If you are in business….You’re an expert at what you do, and you expect to get paid for it. So how do you avoid working for free? How do you handle customers or clients that expect you to give away your valuable time?
There are some people out there that just want to get what they can for free and aren’t serious about hiring someone to do work for them. The just suck away your time and knowledge and may never be willing to pay you for help. They’ll try to do everything themselves and will end up taking three times as long to get where they want to go and often won’t ever reach their destination. it’s time to move on and find a real client and buyer that needs help and wants to hire someone that can deliver great value.
Instead of giving away all your advice for free, ask the buyer as many questions as you can to understand their situation. The more questions you ask the clearer the picture will become and the more you’ll know if and how you can best help them. They don’t need to know how you’re going to solve their problem, they only need to know that you can. After all, providing advice and applying your knowledge is what the business is all about. Giving away everything wouldn’t be fair to your paying clients & customers now, would it?
What is important is that you take a moment to step back and look at your current situation objectively: are you losing your ability to boldly ask to be paid because you’re constantly giving away, bartering, or discounting your business? It will feel awkward at first to ask for your money. But like everything, practice and time make things better. It’s time to stand up, be an owner, and get paid. Here are a few tips to get started down this path:
- Create paid products. Seems pretty obvious, but surprisingly, many online freelancers/consultants have no structured products or packages. Besides knowing your hourly rate, create packages of your most-requested services.
- Set limits on your free help. Many people use 15 minutes of your time, or will answer two questions before drawing the line. Make sure this line is drawn and you do not cross it.
- Offer some free resources the right way.Offer your paid products first, then offer a free alternative second. That could be a blog post of resources or a paper handout with some tips on doing it yourself. Make sure you distinguish between the 2 different types.
- Give away the “what” and charge for the “how.” For example, you can tell people all about why Facebook is a great platform for business. But when it comes to how to apply that in their business, it’s time to turn on the meter.
“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.”