These days it may seem like offering your product or service for free is the way to contribute to the larger community and serve. However, what you do today will impact your transition tomorrow into wanting to charge the same people for your services later.
So how do you navigate the slippery slope of wanting to provide your services and products in today’s environment while needing and wanting to make money?
Here’s how to do it:
1. Offer yourself for free on an ongoing basis in a specific period of time.
What does that mean? Make yourself available for a limited amount of time on a consistent basis for free. For example, when I was in college, my professors would have office hours when they would make themselves available – for free. They would help me with whatever I asked them.
Be my college professor. Offer a specific day(s) and time(s) when you have time available for those who want to take advantage of what you have to offer for free.
2. Remember: there are people right now who will pay you now for your services and products.
If you don’t set out that you have paid services and fees for products for those who will pay, they won’t pay you because you’re not advertising or promoting that you are charging and have products and services that are valuable and need to be paid for.
I know plenty of entrepreneurs who are not able to work, like acupuncturists and others, who have products they are selling at full price – no discounts – and their products are selling at full price.
3. Beware of filling your calendar with free. While “free” feels good to offer to others, you have to value yourself and love yourself just as much as loving others. Avoid building the burden of having your calendar overrun with free appointments so you feel like you are valuable and can work – because you are and can, even now.
Governor Cuomo said it best in his recent press conference: learn from this time and reimagine how you will do business.
Reimagine how your business will operate going forward and how others will experience it from purchase to delivery.
Continue to serve those who understand that you and your business are essential …for them.