[And? Seeing those 2 blog post topics together says a lot, no?] Okay. Today I'm rolling 2 days' worth of blog posts into one because I think they're too related for me to separate.
I mean, you don't go to the grocery store, fill up a cart [I'm a cart kinda girl, not a buggy.], and then tell the cashier you didn't expect to pay for the groceries, do you? No, you don't. There is a price for everything. And I think this is common sense.
Plus? I already give a lot of stuff away for free. And I do this for a number of reasons. First, I naturally like to help people. It's just something that I do. I couldn't NOT do it. It's like breathing to me.
Secondly, it's good content marketing, which is something I already touched on in my previous post [that sounds more like a manifesto if nothing else]. I share with you what I have and what I know on both my blogs, 4YourFamilyStory.com and here on BloggingGenealogy.com. Some would say this is crazy. If I share everything, why would someone hire me? Because it's not about knowledge, per se. *That* you can get anywhere. [I got it, didn't I?] There are other factors in a buying/selling situation such as time, skill, and budget. Not everyone has the time to Google and read blog post after blog post to obtain the knowledge to do what I do. Not everyone has the time to analyze everything they read like I do. Not everyone has the skills to execute what they've learned like I do. However, some have the budget to hire me to do it for them, or teach them how to do it without having to mine away on the internet and elsewhere for the knowledge.
I also like to empower people to succeed. This is why I've added my coaching services to 4YourFamilyStory.com as well as my consulting services to BloggingGenealogy.com.
And that's why I'm not afraid to give out the freebies. I already know that a sizable percentage of you will never hire me, but you'll come for the freebies, and I'm cool with that. In fact, I want that to happen. I'm hoping that if I've helped you out in any way that you'll show back up for the next post. I like visiting and sharing with y'all. Yes, I want you to read my review about an app, I want you to get it if you want it, and I want you to share with me and others how it worked out for you. Yes, I want you to take my blogging advice and apply it to your own blogs. I want to help you succeed with your endeavors.
Because I'm building relationships.
But, unlike Thomas, I'm not sharing the intimate particulars about my business. I will say that I'm still in start up mode. I am not making any profit right now. I make very little from affiliate advertising, and that is not how I plan to make any money. I really believe the time to make lots of money from affiliate advertising has passed thanks to the Google algorithm updates. And that's a good thing in my opinion. It's a time suck, and it doesn't really feed into my business model of building relationships. [Yes, leave my site to go to another company, buy something so I can make 10 cents, and then since you've built a relationship with that other company, never come back to see me. Yeah. Um. No thank you.]
I am launching my video tutorial subscription service soon, but I already let the cat out of the bag on that one. It will be a freemium model. [There's that word again, free.] So there will be free tutorials. The premium aspect of the service will include pay-per-view on-demand longer tutorials and webinars as well as a subscription service.
So, there's the oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-this-is-free level of service. There's the I-can-only-afford-X-amount-of-these-fabulous-tutorials/webinars-right-now level of service. And then there's the oh-my-goodness-I-wanna-buy-a-year's-subscription-because-I'm-so-addicted level of service. The premium level will also include a live Q & A online group session at a set date after the video is first released, and it will later be archived for your premium viewing pleasure. The premium service will also include handouts and a script of the tutorial.
So you see, like the rest of my business model, there's free and then there's more. The free is freely given, and the more has a price. Just like everything else in life. I believe in giving some free knowledge out in order to help others, to prove myself, and to give me some credibility. I've no problem with that, and I also think I'm worth it.
And that's the crux of the problem, I think. I think I'm worth it. That's not conceit, I promise, but I think too many genealogy professionals are afraid to say it, and that's the problem. Don't be afraid to set a price on your services. If someone balks, then they can move on, and choose another option. That's their prerogative. Just stop saying your free. Free doesn't pay the bills. Free also says you don't think very highly of yourself and your abilities. Good clients/customers will pay for good services. Don't try to please everyone, because you can't. It's impossible.
I know people will argue with me on this, but it irritates me when someone creates an online 'business' and then gives everything away for free. That's not a business, and eventually you will have some bills to pay. Then when you come back to all your clients/customers [and I'd argue that they aren't really clients or customers if they're getting everything for free], they're going to be upset and even furious with you. Not only that, it hurts everyone else who is trying to conduct business because you're creating this silly expectation that everything is and should be free.
So. I've rambled and ranted long enough. It's not my best post, by far. I know. It doesn't tell a story. It's not very cohesive. I totally rambled. And I didn't reveal my financials. Nor did I reveal all my plans for additional income streams. But here's my summary:
I'm in the business of building relationships through the sharing of my knowledge, skills, and expertise. If at some point you, your society, or company have need for more in depth help with genealogy, family history, research, technology, teaching, training, writing, organization, social media, and marketing, then I'm available.
Not for free, but for a fair and reasonable fee.
Services at 4YourFamilyStory.com.
And the very temporary home of the Video Tutorial Service.