Have you ever been asked to catch up with a friend/acquaintance for “coffee” and then find yourself engaging in a business conversation that almost turns into a consultancy meeting? Yep…we have all been here. Innocently, many of us take free advice for granted and also give free advice willingly when really; it should be paid for (or at least acknowledged that it is in kind). Here is one scenario, which blurs the lines of free advice, which we’re pretty sure you can relate to; You are part of a group on Facebook and a member posts saying they are looking for recommendations on natural skincare products they could use. Naturally, people comment with their recommendations on what they use, businesses who manufacture/supply natural skincare products comment with the option to try a sample or purchase a product. Seems fair doesn’t it. Now lets imagine you’re a service based business and within this same group you see a post from a member asking in desperation for help with her business, she is at a crossroad and needs some guidance on what direction to take. Again, other members comment with their advice, they tag other businesses that may be able to help, you comment and give her some words of advice and inspiration. Again, seems quite fair and what the group is about. BUT, then you get a direct message from this member thanking you for your comment and asking another question. You respond with another answer which sparks up a two way conversation about their situation and find yourself in a position where you’re helping them make the decision of what they need to do. This is now the blurred line of giving advice for free. Don’t be afraid to let someone know that if they want further advice or help they will need to pay for it. There are also times where you get caught off guard during a meeting or coffee catch-up where you find yourself giving advice on topics, which really should be a paid service, but in the moment it seems like the right thing to do. To avoid situations like the above or if you find yourself in a situation like this the best thing you can do is be honest and offer them a meeting or a catch-up for another time where you can better prepare yourself to help them and then advise what the cost would be to do this. Be mindful when asking for advice, recommendations or tips that you can sometimes be pushing the boundaries. You wouldn’t ask for a free product just because so it works the same when it comes to a service based business.
Gloss Marketing Communications is a boutique marketing agency based in Perth that services the South West, run by Katrina Giura and Megan Del Borrello who have over twenty five years combined experience that covers all aspects of marketing. Katrina has worked in the marketing industry for the last 9 years after completing her Degree in Marketing & Public Relations. Having worked as an Agency Manager at a Digital Agency, she has extensive experience across a diverse range of industries with implementing marketing strategies, email marketing, social media and websites. She enjoys all areas of marketing but her passion lies in working with business to develop and execute targeted campaigns. Katrina has been a speaker for various seminars and business associations.