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Give my services away for Free? Hell NO!

Whether you are new to being a business owner or a seasoned professional, you will undoubtedly bump up against those who need or request your services for Free. We all have our philosophy about how to manage Pro Bono clients but sometimes what we want to do and what we actually do are two different actions. Possibly because we are influenced by what others are doing, saying and judging on.

 

I’ve known and been very grateful for those who have contributed to me in my life when I couldn’t afford them. One of the main reasons I became a business coach was to help people who love what they do SO MUCH that they give their services away to anyone who needs it. That sounds so honorable and yet, many of them were living in lack because of it. How do you tell someone to stop giving stuff away when they love contributing to others? Better yet, how do you suggest to others that the should give their services away and reap personal and professional rewards?

This is why I am writing Pro Bono doesn’t have to be a NO-NO – 9 Ways to benefit when giving your services away.  There seems to be a stigma about giving away services. Coaches will often discourage their clients from doing so, possibly because they were doing incorrectly. Building a Pro Bono program into your business can benefit you in many ways. It could actually BUILD your business! Take a look at some of those ways below and choose what feels right for you; but do choose something to avoid the weight of a Pro Bono so that you can enjoy its benefits instead.

1. Set your limits in advance

Whether you feel as though you can give an hour a week or 10, this is up to you. Know your limits and stick to them. If one more request comes in beyond that, put them on a waiting list. This will save you the feeling of overwhelm. You can’t give away all of your business or you won’t make money. If you choose a certain amount of time per week or month, you will feel good about contributing and you will feel in control.

2. Consider it Volunteering

As a busy professional, some of us can’t give back to the community as much as we’d like to. I myself used to volunteer for a minimum of 4 hours every week for years. I don’t get to do that much anymore. However, I certainly feel as though I am giving back by being there for those in need inside my own trade.

3. Document your Pro Bono time 

Depending on your business, this could come in handy at tax time. If you put in 100 hours or a certain about of dollars towards free service, having it in writing will help your tax preparer get all the benefits you qualify for. My software program has an option to check that a session is pro bono, so I can just pull a report at the end of the year. It gives me pleasure to look at the year in review besides being a deduction.

4. Barter 

This is certainly not a new concept, but some don’t think to ask for a trade of service. If the person requesting your services for free can help you in some way, then by all means, ask them if they are willing. Bartering can cover a wide variety of areas in which to reciprocate. Where have you been looking for support? Do you need someone to help with your business needs, run errands, babysit, cook a meal, make phone calls, or create marketing material? Maybe this person can write a blog for you or post your social media. Take a look at areas where you can use some help. Make a list and keep it handy for when you speak with someone who you may want to trade with.  It’s very important to think ahead on how you will measure this trade. Will it be dollar for dollar of services rendered or hour for hour? For instance, if your hourly rate is $100 and the services you are requesting would cost you $20 hr., then you might agree to their 5 hours to your 1 hour of work. The choice is yours, but you will need to agree on it beforehand.

5. Tweak your terms

The terms you decide on will vary from person to person, also, you will become aware of what works for you and what doesn’t. These are your services you are giving away for FREE, make sure it serves you as well (in your heart or logistically). Review your Pro Bono terms occasionally and tweak them as you go.

6. Create a referral opportunity 

If you would like to offer a way for your Pro Bono client to pay you, you can ask them to refer you. This can be a generic request that they refer you as they see fit or you can offer them something more concrete such as one hour of your service for every referral. I, myself had one client who I worked with for years and never paid a dime. I am reaping thousands of dollars per year on her referrals alone.

7. Donate or Pay what you can 

If you have a PayPal business account you can create a donate button and place it on your website. Ask your Pro Bono Client to donate money when they have it or ask them to pay what they can when they can. Many people don’t want to ask for free service. They really need or want it but simply can’t afford it. This can help them feel better about the arrangement. I met a chiropractor in Fort Lauderdale who had an open-door policy. No insurance, no appointments. Just come in and get adjusted. There was a black box at the doorway for those who had money to pay what they can. There were many times I had to ignore the black box on my way out because I simply did not have the funds. Later, I would send him a check for a few hundred dollars when I did have it. I was so grateful for his services.

