Being a business owner makes you a great "go to" for others looking to venture where you've successfully gone before. Often, and especially on social media, people will hop into your DM's and ask you to share advice for free. While some things are easy and quick to explain, others require more than just a quick answer- and in order to honor God and the way you earn an income for your family, your time needs a dollar sign attached to it and can't always be given out for free.
But I know...your heart and the reason you are here is to help others!!! So let's tackle the guilt associated with this and get to the core of what will allow you to kindly serve while still charging for your time and services when necessary.
Scripture talks SO much about money and paying the laborer what he or she is due. 1 Timothy 5:18 says, "The laborer is worthy of his wages.” God wants you to charge others a fair price for the work you do.
When you put in the time to build your business, what you've created has often taken you years of experience and effort to learn. You shouldn't take that lightly! You've crafted your technique and grown even through your failures. That experience gives you an invaluable appreciation and depth behind your journey and shaped you into the successful woman you are today. To merely give something away prevents the other person from gaining that same kind of experience as they grow, and de-values what you've built through blood, sweat and often, even tears. These are lessons produced by the character building that God promises His people He'll bring. Romans 5:3-5 says, "We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
So how CAN you politely tackle this uncomfortable subject of converting questions people ask into service you don't just give away for free? Let's talk about this:
OUT OF RESPECT FOR PAYING CLIENTS:
Your clients who pay you good money for your coaching, expertise, and time deserve a higher level of service than those you help for free. This means that in order to honor the investment they've made into your coaching, courses, products, or services, you can't just give that information away. Refer them to book a discovery call with you to see if working together would be a good fit OR direct link them to your Calendly to book a paid coaching call, right away.
How can you politely say this?
"Out of respect for my paying 1:1 Clients, I don't give personalized feedback outside of our coaching calls or group mentorships. If you'd like to book a call with me, let me know and I'd be more than happy to send you the link!"
OFFER UP YOUR FREEBIES:
I believe every business owner should be giving away a large portion of your content - but keep reading b/c this is not hypocritical of what I just shared about not giving out info for free! Here's how this works:
In order to build a like, know, trust relationship across the barriers of social media, you NEED to show others your expertise. So creating a free resource you link in your bio (webinar, printable, checklist, planner, training video, e-Book, etc.) allows you to connect with them and build authority in your field, instantly. (For a free downloadable larger list of lead magnets you can create, click here!)
Use specific free resources as a teaser for the higher price offers you provide, as a chance to gather contact info- which technically means there's an exchange - and sets them up for you to contact them about future sales. You offer up your free resource in exchange for their permission to email or text them with valuable information to the contact info they provide. It's easy peasy and an expected form of sharing online these days!
I also recommend creating Highlight Bubbles that answer FAQ's (frequently asked questions), provide tutorials, share testimonials / before and afters, and so much more! Live videos can be saved and turned into guides that walk your community through an experience. This allows them to binge your content and LEARN so much FOR FREE (you give them some basics at no charge then direct them to more in depth trainings that attach a fee) all while driving people to your site!
Instagram LOVES when you keep people on their app as long as possible. When you create binge-worthy, save-worthy content, they honor you by sharing you on the explore page and driving more traffic (which increases sales) to your page. PLUS, when you offer value, your people begin to appreciate you so much more and they know that you'll overdeliver when the time comes to invest in your paid content.
How can you politely say this?
"My instagram account and website is filled with loads of free information on (fill in blank) and I have additional free resources linked in my bio! But if you're wanting more in depth info on (fill in blank), I cover that in (list offer)! (Insert link)"
DIRECT THEM TO UPCOMING EVENTS/COURSES/TOOLS, ETC.
As an entrepreneur, you're always crafting and creating. If you've got something already built that covers that topic, great. And if you're working on something new that will answer their questions- that's even better!
Recently I created a workshop that would help business owners batch create content for their entire Quarter One of 2023. In just 2 DAYS, they could plan out every single thing they'd share and create a goal-driven map to success that would bring them profit while taking their community through an incredibly transformational experience. While I was building this workshop, I directed my followers to my highlights and get people who reached out added to my waitlist. By creating FOMO (fear of missing out), I'd plug them into a landing page that would allow me to contact them ASAP to let them know when the workshop launches, FIRST!
You can do this too, it's super simple. Think through resources you have created or can create and get people plugged into a waitlist or give them direct access, ASAP. You can plug them into past lives, posts, or links to coaching and courses too!
How can you politely say this?
"That's a great question! I am actually covering this topic in-depth in an upcoming (masterclass, program, live video, etc.). On top of ______, we will also be talking about ______, _________, and ________! It's going to be SO GOOD. Here's the link (insert link). Let me know if you have any questions!"
Here's another option:
"Hi (insert name)! Thank you so much for reaching out- I'm honored that you see me as an expert in this subject and would come to me for direction. Here's a post where I discuss ________ on a basic level (insert link). If you'd love more in depth information, I would check out my (masterclass, membership, course, etc.) which covers __________, __________, and _________ and will help you achieve _________! Here's the link (insert link)! Let me know if you have any questions!"
JUST BE HONEST:
Share your heart and let the person know you would love to help, but due to the fact that the answer to their question is so complex, you would need to dive into different contributing factors a bit further and that would require a call.
Here's how you can politely say this:
"Hey girl, I would love to help! That's a loaded question because there are SO MANY factors that contribute to ( X,Y,Z ). Without looking into (fill in blank) or getting to know you more, it would be impossible for me to know what advice to give and how to help in the most effective way. Let's hop on a 1:1 call so we can discuss your (account, question, issue, concern) more in depth and figure out what's going on! Here's the link to book! (insert link)"
As Christians, we are here to serve but that doesn't mean we can afford to OR ever should share it all for free. A concept I have loved to adopt in the way I run my business is to create my offer and overdeliver when I can so they always get what's expected and then surprised with so much more. It's a character trait that I believe is super honorable and builds into others in a way that makes them share your work and keeps them coming back for more.
Let me know if you've found this content helpful and share with another entrepreneur who could benefit from this too!
Many blessings as you build your business, choose what you will share for free, and gain confidence in charging for the labor for which a fee is due.