The Business Building Basics of Free

November 11th, 2008 by | Print


No, I’m not here to help put you out of business. I know that unless you’re operating as a non-profit organization, the goal of your business IS to make a profit.


However, building a business is not only based upon selling something for a profit. “Free” can be a great business builder, too, if you learn how to use it the right way.


How can “freebies” pay you back?



All businesses need exposure – positive exposure. Most people have little resistance to a free giveaway. Freebies can be a great way to get your foot in the door and open the prospects’ ears to your business benefits. Make sure that your freebie is tied to information about your business, how to contact you and includes a call to action. Don’t just let the prospect swim off with your bait. Get them on the hook.


Warning – Make sure that your freebie reflects your business. Don’t give away junk. If your free goodie is a baddie, you run the risk of turning your goodwill into bad press. Give away junk now and most people will believe that is what they will get if they deal with you in the future. Plus, they may be resentful that you wasted their time. Good luck trying to win them back.


While you are getting the exposure, make sure that you don’t forget to build a contact list. Giveaways are a great way to get prospects to hand over contact information so you can effectively communicate future campaigns.



I’m guessing that you’ve heard the expression, “goodwill goes a long way”. The least benefit is to simply give it away. Yes, your prospects may thank you for their new trinket, but try tying your freebie in with a charity. Not only can you gain greater exposure through a larger network, but the goodwill generated by helping a local charity has a greater impact. Locate charities that have board members and donors that are prime prospects.


Ascending Sales

The ascension model in sales requires a customer to purchase products in a specific order to get the full benefit of a program. In this model, the first product is usually the least expensive and the last product is usually the most. Sometimes the best way to get around customers’ resistance to getting started is with a giveaway. If you have a new sales campaign and find that you aren’t rocking it like you had hoped, create a giveaway that leads them into a sale. Give the prospect enough of a taste to get them wanting more.


What are some good giveaways?


Expired Inventory

Unless the expired inventory is perishable – like food – use it to your advantage. Although it may not be relevant to solving a customer’s problem now, it can be an example of how you solved a problem in the past. This will give the customer insight into your methods – and beats throwing it away.


Other Peoples’ Product

Suppliers, private label right (PLR) products and free eBooks are a good source for freebies.


Sometimes your suppliers may have a new product that they want you to try or a promotion equivalent to buy-one-get-one-free. With these goodies, you can either turn 100% profit or leverage  them into one of the methods mentioned above.


PLR products are another option. Most PLR products are low cost products other people produce that you can use in your campaign as your own.


Authors will create free eBooks because as in your own freebie campaign, it gives them exposure to their profit producing products. Find eBooks that will be of interest and value to your customers.


Take a look into your business and determine what products or services are at your disposal for a giveaway campaign. The small-minded business owner perceives giveaways as a loss. See the bigger picture and explode the full power of freebies.


All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


2 Responses to “The Business Building Basics of Free”

  1. tim Says:

    I think you are a genius, and I have learnt a lot from your site. I like your website, and how it was built. I was hoping you could tell me what company help you built your site, or any companies you could recommend for cheap. I’m trying to build a simple site that lets people know when retailers have sales and when desirable products have discounts. Hope to hear back from you.

  2. Douglas Dolan Says:


    Thank you for the kind words.

    I watched videos at There Yaro and Gideon produced 10 free videos that you can watch on how to set up a blog. I followed their instructions – basically using WordPress and a free theme that I found on-line. I created the pages and content and manage the blog myself.

    I have a friend that produces web sites. His name is Chris Hanna. He is the owner of Atomic Design. You can find them online at

    Your concept will require more functionality than I have here so I don’t know that you can go the same route that I did. Sounds like you need to create a means for automatically collecting data online from various sites regarding sales.

    Let me know if you need more help.


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