I had this discussion last night. We were talking about why I didn't want to do my "Build Your Business Book in a Day" workshop for free just to attract prospects. What I said lends itself to this blog. The perception of free can do two critical things:
1. People aren't as motivated to attend something that is FREE because if something comes up they will easily "wash" the free program. They lose nothing. Sometimes the potential "loss" is a motivator just to get someone out the door ... or out of bed for that matter ;).
2. The perception of FREE begs the question, "If it's worth nothing it's probably worth nothing" and kills perception of value. With lack of perceived value, why bother?
Now there are times when free is great. Free giveaways for valuable things like a Cruise to the Caribbean can attract a lot of business. Who doesn't want a FREE Caribbean cruise. Giveaways of something that obviously and without question has value works. Giveaways of intellectual property is frankly a crapshoot. Even really big names giving something away for free can devalue it. Perception: product perception, value perception -- these things influence us on a subconscious level. So when you use "freebies" in marketing programs, give this some thought.
And PS, for a Friday this blog is way too serious LOL.