Over the last few days I have had an unusually high number of emails from people who want me to read their sales copy, look at their blog and/or website, or coach them – for free.
The email usually starts off with a compliment such as ….”I am writing you because I have read your eBook and listened to one of your complimentary teleseminars. You are so good at what you do. I don’t have a lot of money and really need someone to give me feedback on my ……(you fill in the blank). I thought you wouldn’t mind doing this since you are so skilled.”
Usually the request will also include something to the effect of, “This will probably only take a few minutes of your time.”
Although I can understand people being on limited budgets (most of us have been there at some point), I don’t know if the people asking for free consulting realize what they are doing is similar to going to a dentist and asking for a free teeth cleaning. Or a dog groomer and asking the groomer to wash their dog for free. Or a landscaper to put in “only a few plants that I can see you have left over on your truck.”
The fact is, when someone is known for an area of expertise this usually means they charge for their services. It also means that we have invested in our own professional development. Simply put, we pay for the services we want.

One thing I do (and most of my colleagues do) is provide value to the market by offering free information by way of teleseminars, live events, ebooks, reports, articles or any number of things.
I have had people tell me they download everything complimentary item I offer. And believe me, there is a lot I offer for free. But then some of them go on to say, “You are so good at what you do, but I just don’t have the money.”
This situation is not unique to me. I know plenty of consultants who get asked to provide their services for free – usually by people they don’t know. The fact is, most of my colleagues donate their time, money and services to things they feel called to donate to, not just because someone asks for something.
Often, the very people who are asking for free consulting or coaching are often upset because they can’t seem to find enough paying customers. The fact is, what goes around, comes around. If you want people to pay you, doesn’t it make sense you should pay those you want to help you in your business?
In success,
Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer