If your business is not selling as you wish it would or if you are not getting the page hits or enough people to sign-up for your e-mail magazines, then let me suggest to you that you increase sales by starting to give away stuff for free...
You read correctly. Free.
"What!? Rogers, are you out of your mind? We aren't making any money now as it is... We can't afford to give stuff away for free!" I can almost hear you say it...
Trust me, you do not have to give away the entire store, but I suggest that if you want to get good internet page views and good traction, then start giving things away for free... That not only includes great internet content for free, but also product or services. For a good example of a page that does everything for free, check this... I typed in "free" on a Google Search and this was #1: free.com
Just recently, a new company that I started with some business partners just signed up Japan's biggest electronics maker as a client. How did we do it? We gave them out service to try out for absolutely free for 90 days. They did and they signed on within the first 2 months.
They probably wouldn't have done that if they did get the service and run it though their fingers first. Most Japanese companies wouldn't have given the service away for a free trial either but I like to think that we are a very progressively thinking company and when it came down to a vote by directors to let them use it for free or not, the vote was 5 to 1 for free.
So Sony got the service for free. Two months later we got the biggest electronics maker in Japan as a client.
Let's say you are a wine distributor, how about giving away quality wine bottle openers for free? I'll bet that if you talked to some of your winery client's, they could give your several hundred bottle openers for free (you barter the promotion for them)...Or how about cook books? Think about it, the sky is the limit. Just ask people to sign up for your e-mail magazines or newsletter, and they get a freebie.
You may not want to give away your bread and butter product or service, but giveaway something that leads people to your main product. That's the key.
Give people who join your group something free and they will come to visit your site and learn about you. (Just make sure that when you do have people sign up that you ask for the minimum amount of information... It's best of you to just ask for e-mail addresses only to join... Then, if they want, say, the wine bottle opener, you can direct them to a place where they can sign up and give more details.)
Now, a lot of people are going to say that giving things away cannot possibly generate any income, but the entire internet today is proof that what I am saying is true.
Those who remember the early days of the internet will remember that, way back when, everything cost money... We had to pay for our e-mail accounts, Microsoft Office, etc. etc., Now? Look at all the things that are free! Online games are free; software; e-mail accounts... I could never name them all....
Just the state of the internet today shows that giving things away for free is a good way to build a customer base...
Now, your hard-headed boss will tell you that I am wrong... That I am just some internet geek who doesn't understand business... If he does, then tell him about Google.
Google is the contradiction to old fashioned thinking.... Google gives away everything for free; e-mail, search engine, Google Docs, etc., etc., Google gives away EVERYTHING FOR FREE!
Yes. Google gives away everything for free and yet they are one of the most profitable companies in the world. How do they do it? If you think deeply about this, you may find the key to fixing your own company and your own business.
For more may I recommend this great book? It's called Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson
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