I recently began offering complementary writer's workshop for writer's groups. I was stunned over some of the reactions that were at times abrasive and borderline rude. The major concern centered around whether or not we might expect something for our time. Since the workshops are designed as information-based marketing programs, the answer was no. We just wanted the opportunity to meet, educate, and network with fellow writers. When you give information away freely and without reservation, people will naturally gravitate toward your company. I have found free information = opportunities without hard sales. The bonus for us is we love what we do and enjoy teaching and educating others about our craft.
Well, this one writer's group just pushed and pushed and questioned about our genuine interest in sharing with their group. It got to the point where after several assurances we would not give an infomercial, the group leader continued what just became an offensive stance on the content of our workshop (of course, without having read or heard the material). This barrage of "anxiety" over a FREE workshop went over-the-top and pushed us away. We were offended by the constant anxiety over what was no more than a nice gesture. If you take everything offered to you as "what's in it for them" versus "what can they share with us," you are going to not only lose opportunities and chances to learn, but you are going to alienate as well. If someone offers something that is of great value, just say that is great and thank you so much. Gratitude is always winning! Lack of appreciation ... not so much.