free opt-in, for one. This is your lead magnet. It not only helps you attract an email marketing list, but if you are providing an excellent source of information, you are, in essence, providing some free consulting.
eMarketing Copywriter offers a free training webinar every month. We dig really deep into a business, sales or marketing topic that’s relevant to our audience. And the topics are really juicy – how to write a sales page, creating great marketing plan, etc.
I don’t hold anything back during these webinars. Why? It allows me to expose my audience to my consulting style & gives them a solid look into how much I offer to my clients.Â
Offer some products at a lower cost
You can also shoot small videos (Karen Pattock does this very well) which you may or may not package into lower cost products for your clients.
If you have a multi-week coaching program – one that you’ve been running a few times a year – see if you can split it into smaller sections and sell those at a lower cost.
Clients might not want to commit to $1,000 contracts, but almost everyone can afford $47 to watch a targeted piece that answers their questions. The key is to keep the topics very specific with only one learning objective per offer.
Recognize your free consulting downfalls
The first step to moving away from free consulting is to recognize when & where you’re guilty of it in your business. The best way to do this is to create a journal of how you spend your time.
Now, there are a lot of reasons that a day in the life of diary is a good idea. However, in this case, we are looking for one key point; are you spending your time the way you choose to? Or are you giving it away without cause?
If you had a 20 minute session scheduled but ended up spending an hour on the phone, you gave away 40 minutes of free consulting.
If you answered an email from someone that wasn’t on the clock, how long did it take you write that email?Â Pay attention to your balance of time to ensure that what you give equals what you get.
Sales Phrases to Put a Stop to Free Consulting
Sadly when you start to charge for your expertise, a few clients will become resentful, negative, rude, or indignant over your new rates. Let them go.Â Their negative attitude has nothing to do with you; it is a reflection on their own self-worth.Â
Arm yourself with a few phrases to put a stop to your free consulting:
- Thanks for asking about my ____ services. Check out this great video I put together on that topic.
- Briefly, I can tell you ____. However, you should consider getting a more in depth analysis by joining me in a paid program – then I can really dig into this question for you.
- I’m sorry, I don’t have much time for free consulting right now. Would it make sense to schedule a time to speak? <link to paid session>
Finally, recognize that you can’t please everybody. We each have our own agenda. It comes with its own map. And that map may or may not lead business to you.
Instead of dwelling on the opportunities that didn’t work out for you, focus on what’s next. Move toward your bigger goals. Be sure to enjoy your down time while you have it – once you get busy, you’re going to need it.
Elspeth Misiaszek is the innovator behind eMarketing Copywriter. She believes you deserve to profit from your passions & has dedicated her business to mentoring others to do what they love & love what they do. Grab your 10 Free Email Marketing Templates to really rock your writing.