Or, maybe I should ask, what can you give away? In tricky economic times like these, we are probably focusing much more on "getting" (for example, more work, enough income to cover bills, and appointments with potential clients) than "giving." I submit to you, however, that the more we give and the more giving we become, the more we will get back.
I am in no way suggesting that we start giving just to get, but the amazing truth is that those who are willing to give of themselves for free - and in this article I will share ways to do this - find that opportunities and many other advantages come their way. Just think about truly successful people and philanthropists. The leaders have always been givers too.
Develop an attitude of giving ideas and information when asked. I know people who have good ideas, but won't tell anyone, because they are afraid someone may steal an idea. And someone may, but by hoarding what we know, think or imagine will hurt us in the long run. When we are known to be willing to share information with others in an open and giving way, our name will be mentioned often. People will ask us for "how tos." When someone needs to hire a person for a special job, we will often be recommended. As Zig Ziglar - not only one of the most successful speakers in the country, but also one of the most caring, down-to-earth and giving people I have ever met - says, "You can get everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." And I know this works. When someone calls me with a question - even when I am swamped with work and short on time - I make myself slow down and take the time to answer it. I would want others to treat me that way, and people do remember how they are treated.
So what else can I give? I don't have a lot of extra money lying around. At this point, I am not suggesting that we go into debt. My favorite marketing guru, Robert Middleton - who has just had his most lucrative year and can be found HERE - always asks what we can freely give of value to our clients and/or prospective clients. One of his ideas is that we offer to speak for free to various groups. It might be a luncheon meeting, a brown bag lunch. He offers workshops, and once people have attended these valuable sessions they hurry to buy his marketing manual and/or tapes. He also writes free articles for trade magazines and websites, always getting a byline with contact information. Robert sends out a weekly newsletter free that is so loaded with valuable content that I read every word. I started by sending for his free marketing plan, then purchased his manual, then some of his excellent tapes, then a tele-seminar - you get the idea. And, because he is so giving of his time and talent, I mention him to everyone who is seeking marketing advice.
But, what should I speak or write about? What is your area of expertise? What lessons have you learned from becoming a free agent, independent professional and freelancer? How could you help others succeed? For example, if you are a writer, you could give a talk or workshop on writing skills along with writing an article too. If you write copy, you could speak and/or write about what makes a killer news release or advertisement. If you are a web designer/developer you could speak and/or write about the pitfalls faced when designing a site or hiring someone to help you design a site. If you are a builder, you could give a talk and/or write about on how to pick a contractor and set up a successful working relationship. What are the questions your clients ask you? These will give you an idea for timely topics.
But who will want me to speak to them or write for them? I know that you realize that we are in the middle of the biggest information age of all time. The operative word here is "free." When we give away information, either by speaking or writing, we will find that people want more. There are many groups and companies who are always looking for speakers. Chambers of Commerce, clubs, associations and organizations meet on a regular basis and are always delighted to find a good speaker who has something unique to share. With the growth of the Internet, writers are in demand. My one warning is to not go overboard with giving away too much. Give enough that they want more and can come to you to get it.
What else can you give away? Our most valuable commodity, in my opinion, is time. When we are willing to share some of our valuable time to volunteer for an organization or group of our choice, our rewards will be unlimited. Check out my article on volunteering. Most of my work has come about either from volunteering or networking. And besides the work, I have developed wonderful relationships and friendships. And we all know that people like to work with and hire their friends. Another benefit of being actively involved with groups is what I have learned about leadership, about people and about current trends - along with all of the information I have garnered.
Or stop and consider your product - is there something related you can give away? Maybe you can offer an hour of consultation. How about, if you are a caterer, a sample of appetizer choices or pastries? Maybe you are a seamstress. How about a 10% discount on the first tailoring job? People love getting discounts, free gifts and coupons. How can you use this to your advantage? You will most likely come up with a plethora of ideas.
start giving, you will discover how much fun it is. And then you'll find
how lucrative it will become. Please let me know how it works for
you. I love getting your FEEDBACK!
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