How Giving Away Free Stuff Grows Your Business

A lot of business owners wonder why they should give something away for free when they could charge for it. The reality is, free offers are valuable and they work. Freebies are a great way for people to get to know you. They are perfect for allowing potential customers to try before they buy.

While there are many benefits to the potential customers, you, the business owner can reap the benefits too.

Here are 3 ways:

  • Freebies allow you to pre-qualify your potential customers.
  • They allow you to quickly build your mailing list.
  • They give you the ability to continue to contact these people to nurture the relationship so they become paying customers.

Now a fourth:

Even better, they are the perfect way to make sells. That’s right, you can profit from giving stuff away.

Think about it. When you get something for free, you are excited. Doubly so if the person or company giving away the item has a solid reputation that you recognize or trust. So, when you see an offer after receiving the freebie, you’re more likely to buy, right?

The key to making this method work is to know your audience and what they want and need to solve their problem. Your free offer starts them on the journey to resolving their issue, the upsell(s) give them more tools or information so they can complete the process quickly or easily.

The other important part of this is pricing.

Consider the value (or perceived value) of what you are giving away. You don’t want to offer a free 5-page report with a value of $10, then instantly ask them to drop $200 for the next product…unless perhaps you’re following up in person or via phone call.

However, if the free item is of top quality and has a high perceived value, then it may be okay to offer them a higher-ticket item in the backend. For example, if you are a personal coach and you normally charge $100 for a 30-minute consultation, then it would be expected that your upsell offer(s) would come with a higher price tag.

Just some thoughts to help you get into freebie mode. It really is a lucrative model when done right.

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You can use these templates for your own site, help your clients with their pages or even include the templates in products you provide to your customers. The choice is yours!

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Why Your Customers Love Interactive Content and How to Provide It

Have you ever noticed that if you include a printable, a worksheet or some type of interactive content for your customers or to get people on your list, they just eat it right up? They readily opt-in for your freebies AND they’re willing to pay more for your products and training.

People LOVE interactive content and there are a few reasons for that:

  • Your product or freebie has a much higher perceived value. If they can print something out or interact with it in some way, it’s more tangible than something they read.
  • You’re giving them a chance to APPLY what they learn. So similar to the first point, it’s not just reading. It’s DOING.
  • Your product or freebie stands out from the crowd. There is no shortage of reports and ebooks that claim to solve a problem for your audience…but when you add interactivity, you have a chance to differentiate yourself.

And there are benefits for you too:

  • You can charge more for your products because they have a higher perceived value.
  • You have a better student success rate because they’re applying what they learn. And when your students are happy, they’re going to talk about you and bring you more business.
  • If you are a book author and don’t want Amazon to have your customer info all to themselves, you can offer some interactive content they can opt-in to receive. Just mention it and include a link in your book, so they can get your interactive content and you grow your subscriber list.

Some ways to add interactivity with documents:

  • Worksheets
  • Checklists
  • Planners
  • Journals

And it’s super easy to create these types of printable documents. But what if you want to make the document itself interactive WITHOUT printing?

How to Make Your PDFs Interactive

Our friend Debbie actually has some quick training that HOW to do this, step by step. The PDFs you create can be filled on a computer AND then saved with the information filled in, so your customers have a permanent record.

Click here to access the training.

It’s actually very easy to do, using drag and drop technology

Click here to get the training.

We live in a digital world and this is the kind of thing your customers are looking are looking for. So offer it to them to further boost your product’s value.

7 Steps To Freelance Writing Success

“When your livelihood depends on self-imposed productivity, you either get good at it or you find yourself in mounds of debt.” ? Nacie Carson 

Working as an independent contractor is a great way to earn money while enjoying flexible hours.

Another attractive benefit of freelancing is being able to work wherever you want, whether it’s at home or at your local coffee shop.

And for a lot of people, they see freelancing as a way to break away from the rigid structure of a corporate environment.

In the recent years, more and more people have jumped ship and gone over to the freelancing side to enjoy a better work-life balance. 

After the U.S. economy took a serious hit during the recession, a lot of companies have found that hiring specialized workers is a better business model than employing full-time staff.

In fact, a Harvard study in 2016 shows that the number of freelance workers in North America alone has skyrocketed from about 14 million to almost 24 million between 2005 and 2015.

As of today, this number is still growing and will continue to do so in the next decade.