8. Marketing Blast 

This is where the gold lies in Pro Bono work. In exchange for your services, request that your client does one or more of the following.

Write a testimonial – There is nothing like a good testimonial from a satisfied client. Post them on your website and use them in marketing material. Make sure they permit you to share it.

Video Testimonial – Extra credit for this one. Have them record themselves giving a testimonial for you. You can then gather your video testimonials and use them to help prospect for other clients.

Social Media Blast – Ask your Pro Bono client to blast about you on social media. Make sure to help them with what to post. You may want to give them material or suggest what you prefer gets posted. If this is an official agreement, determine beforehand how many times and what social media platform they will be sharing on. Most will be happy to oblige.

Become a fan – Ask your client if they could become a fan of your online marketing. What this means is, have them ‘like’ and comment on your posts, ‘like’ your blog, subscribe to your blog, re-blog it and share it. If they are really eager to support you, they can write an article about you and send it to local or online news.

9. Make it official

Lastly, create a written agreement of what terms and conditions this arrangement will have. Outline each item. You will both feel better about the exchange especially when there are no mix-ups during your time together.

Most people are willing to contribute to you if you just ask. It will take something on your part to know when to ‘benefit’ from your Pro Bono work and when not to.  Remember this, there will be those situations where just giving and not looking for anything in return is rewarding enough. This list is not for those moments. Use the information above to help create balance when it’s not there. There is nothing wrong with an exchange of energy between two parties. Allow yourself to be contributed to as well.

Conversely, if you are someone looking for services that you simply cannot afford, consider taking the information above and find a way to present a request to your professional. One that creates a win/win situation. Allow them the right to say no for whatever reason and keep looking.

Did you enjoy this article? I would love to know your thoughts. Did it help you? Do you have other ideas that you’d like to share? Please comment below and share this with others. Let’s help one another and still benefit.


Fran Asaro is a Life and Business Coach and founder of Thrive Any Way. Helping people systematize and automate their business and create an online presence. Find out more about how she helps entrepreneurs with her Virtual Project Partner Program.  For questions or to schedule and appointment – Contact Fran Asaro

 

 

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From Stuck to Unstoppable

Many people are stuck when it comes to their To Do List, and could become immediately UNSTUCK if they only had a partner to accomplish their goals with. Let’s face it, something magical happens when you have support from someone who genuinely cares that you succeed. Don’t you agree? If you think this is you, then stop beating yourself up and start honoring the need to have a partner in accomplishing your goals. Contact Fran for more information. 

 

Think about all of your amazing projects and ideas just sitting there stagnant on your mental shelf …. you know, that digital product you want to create or those social media ads you want to put together. Maybe you want to organize and systematize your business or home but never get started. What do you think it’s costing you to have those tasks just SIT?

Now, imagine if you started completing them one by one…. comfortably, with a partner who will stay with you until they are DONE! How would that feel? You’d probably feel a huge relief from guilt and stress, right? You may also feel a long needed sense of pride of accomplishment. Yes, you can take a deep breath and feel it! Contact Fran for more information. 

Just know that you are not alone in needing support, or this program would not exist. When people find out that they are not procrastinators, but in fact they just do better with a partner, they feel as though they honored a real need and took affirmative action. The results of finally having completed projects are the proof! It’s similar to when someone finds out they have dyslexia and instead of beating themselves up, they realize that they just need to do things a little different.

It’s About Having a Brainstorming and Motivational Confidant, Even if you Have an Admin or Virtual Assistant.  

If you are looking to relax into the wisdom of another, where you can feel the ease of sharing the burden, then Project Partnering may be a good fit for you. It’s a wonderful experience to know there is another leader to fall back on. Someone you can call ‘partner, without devoting 50% of your profits to.  Choose well; someone who will do it WITH you and not FOR you.  Savvy, successful people know when to hire a professional to accomplish what they need.

