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Posted: April 18, 2013

Money for nothing

Smart ways to use everybody's favorite word

Teri Karjala

Stuck at a standstill? Want to improve your business? Although it may seem counterintuitive, think about moving forward and boosting customers by incorporating one special word into your business more often: FREE.

Let’s face it: Everyone loves something for nothing. The book The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann is a great resource on increasing the value of your business based on giving your clients or customers a little bit more.

Creating free resources doesn't mean taking a loss! What is the greatest free resource? Information, of course – information that you can offer in various ways to educate your clients or consumers. Taking the time to create free informational sources will add value to your business for pre-existing clients or customers and will help your business stand out to potential ones.

Giving in this way not only promotes your business, it is also personally rewarding. When you give, give from the goodness of your heart. If you have an alternative agenda – forget it. You will be detected, and it will have the opposite effect. Give because it is a part of your nature and goodness.

Ideas For Giving

Networking: Many of the true networkers out there know that the more you give, the more you get in return. Sending a free article, blog or email connection is also fun. I get a little rush from finding something that someone else can use and sending it to them, even if it is completely out of the blue. Giving in this way is so powerful, and it is always a delight receiving the corresponding joy in return.

Social Media: You can provide a no-cost tool or informational resource for peers, clients and friends to access. Create a free PDF, ebook, top 10 list, etc. This will also help in getting people to “like” your Facebook page, a hidden benefit.

Family Freebies: We have done this in our business by creating one-of-a-kind coloring and activities pages that were drawn up by hand and then copied. Not only is it fun for kids, but also it has our logo and contact information on the sheets, acting as a reminder for adults who might need to contact us. We have these handy in our waiting area, and I always love watching kids color and do the activities on them. Children love taking them home and hanging them on the refrigerator.

Adult Freebies: For adults we have created free “take and posts," inspirational messages to hang at home. They are printed on a thick card-stock and are nice enough to be framed or hung without a frame. Each month we place a new one of these in the waiting area. Again, this small free resource is in keeping with our mission to empower and inspire people, and it acts as a reminder to our clients to live life to the fullest each and every day.

Free Trainings: Another way to create free resources may be by recording any trainings, workshops and webinars that you create and provide free CDs/DVDs to your clients. This can be a great thank-you gift that adds real value to the services that you provide.

Promotional Items: Giving away free promotional items to clients/customers is a nice, unexpected treat. Find one that best suits your messaging based on your industry. Since we offer counseling services, our promotional item is a free stress ball. We always get great responses from the giving away of this very inexpensive item.

The point here is that giving can help you grow your business and increase customer satisfaction. Above all, it is great for you (think good Karma and loads of positive feelings). Providing free resources to clients and customers can be easily incorporated into everything that you do, from speaking engagements to services provided.

Have fun brainstorming ways in which your business can give a little more back. Think outside the box to incorporate everyone's favorite word into your regular business vocabulary and sit back and enjoy the positive response.

Teri Karjala is owner of the Creative Counseling Center, LLC, as well as Talking With Teri, LLC. Teri’s passion for the business aspects of owning and maintaining a business has made her a sought out coach by others in the helping fields. She is a regular columnist for ColoradoBiz Magazine and speaks to therapists across the nation in building their thriving practice. Recently she has released her “How to Live Deliciously” Creative Journal Series to help inspire and empower adults, teens, and children. These are available in print at

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