Does the concept of free economy mean anything to you? What if we replaced the word free with low-risk? Is the concept of low-risk economy easier to understand?
One of the most powerful companies in the world, Google, offers its core services for free. There is no risk involved in Google. There is no risk when you click on the ads that feed their coffers. Software developers have been using the low-risk economy concept for years. The idea is to allow you to try the product for free or use a “lite” version in the hope that you see the value and want to purchase the full software package later.
Unfortunately, many companies have used this concept poorly. As a result, they have devalued their product or service. They failed to present the product’s value up front. The impression is that the service isn’t worth the price.
If you offer free services to attract clients, make sure the true value is stated or implied. Retail portrait photographers have used this technique for years by waiving the sitting fee in order to reap the value of their work through reprints.
When implemented properly, the Internet’s free economy works the same way. Offering free products or services can increase visibility, attracts fans and create buzz. Often, only a small percentage of new prospects may be willing to upgrade. But, if the product or service offers value, quality sales will result from the low-risk offer.