In today’s society, a lot of people don’t understand the value of free.  Free is not really free.  There is no such thing as a genuinely free product or service.  You may get something for free, but someone else had to pay for it.

My point is that “free” has a value.  Everyone likes to get free stuff.  As a business owner, you already know the value of your product or service.  The key is to get potential customers to also understand the value.  So a lot of times, a business will offer a free trial or a free, basic service, or a free whitepaper or ebook.  While some may grumble that they shouldn’t have to give away services or products – I mean, after all, those items do cost something – the tactic is sometimes necessary to give people an idea of the value.

Take, for example, Hootsuite, a social media dashboard where you can monitor and manage multiple social networking accounts.  They initially started out with only a free service.  They added more and more value to the platform for the end user.  And then they launched the paid platform.  By then, they had a fan base that was eager to make the jump.  Why?  Because the value of free encouraged them to see the value of the paid.

If you ensure that your free service or product conveys a value to your customer there will be a pay-off.  There is a method to the madness and you don’t want to make everything free.  Just make sure that what you do mark as free, whether it be for a limited time or capacity, is a value-add to your potential client base.