07 Feb Has free lost it’s magic? – a closer look at the concept of ‘free’
Has free lost it’s magic? – a closer look at the concept of ‘free’.
Glass Half Full Podcast with Steven Britton
Steve and I have a conversation about, “Has free lost its magic?”
We are all vying for our voice to be heard and recognized in our business. But, is free losing its magic?
Is there too much being offered for free? And what exactly is free?
I remember my father saying, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”
What really is free?
I don’t think that there is anything wrong with something being for free, but we do need to be aware of what is really going on.
Ask yourself, is it a genuine offer?
How many times have you gone into a store to see big signs up promoting 20%, 50% or more off marked items, only to find that it is one small rack at the back of the store with limited sale items and certainly not the discounts being advertised?
I know that I have.
Stores who engage in these practices do themselves a disservice because the shopping public is becoming more savvy in their shopping habits.
A lot of shopping these days is done online. With a keystroke, you can find products and services at your fingertips.
You also see a lot of advertisements for free and discounted products and services on social media.
Since the advent of the pandemic, much more business promotion has gone online, especially on Facebook and LinkedIn.
The most recent trend seems to be the ‘5 day challenges’ that show up in your newsfeed.
The concept with these is you being invited to participate in a group and over the course of 5 days, a lot of information is given out by the host. At the end of it, the host will do a pitch for you to work with them directly for a fee. You might get asked to sign up for a workshop, mastermind or intensive program.
Given the nature of this type of format, it would be highly unusual for someone to go into the challenge not expecting some kind of trade off.
There are people complaining on social media about all of these type of free offers.
But, what about if we were to think about it differently?
What can you gain from participating in an experience like a 5 day challenge?
Here’s 4 benefits:
- You can meet new people and potentially get to make some great connections.
- You learn new information.
- The potential to attract business to yourself.
- You get to know, like and trust the host.
You may choose to take up the host’s offer of joining their further program, or not. If you don’t, that’s ok, as you may find their information or services useful at a later date.
As a business owner, is this the best way of promoting your business?
Think about how much time, effort and energy that you are putting into a 5 day challenge or any free offer that you are promoting.
Whether you are the host or the participant, the secret here is to ask yourself, what is the benefit vs any disadvantages?
Charities are in the free business as well. They rely on people donating their goods so that they can use them to give or sell to others.
There is a big difference between that type of free and the free that people are doing to attract customers to their business.
The key point to remember is that free has a place when doing business, however there will be trade off.
All business owners are vying to get your business and they want to make themselves more visible.
We may choose to be cynical or wary about what is being offered, but we can also learn much from others, for example, how they do business, and how you might apply similar concepts to your own business. What is working for them? What is not?
For most people, social media is a part of their lives.
However, rather than constantly scrolling and being bombarded with ‘free’ offers, perhaps one thing that we can do is to engage more with the people and businesses that have meaning to us.
In that way advertisements and offers will have less of an impact on us.
For a start, we won’t see as many of them as we have stopped to engage with people, rather than just numbly scrolling through.
In this time, now more than ever, we need to be mindful of what we give our mind access to.
We need to be mindful of our mental health. We want to be interacting with people in a positive way.
As social beings, social media certainly plays a part in that, especially when we cannot go visit people readily.
Free will definitely remain a part of our culture, but if we can factor an open mind into the ‘free’ concept, we can potentially gain much in terms of interaction, connection and business relationships.
I hope that you have enjoyed my blog and podcast interview on the Has Free Lost Its Magic?
For videos on Mindset and Guided Meditations, check out my YouTube channel, Mindset2Success.
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