With developments in technology and a rapidly expanding freelance job market, it’s become easier than ever to get a piece of the action.

Freelance writing: Legit or not? 

With freelance writing, in particular, some people are worried about getting ripped off for their hard time or getting scammed by a shady employer.

But freelancing sites like Upwork and Elance have made it possible for aspiring freelance writers to get fair-paying jobs and get compensated on time.

Furthermore, you don’t need to have an academic background in language to land your first assignment.

On the contrary, most companies are probably looking for someone who can write in a relaxed, casual tone to connect to readers.

As you’ll learn, a lot of these online writing jobs specifically avoid words and phrases that might sound too stiff or formal which would alienate their target market.

So you don’t have to worry about writing like a professor just to get started with your freelance career.

The best part is that there’s ALWAYS work to be done, which means you’ll have a stable cash flow even without punching a clock at the office.

If you’re ready to try this exciting, new venture, check out these 7 Tips To Becoming an Awesome Freelance Writer: 

#1: Have a system in place 

This is the most essential part about finding steady freelance work.

Once you’ve done your due diligence, you’ll have no trouble getting clients and keeping them.

Better yet, you’ll have the advantage of working around a schedule that works for YOU.

Like I said, it’s easy to earn from online writing for the simple reason that demand for this type of work is high.

You’ll find that just about any industry has an online presence, and that means they need someone to provide them with content to increase their market reach.

It’s likely they have a blog, a social media page, and an email campaign – all of which need to be updated regularly. Some might even need freelancers to help them out with writing brochures and other marketing related materials.

That’s where you come in.

The truth is that you just need a step-by-step system for sniffing out potential customers, pitching to them and writing the content they want. After that, the rest will take care of itself.

I’ll show how to do that in a bit, but first, let’s move on to the next step…

#2: Play to your strengths 

Some freelance writers are better at handling large-scale assignments, like a sales report or PDF book. Others are more comfortable with an arrangement where they can quickly bang out short articles or free reports.

Obviously, the bigger jobs pay more but require a lot of lead time, ranging from a few weeks to a few months.

Meanwhile, short articles may take anywhere from a half an hour to two hours, but you’ll get paid sooner.

In most cases, I’d suggest doing shorter assignments first to get a feel for how things go.

In the long run, however, try to figure out which one option works better so you can narrow down the niche you want to write for.

#3: Know thyself 

This is an important step that most freelance writers skip. I don’t recommend glossing over this one.

Experience has taught me that a little self-evaluation and soul-searching is CRUCIAL before getting into this line of work.

This gives you a better idea of which types of clients you’re best suited for, and which content you’ll be good at writing.

A good way to do this is by having a more seasoned writer go over your sample work and give you an honest assessment. They can tell you what you’re good at and what you can improve about your craft.

Also, try looking up examples of what constitutes as good writing in your intended niche.

It’s as easy as looking at a potential client’s website and quickly browse their content. This will give you a better idea of what they want in a writer.

Remember, knowledge is power, so doing this will help you step up your game.

#4: Hammer out the details 

Now that you’ve done some of the general groundwork, it’s time to get into the specifics.

As you learned, your clients will want a particular kind of content you want to do.

I mentioned some earlier, but here are the other possible types of content you could see yourself writing:

– Annual sales reports
– Slide presentations (like PowerPoint or Keynote)
– Free reports (usually in PDF format and less than a hundred pages to promote a certain product)
– Full-length ebooks
– Newsletters (often sent through email)
– Sales copy (which may include a detailed product description, its benefits, testimonials, pricing, etc.)
– Blog posts (anywhere between 500-1500 words)
– Articles (could be 500-3000 words depending on the purpose of the content)

Aside from this, it helps to check out the particular industry you want to write for.

As I pointed out, sites like Upwork and Elance are great places where you can search for jobs under specific categories.

This will help you find out which ones in your chosen industry are in demand for writers, and what kind of content they require.

#5: Find the right price 

Of course, the idea is to sustain yourself with a healthy income stream, so you need to approach this the right way.

Basically, you’ll want to work for lower-paying jobs in the beginning until you can build up your game, then increase your fees later on.

You’ll probably bill your first few clients a little less than you’d like, but charge this to experience and get the job done anyway.

In the bigger picture, it’s better to be classy about it and act professional.

So as you go along, you’ll get a better idea of the standard rate in your chosen niche.

