cheaper than cheaper

A lot of wedding vendors complain about brides who expect something for nothing.

In his book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, Chris Anderson describes the difference between those under 30 and those under 30 when it comes to “free.”

Most of our brides are under 30.  Most of us…aren’t.

Mama taught us that nothing is free and you get what you pay for.  We tend to be highly suspicious of anything free.

These younger brides grew up using amazing, cool services like Myspace, Facebook, Youtube and Google.  They just expect to get things for free…especially information.

Does giving brides free information cheapen what we offer?

I was quoted in an eWedNews article about this very subject today, and you can read my words and comments here: Wedding Industry Reluctantly Welcomes the World of Free

Jeff and I started giving away free stuff in our wedding business a couple years ago.  I wrote a few special reports, “37 Cheap and Free Ways to Make Your Wedding Unique,” “21 Essential Dream Wedding Tools,” and made them available for brides who joined our email list.

In addition, as soon as a bride contacts us, I start helping her.  I share ideas, advice, recommendations and tips.  I don’t hold back.

The result?

Free is the best sales tool I have.

I don’t have to convince brides about our value anymore.  They get a first hand experience.

I don’t have to use “sales tricks” to book the wedding.  Free earns their trust quickly and demonstrates our expertise without trying.

It’s worked wonders for our business and has made “selling” easier than ever.

Sure, there are a few brides who take the goods and run.  But so what?  It’s a small price to pay and a heck of a lot cheaper than most forms of bridal advertising.

Some of my wedding professional friends think we’re crazy.  If you give up your secrets before they pay, they’ll just take them and hire someone cheaper.

But that hasn’t been our experience.  Free convinces them that we’re worth it and makes them want us more than ever.

Free is scary.  Free is risky.  Free is fun.

What do you think about giving away free information to brides?  Do you do it for your wedding business?

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Jeff Padovani

Jeff Padovani is a professional musician, wedding business marketing strategist and resident wise ass at Book More Brides. He’s the “big ideas” mastermind behind the many business ventures (and misadventures!) he enjoys with his wife, Stephanie.

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5 thoughts on “If I Give Value For Free, Does That Mean I’m Cheap?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Social media is all about giving and never asking for anything in return. You build up your “impressions”, credibility, confidence in your knowledge and trust. People buy from people they trust. Give away your knowledge, not your services nor products.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I think this topic is great Stephanie. I used to cringe when someone asked me if they could pick my brain, I still don’t like the expression, but I am being asked because they know I can help them. My business has been based on giving advice and ideas from the very start, and we have been in business for over 15 years. Stephanie, thank you for all of your great advice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Free is scary, but by giving free advice and ideas you give the potential client a glimpse into your brilliance. That is what makes them pull the trigger.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Loved your message about free. Especially the – Free is scary. Free is risky. Free is fun. A lot of photographers consider themselves artists and too good to ever give anything away for free. While it isn’t for everyones business profile, it works when you apply it the way you suggest. In any case, it’s scary for some and therefore never will consider it . . . but they should!

    1. Mark, I totally agree.

      It’s counter-intuitive to give away something you’ve worked hard for, but it’s a short cut to gaining trust and proving our value.

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