See, free has no value…and yes, it’s going to be a rant…so you can bookmark it.
As I was saying: Free has no value. No urgency. Nothing. Free is frrrrrrrrrrrrree. (Say Furrrrrry)
And you can’t create urgency just by saying ‘Hey it’s FREE.’ And we know that all of us are the same. We go on value, not on price. Yet, heck the price of free is free. So where did that value go, eh?
It just slid down zee gutter.
So when you charge someone $1000 for a workshop, you can be darned sure that every seat paid for is taken. And yet, when the very same workshop, with the very same bells and whistles is offered free, what happens? Who knows what happens? But we can’t depend on ‘who knows’. We have to create our own sense of urgency. And demand. But mostly, control.
Free needs to have opt-in.
Free needs to have rules.
Free needs to have barriers.
Free needs to have urgency.
Free needs to have value.
So how do we create all of the above. Let’s assume you were having a $1000 workshop instead. How would you create opt-in? How would you create rules? How would you institute barriers? How would you create urgency. And finally, and predictably: How do you create value?
But let’s just bounce back to free….
You create opt-in by getting people to commit. If you just send out something, it stays ’something’ and often degenerates to ‘nothing.’ So you have to get the customer to opt-in. When people say they’ll do something, they’re more likely to do it. So get them to say: Yes, I will attend. Because you never know. Rain falls, La neige falleth. Dinner becomes important. Who knows what happens. And freeeeee stays at the value of nothing. But hey, if you’ve committed; if you know you’re taking someone else’s seat; if you know that seat has your name on it; then hey only wild horses will drag you away. This commitment factor alone, ensures more people turn up for your free event.
So how do you create opt-in?
Get ‘em to call you. Or fill in a form. Or fill in a form online. Or write YES at the back of business card. Or tick the boxes at the back of a postcard. Or send you a box of chocolates. Whatever. Just get the customer to respond. To commit. Oui, Ja, Yes I will be there.
But rules? What rules?
Rules are about structure. Structure means the customers know you’re not playing around. That you’re not desperate to get people to sign up. That if them rules aren’t obeyed, them people are going to experience what happens when they break the rules. So yeah, the rules of engagement create value instantly because they create value. And discipline. And everything else that goes with rules.
So when you say:
Rule 1: Print out the email and bring your invitation along–they bring their invitation along.
Rule 2: The class will start at 7:30 pm. You need to be in your seat by 7:02. At 7:05pm the doors will be closed.
Let’s just analyse those two rules. What are those rules saying?
It’s saying: Hey, you committed; now turn up. And if someone who hasn’t committed turns up, and they don’t have their invitation, they’ll be booted out. You’re special. You’re one of us with the ‘printed email.’ You can pass Go. And collect your $200.
The second rule is saying: Hey, we’re committed too. And we’re going to be on time. And that we understand la neige. And we understand le traffico, and all that stuff. And that wild horses won’t keep us away, and shouldn’t keep you away. It’s also saying: If you’re going to be late, don’t bother.
The rules of engagement enable you to stop going insane.
It enables people to follow a system.
It enables customers to be rewarded for coming on time (I detest presenters who wait for ‘late-comers’)
Rules just enable you to do what you do best–instead of worrying about who’s turned up; why are they late etc.
With rules you have boundaries. They have boundaries. So yeah, rules rule.
Ah, barriers: Now why barriers?
In one word: Value. We want what is behind the green door.
Can’t eat that cookie. Can’t drink that Coke. Can’t speak to that bad girl.
Now you want to eat the cookie, drink that Coke and preferably do both with the bad girl.
Free has no barriers. It has nothing. So you create barriers. What kind of barriers?
Fill in a form. Do an interview. Who knows? Make up the barriers as you go.
Walk into a bank today, and ask for a loan. Then stagger home with the mounds of paperwork.
Walk into a company and ask for a job. And see how many barriers you run into.
Go to a rock concert…and yes, I’m babbling. But you know what I’m saying, right?
We want what we can’t have.
And if there’s a barrier, we want to cross that barrier.
So yes, a closed door at 7:05 is a barrier. We stop focusing on what you’re going to offer us, and focus on the darned door. We have to beat the door closing.
And the fact that the client has to put in their phone number and other details on an online form is a barrier. And yes, there will be those who don’t want to fight the barrier. Well, good on them.
Most people will fill in the form. Most people will beat the 7:05pm deadline by minutes. And then watch their face. It will glow with satisfaction of having beat the barrier.
The psychology of us humans is simple. We want what we can’t have. So why deprive us ‘evolved-chimps’ our barrier?
Which brings us to urgency
Urgency means that someone will be shut out.
That the room only has 15 seats.
That the product runs out in 15 minutes.
That this building kabooms in 15 seconds.
Without urgency, nothing moves quite as quickly. And so you’ve got to create urgency.
And urgency is created simply by scarcity.
So in the above examples, you market to 50 people. But don’t (for heaven’s sake) keep 50 seats.
Urgency means scarcity. Scarcity creates momentum. Lack of scarcity creates, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll get down to it.”
So if you’re having an event and have no recording of the event–hey, scarcity.
If you’re giving a presentation that’s the key to getting to the top of Google (and no one knows about this secret)–urgency again.
But you say: I don’t know any secrets. Yeah right! You do know secrets. It’s not the secret that matters. It’s the packaging of the secret that really driveth home that urgency.
So if you run a yoga class and announce:
1) Let’s talk about ‘yoga’ . Now that is kinda boring.
2) We’ll do ‘yoga asanas’ is kinda boring too.
3) But ‘Find out three breathing yoga steps that will help you sleep well tonight (and every night)..shucks, that’s what I want to know.
Packaging creates urgency.
Scarcity creates urgency.
And curiosity creates urgency.
But let’s kill curiosity and go straight to value
You’re still curious about curiosity, aren’t you? See what I mean? We’re gone over the hill and into the meadow of ‘value’, but no. Your station wagon is stuck at curiosity. And curiosity does create urgency, because if you’re going to reveal a ’secret’, people want to know the secret. The ’secret to a sound sleep’ makes me curious, you see.
Ok enough curiosity…let’s really move to value
If you don’t value your event, your product, your whatever…then how will the client value it? Can’t happen; won’t happen. If you simply give away stuff then the customer will either not show up to take the stuff; or show up and have zero-value. So you must, must, must put a price on the material; on the event; on your offering. What’s it worth? How much do they stand to lose if they don’t get it now.
Then mix up all of the urgency, the barriers, the rules, the opt-in, the curiosity.
And watch how something that was free–and pretty valueless–now becomes the object of your customer’s desire.
What’s more, they don’t just want your offering. They want it now. Like yesterday.
And that, my friend, is how you present FREE Smiley