In particular, you’ll learn how much other writers in your industry are charging on average. Depending on how long you’ve been in the game, you can decide if you should charge higher or lower than that.

As you start growing your client portfolio and get referrals, you’ll have more leverage to charge more for your writing services.

#6: Establish a routine

Whether you’re a freelancer or not, it’s always important to have a solid work ethic no matter what.

Find a rhythm you’re comfortable with, and stick with it. Figure out early on how you’d like to tackle a writing task.

You might want to do a little homework before getting down to it, or maybe you’d prefer going straight into writing then adding the missing gaps later on.

Whatever approach you choose, you need to cultivate the discipline to efficiently work on writing jobs and submit them on time. 

Cal Newport, author of the book “Deep Work” has a great deal to say about this – I’ll leave this here:

“The key to developing a deep work habit is to move beyond good intentions and add routines and rituals to your working life designed to minimize the amount of your limited willpower necessary to transition into and maintain a state of unbroken concentration.”

#7: Educate yourself 

Since you’re reading this now, you’re well aware that you can’t do it alone.

As talented or driven as you are when it comes to writing, it will never hurt to learn as much as you can. That goes for BOTH newbies and veterans.

Remember, the freelance writing game is always changing, so you’d best keep up with the times and adapt.

So if you’re just starting out on this journey, I don’t recommend taking the self-taught route.

It’s better to take advantage of the many resources out there so you can hit the ground running and not make the typical “rookie mistakes” that a lot of newcomers make.

Earn five to six digits a MONTH from freelance writing? 

Yes, it’s possible. You can go from one-off assignments to big-time gigs in the neighborhood of a few thousand dollars.

That’s how I did it, and I can teach you how.

Like I said in the beginning, all it takes is a system to help you find employers on a regular basis. After that, you’ll be rolling in the dough from your hard work.

I probably made every mistake possible when I started out. But thanks to my experience, I finally cut the umbilical and left the 9-to-5 world for good.

It took over a year to finally refine my system, but now it’s like I’m earning six figures on auto-pilot.

Here’s a video I made about my personal journey in freelance writing – and how you can do the same:

Enjoy the freedom of being your own boss while earning more than you ever dreamed of – CLICK HERE

Is Freelancing The Future Of ‘Safe’ Employment? 

“‘Freelance’ means I can take watermelon breaks and no one can yell at me.” ― Mandy Ashcraft 

Sam, a 28-year old systems analyst for a software company, always had a soft spot for pop culture, specifically cartoons from the 80s and 90s.

He watched a ton of these growing up; so much so that Sam can do dead-on impressions of his favorite characters.

His co-workers and friends got a kick out of Sam’s take on Optimus Prime from Transformers, which he could bust out at the drop of a hat.

Little did Sam know at the time that his other talent would help him land a lucrative freelance gig.

“Andy, one of the guys down in accounting, told me people paid good money for doing stuff like that. He showed me this freelancing site where companies hired folks for voiceovers,” Sam said.

At first, he didn’t think much of it. But then, Sam took a few days off from work to fly to his hometown for a family reunion.

“I was back in my old room at my parents’ house, looking at my dusty toy collection when I had a moment of inspiration. I fired up my laptop and signed up for that site Andy mentioned. In the next couple of hours, I booked my first client from doing silly voices in the comfort of my bed.”

Things took off after that, and Sam started getting more and more offers from other clients. Pretty soon, he had to take more time off just to keep up with the demand. 

“It’s been great so far,” Sam shared. “This freelancing gig is helping me earn more than I expected…and I get paid to geek out, which is pretty cool.”

Right now, Sam’s not sure if he should take the plunge and go full-time with his voice work, but he’s glad he now has that option. 

Working in a brave new world 

While older generations have leaned towards the idea of working for a single company for years or even decades, recent trends in the global economy have changed the way people earn their keep.

The first idea many have about freelance work is that income-wise, it’s not as stable compared to the steady paycheck that comes with the 9-to-5 grind.

Back then, it would make sense to look down on moving from one job to another.

However, studies have shown that more and more professionals prefer to offer their time and talents on a per-task basis instead of punching a clock every day. And the growing demand for these workers has contributed to the steady growth of the global freelance job market.

Sam and millions of other independent contractors across the world enjoy the freedom that comes with freelance work.

Not only that, they’ve found that being their own boss is, in many ways, a more stable form of livelihood.

