How to Stop Giving Away Too Much of Your Time for Free

By: Stephanie Tuesday August 30, 2016 comments Tags: Time management, Marketing, Lead attraction, Consultations

A few weeks ago, I came to a realization: I was spending WAY too much time on unpaid consultations.

I don't like to create isolated pieces of copy that don't actually get results. If someone hires me to write a blog post, I want to know if they have ways to get people looking at that blog post, and a good offer and landing page they can use to monetize that post.

So when I have my initial consultation with a client, I not only discuss what they need for the item for which they're hiring me, but I also explore their entire launch plan. If they already have one, great! But if they don't... well... I recently realized that I've been spending multiple hours creating entire launch plans for free.
I want to give my clients the best possible value and bring them results, but I also need to honor my own time and value. And pay my bills.

I started to consider my options. I wasn't about to cut the launch planning phase of my copywriting - that's too important to leave out. But I couldn't just keep giving away hours and hours of my time.

So how could I honor my own value and bill-paying responsibilities, while still giving my clients everything they need?

One option was to have paid launch planning sessions. If the initial phone call indicated that the client wasn't sure what they needed, and they'd require a lot of discussion and exploration to determine their next few steps, I could enroll them in a paid coaching session.

Another was to automate the process, in a way that would be convenient for my client and I.

I decided to work with my clients' and my natural tendencies.

After giving the matter some thought, I decided to start with the second option. Most of the time, after my clients and I discuss their launch, both parties need to take some time to sort out our thoughts in a setting where we aren't in mid-conversation. Personally, I think best when I'm not on the spot and I have time to write things down, and many of my clients work the same way.

So if we usually needed to stop, think and write before we could finalize the launch plan, even if we'd already had a conversation, why not start with that step?

Why not give my clients a way to figure out their launch on their own schedule, at their leisure, in a way that would allow them to think and process in a relaxed and pressure-free environment?

I wanted to make the launch-planning process as easy and time-efficient as possible for both parties.

To do that, I made a list of all the questions I usually ask my clients during our consultations, and turned them into a downloadable questionnaire.

Along with the questions about what they wanted to include in the materials they were having me create, the questionnaire also included notes on how to determine what, if any, additional materials might be needed, and in which order they'd be required.

That way, by the time my clients book their consultation, they can already have a clear idea of what they'll need, when they'll need it, and what they want it to include.

What are you currently doing for free?

Free materials and consultations are great ways to support your audience and attract leads. But if you're giving away too much of your time and expertise for free, it's time to find a way to either automate or monetize that task.

So ask yourself: are there questions you find yourself asking repeatedly, that you can turn into a questionnaire?

Is there information you're giving to every client you enroll? Can you turn it into a booklet or audio, so your clients can consume it without you having to spend hours repeating yourself by imparting your wisdom to one person at a time?

Are you giving away too much information in your consultations, when you should be charging for your expertise?

Take a few minutes to think about that. This may be an opportunity for you to save yourself some time, or to turn one of your currently-free offerings into an opt-in gift or a paid product.

Do you need to plan a launch or get some marketing materials written?

If so, I applaud your impeccable timing and online navigational abilities. I mean, look at where you ended up, at just the right time!

I invite you to download your complimentary copy of the Personalized Marketing Plan Questionnaire, and to use it right away to plan your launch, determine what you need, and save yourself valuable time and money when hiring a copywriter.

All you have to do is fill out the form below, and I'll email it to you.



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About the Author: Stephanie

Stephanie is a writer and coaching program design specialist. She helps coaches to create and sell life-changing coaching programs, so they can help more people, make more money, and have more time freedom.