The time old marketing tactic of offering a free product or service is still as effective as ever.

In an increasingly saturated market, it can be hard to differentiate yourself from your competitors and to draw in new leads. Offering free services is a clever way to attract new clients and create a positive image for your company. Moreover, word of mouth is still the most efficient medium of communication. And there is no quicker way to create a loyal network of customers and to speed up this personal communication than to offer a client something for free.

What knowledge should I give?

There is no point in giving the client something meaningless to them. Clients value things that are valuable to you.

As a consultant, the most valuable thing you have to offer is your time. Giving clients time makes them feel valued and creates a sense of loyalty. Therefore, a free consultation is a surefire way to attract and retain customers. During your meeting, you should make suggestions, show them how they can improve and what you can offer them. If you are unsure if a free consultation is the best tactic for your company, then you can get involved in community forums and networks assisting with any queries.

If you are questioning whether this actually works; think back to the last time someone offered up something valuable to you and what impact that had on you. For me, I have a clear memory of my high school Economics teacher spending her free time to help my group on a project. The fact she went out of her way to assist us, was one of the driving forces behind me wanting to study Economics further. I really valued the time she offered us.

How should I provide the knowledge? 

You want to present your free service in the most convenient and accessible way possible. Offering a free service alone doesn’t necessarily attract customers if there are barriers in place to prevent them from receiving the service. 

MeetFox can offer a seamless service for both you and the client; enabling you to schedule, remind and meet up with the client all in one place. Our platform also allows you to maximise your time slots, to prevent you wasting unnecessary energy and money. Now more than ever, video meetings are the best way to meet clients, they are approachable, easy and flexible. With MeetFox you can conveniently integrate meetings with your website, making the user experience hassle-free.

When should I give something for free?

This is a difficult question and is ultimately based on the potential value a customer can bring to you and your business. But it is important to set boundaries for yourself, I encourage you to have a set amount of time you can donate and to not exceed it.

Where should I offer someone this service?

Your first port of call will always be your own website, where clients can easily access your knowledge. Also using community forums/social media like MeetFox, Quora, LinkedIn are excellent platforms to find prospective new customers. It is also a way to give back. Loads of entrepreneurs are using free question and answer forums to gather information on improving their business. By spending some time answering questions and providing solutions, you help the community and position yourself as an expert.