As a life and business coach for many years, I find that my clients often do much better with ‘hand holding’ while tackling projects. I really love it when we get on an interactive screen-sharing call as we make progress completing their website or even creating an online store together.  The real-time conversation has us both on the same page, getting the job done much faster and with more ease. Most times I take the wheel as you direct, interact or just oversee the project, but we could always reverse the role if you want me to support you being the driver.

There are limitless projects we can do together from programming phones, setting up electronics, minor computer tweaking, launching  a social media contest to creating marketing plans. Heck, I’ve even been on a call where I supported a client while he cleaned out his storage unit. (you know who you are!). Contact Fran for more information. 

 

That’s why we should talk, to see what your project list looks like and start accomplishing it. Contact Fran for more information. 

So what are you looking to accomplish? What’s been gnawing at you for way too long?

  • Do you need someone to sit with you while you complete a project?
  • Would you like me to create graphics while you supervise?
  • Are you interested in opening an online store and it’s just too overwhelming to do alone?
  • How about learning  to schedule all your social media so you do it once and let it run itself?
  • Does the idea of having someone to brainstorm with about the future of your business or life sound appealing?

Get creative if you want to. We can get your contact management system started, design a logo  or write a blog. The point is, you just don’t have to do it alone any more!

It’s interactive, fun and productive as we collaborate on accomplishing your goals. Since you get to participate in the experience, you reap the reward of a completed task.

 

Oh, by the way, these interactive calls are casual, light and even fun! Come as you are to your computer. We sign in together, share a screen and start working on the project at hand.  At the end of each call, plan to feel a sense of accomplishment, partnership and motivation to keep going!  Contact Fran for more information. 

To get started all you need to do is Contact Fran for more information and download your access to Zoom – a free screen sharing program. We can record our sessions for your future reference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase your Project Partner call today!

  

Let’s start out with a complimentary conversation to discuss your needs. OK?

 To set up your complimentary conversation, here are your options:

  • Call Fran directly: 772-777-1122
  • Text: 954-494-1940
  • Email Fran: fran@thriveanyway.com
  • Schedule it yourself, right here and let’s get this ball rolling!

 

Getting things done never felt so good!

 

I can’t wait to hear from you

 

** Printable gift certificates emailed upon request

*** Conventional Coaching Sessions are also available via phone or video call (all discounts apply).

 

Are you avoiding the most common Projects? Read my blog

I’ll Get to it Later! 8 Massively Important Entrepreneurial Projects the get Ignored

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How to recycle your business materialHow do you recycle or re-purpose your business material?

You’ve written an article, posted a ‘how to’ on social media, taught a class, spoke at an event or appeared on a radio or tv show. Now what? What do you do with all the gold that you shared to a group of people for one brief moment in time? Is it lost forever?  I hope not. I would hope that you know that you have the power to re-purpose your material and reuse it until it no longer serves.

I’ve included a few ways to repurpose your gifts so that they keep on giving. You don’t always have to create new material.  My suggestion is that you get into the mindset that you will keep your ‘stuff’ alive as long as you can. It comes in handy when you really need it.

Take a look and see how many you can utilize for yourself:

  1. Put it in a blog – probably the most important place to re-purpose is in a blog. Once you insert a video, audio or document your great information into a blog, all you have to do is share the link whenever its pertinent.
  2. Create a video about it – (I’ll be creating a ‘how to’ on that soon) If you have a PowerPoint presentation or a presentation that you can turn into a PowerPoint, then create a video and put it on YouTube where it will live in perpetuity.
  3. Put your info on Pinterest – Pinterest circulates pins over and over again. So if you create a graphic for your topic and then link it to your blog, you will get more attention
  4. Twitter – Not just twitter, but Hootesuite in particular. If you post a tweet on Hootesuite (there is a free version) you can save it as a draft and post it whenever the time is appropriate. I will scroll down my drafts and choose which items I want to retweet today and schedule them all day. Since the life of a tweet is so short, repeating the same tweet will probably reach a new audience each time.
  5. Giveaway – Offer your information as a product when someone hires you for your services. Let it be an incentive to take immediate action.
  6. Lead Magnet – Are you trying to build your list? Then offer an optin form on your blog or webpage and have people sign up to receive this amazing offer!
  7. Share – You can ask other high-profile people on social media to post your information in return for reposting theirs.
  8. Guest blogger – Find other bloggers who are looking for material, to post your information on their blog. (make sure they acknowledge you for your work)
  9. Webinar – If you think your little article was pertinent, you can build a webinar or teleclass around it. You can do it live or even prerecord it and then use that to share with others.
  10. Create an eBook – Once you have accumulated a few pieces of work, you can create an eBook and use it as an optin or even charge for it. People WILL pay to get all your work in one place.

