Why providing your services and products for free is a great marketing strategy

You know the saying, charge what you're worth and never give anything away for free?

It's true that you should charge what you're worth. But giving something for free can be a valuable marketing activity as long as you're strategic and work out the ROI as worth it.

When I started marketing, I would do a few things for free. I ran a competition on my Instagram to give away a free Instagram marketing strategy, and calculated the ROI based on the future followers (and then clientele) I would get from it.

So even though you are giving away something for free, it's technically not free as you are expecting something in return.

Here's 5 marketing ideas to give away something for free:

1. Send your products to influencers in return for a review and exposure to their audience. Make sure that they are the right influencer, with the right audience. ROI: New customers.

2. Give out a taster. If you're a food or beverage company, offering free testers can reduce the perception of risk in buyers. They've tried it, and if they like it, they can buy it without having to go through the decision making process. ROI: New & repeat customers.

3. Host a give away on social media. Whether it's for a product or service or something else, hosting a give away can generate a social media buzz and excitement. Use requirements such as needing to tag a friend to enter, to help spread awareness. ROI: New followers & brand awareness.

4. Create a lead and giveaway knowledge for free. If you're a coach, consultant, or something else, creating a free lead in order to get email sign ups, site visits, or something else is a great way to achieve KPIs. Here's my lead magnet which gives you 14 great hacks for Instagram growth. You can then use this lead magnet to upsell. ROI: Higher paying clients/customers.

5. Host a free event. If you're a local business and want to attract a local customer base, hosting an event is a great way to get customer's through your door. At the event, you can have a special one time offer to encourage sales on the night and an incentive to come back. ROI: Local traffic, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.