In the latest edition of my book Home Made Money I touch on a subject that many newer entrepreneurs tell me they have issues with.
“What do I do when I have a personal relationship with someone where they feel so comfortable that they ask me for free or discounted services?” First, always have a fixed friend and family discount, say 10-20%.
Keep this in mind when friends, family members or other people ask for free services;
When someone asks you to work for them for free (no matter how nice or slick they are about it) they are telling you that your services are worthless and that your time and expertise have zero value. Tell them no, but keep it professional. Your response should sound something like this;
“Thanks for contacting me regarding ____________. I appreciate you taking the time to express your confidence in my skills and abilities. I am often asked to share my expertise in ____________, which is why I created (your blog or website). You can find lots of information there or you can purchase my consulting services package. The starting investment is $XXX.00 for my consulting services. When would you like to get started?”
The same goes for accepting work online. There will always be someone that will do the same work that you are doing for less. Never sell yourself short. Your time is just as valuable as anyone else and you need to charge accordingly for it. The client will absolutely pay extra if you know your value.
Giving in to someone who wants to devalue your time is a detriment to your business and to the other party. You will be resentful and feel devalued when doing the work. Your feelings will show in the quality of whatever you produce no matter how you attempt to hide it. Then they’ll complain and you’ll feel taken advantage of. All of this will negatively affect your relationship. You may think you’re being nice by providing free services but in the end it’s not worth it.
Plus, someone who cares about you would respect the fact that you are doing this to take care of your lifestyle and personal/family needs and they will happily pay you for your products and services.
The thing is, this can only work if you create the blog, book or program that I’ve mentioned above. Your website is a great place to promote your knowledge through blogging, short stories or even audios and videos that you’ve created. Your products don’t have to be expensive or extensive. Just have something to offer those people who don’t believe they can afford the full service package that you offer. Have free samples or low cost options available. Eventually, they’ll be ready to pay full price once they see the value of your work.
My other advice is this; if you can’t tell your friends and family “no” stop telling people you own the business. Tell them you have a business partner or a board member with whom you have to clear everything. You can even blame your assistant. “My assistant said if I keep giving discounts and freebies I’m going to go out of business so she requiring me to send all transaction through her from now on.”
Do whatever you gotta do to protect your business’ bottom line. Even if it means just flat out saying, “No!”
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