If you’re thinking about ditching your day job and crossing over, here are some things about freelancing you should consider.

Chances are this could be the safest way for you to leave the rat race and do your own thing:

#1: The game has changed 

While baby boomers used to commute to work and time in at the office, technology has completely transformed that business model.

Today, it’s not uncommon for people with different backgrounds and skill levels to get a piece of the freelancing pie.

There’s Skye, a mom of four, who juggles her blog and Pinterest page, looking after the kids and getting the laundry done.

You’ll also find Tyrone, a third-year college student, earning on the side by giving user experience reviews on websites and transcribing dialogue for subtitles used in videos.

With the advancement of web-based technologies and rise of freelancing sites, it’s leveled the playing field for those who want to skip the typical barriers that come with going to a brick-and-mortar office.

For people with an ever-changing schedule, freelancing lets them work on their terms. 

Not having a company control their time means they decide when and where to put in their hours.

Most of all, having a work schedule custom-built around their lives frees up their valuable time and gives them more opportunities to earn.

With the traditional employment framework giving way to this new system, freelancing has become a stable means of income more than ever.

#2: There’s plenty of room for growth 

LinkedIn, one of the biggest online job portals and professional networks, conducted some studies on the future of the global freelancing job market in the next decade.

They said that in just the next two years or so, 43% of the working people in the United States would be freelancers. This trend is an indication of how professionals in the U.S. and the rest of the world want more power over their work-life balance.

Not only that, rapid shifts in the economy have caused massive layoffs. This also means fewer companies are offering retirement packages than before.

On top of that, inflation is driving up basic living expenses, like transportation, food and housing.

All of these make it less appealing for younger (and even older) workers to invest their time and talents in just one company – let alone commute to work.

So with everything going on right now, it’s created an environment where working as a freelancer has become a practical choice.

#3: Gig culture is in vogue 

Drop by your local Starbucks (or any other relatively packed coffee shop for that matter), and chances are you’ll find a bunch of young, hip professionals furiously working away on their laptops.

These freelancers are usually involved in some creative type of work. They could be in a wide range of fields, like entertainment, arts, design and digital media to name a few.

And they’re all over, whether it’s in the U.S. (like Silicon Valley for instance), India or London.

World-changing ideas and innovations are their main commodity, and stylish cafés are their workplace of choice. They could be churning out the next big leap in technology – or spearheading a massive movement on social media.

But this isn’t just a passing hipster phase in the world economy. It’s another indication of how freelancing is perceived in general, and why it’s here to stay.

Freelancing site Upwork did a study called “Freelancing in America: 2016” which found that 79% of independent workers they surveyed preferred working gigs over steady employment with a single company.

The majority of participants also believe that freelance work has become more mainstream than in the past several years. Not only that, they’ve either charged more for their work, or are planning to do so.

Best of all, most freelancers in the study assert that it’s actually safer to have more than one source of income instead of putting all their eggs in one basket.

#4: Freelancing is just as safe as traditional jobs –if not SAFER 

Along with the benefits of being your own boss and owning your time, doing multiple gigs offers a financial safety net if managed properly.

Think about this way – no matter what kind of job arrangement you have (whether employed or freelance), you’ll STILL have to put in the work.

Otherwise, you’ll soon find yourself unemployed. So why not choose a job that gives you more freedom and flexibility?

A lot of businesses today are looking to outsource jobs, which is a good thing if you’re a freelancer.

And even if a given company happens to shut down, the money will still come in. Once you’ve got a healthy portfolio of clients, you’ll never run out of work.

So you want to be a freelancer… 

The bottom line is that freelancing work is the new job security. 

It’s just a matter of trading one set of circumstances for another, which is par for the course given the current state of the world economy.

I know you might have some hesitations if you’re thinking about breaking free from the soul-crushing cubicle farm.

But as you’ve just learned, the grass is greener on the other side as long as you know what you’re doing.

And the truth is that I didn’t know what I was getting into when I was carving out a freelancing career of my own about seven years ago.

I used to work full-time in the education sector. Knee-deep in my teaching job and in the middle of doing my PhD, I grew desperate from having almost no time to live my life.

But with some hustle, a little elbow grease and a generous helping of stick-to-itiveness, I eventually made a life-changing shift to freelancing.

If you want to learn how I became a happy, productive freelancer (and AVOID the mistakes I made) watch my free video HERE.