These are just a few ways to repurpose your information. Do you have others? If so, please share them here.

I would appreciate it if you commented and shared this blog with others. Thank you!

Fran

 

Fran Asaro is a Life and Business Coach and founder of Thrive Any Way. Helping people systematize and automate their business and create an online presence. Find out more about how she helps entrepreneurs with her Virtual Project Partner Program.  For questions or to schedule and appointment – Contact Fran Asaro

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What inspired me to share 27 major reasons why people choose and online business – 
I became a business coach many years ago after having 2 successful businesses since I was 21. I loved sharing my experiences with others to help shorten their path to success. Over time, I realized that my entrepreneurial skills were morphing into opportunities with more ease and freedom. My commitment was to help people have a lifestyle supporting business, not just give them a JOB. Eventually, I decided since I am an online business builder that I wanted to help others do the same thing. I now help people create the right online business for themselves. One that truly resonates with them and their abilities, vision and financial means. It’s so rewarding to be a part of someone else’s joyful moments.
I will be writing a lot about online business from now on. I still help entrepreneurs of any kind, but my real love is providing a flexible and freedom based opportunity for others. I have so many online business ideas to share, I can’t hold them all in!
I put together this list of why people choose to start an online business. If you see yourself in this list, that’s wonderful. I hope you take action in achieving your goal. If you would like help getting started, contact me. I can help!
27 Major Reasons Why people choose an Online Business
1. Flexible lifestyle – Make your own schedule, work from anywhere
2. Easy to start and earn money quickly
3. No set hours, No traffic, No boss, No office politics
4. Typically, low startup costs
5. Stay home with the kids
6. So many online businesses to choose from
7. More people are using the internet to purchase products and services
8. They work a full-time job and want to make extra money while still being home
9. Global access to target market – available 24/7
10. They are in control of their earning potential
11. They can design their business to suit their lifestyle needs, financial budget and skills
12. An opportunity to utilize thwarted creativity and innovation
13. Because they need to work alone or at home due to personal circumstances such as anxiety,
physical handicap, legal issues, personal circumstances
14. They are retiring and want to work age appropriately
15. They are a student and they want to work around classes
16. You can actually be free of in person appointments and networking groups!
17. You can run multiple online businesses simultaneously
18. Financial transactions are easy
19. You can provide better customer support
20. You can build a team by outsourcing to other online professionals
21. Can be automated – Many online businesses make money while you sleep
22. You can offer a huge amount of information about you and your business in one place
23. Cost savings on office space, employees, equipment, inventory, insurances
24. Internet marketing is much more affordable than traditional marketing
25. Online business is typically environmentally friendly, saving on paper, electricity, gas
26. It’s fun and feels good to run your own online business!
27. It works!! Online businesses are making loads of money
Bonus – Why do consumers shop online?
1. No crowds or waiting in line
2. Online reviews help with making decisions
3. No travel costs or traffic
4. Easy to do when you have children
5. You can search for the best deal
6. Save time
7. It’s safer
8. You can shop any time and from any where
9. More variety at your fingertips
10. You can shop worldwide
Compliments of Fran Asaro, ThriveAnway.com
If you found value in the information above, would you consider leaving a comment and sharing this post? Every bit helps! Thank you.
Fran Asaro is a Life and Business Coach and founder of Thrive Any Way. Helping people systematize and automate their business and create an online presence. Find out more about how she helps entrepreneurs with her Virtual Project Partner Program.  For questions or to schedule and appointment – Contact Fran Asaro

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