Are Your Spending Habits Stunting Your Freelance Business Growth?
Would you spend $100 on your freelance business?
No, don’t think about it – what does your gut tell you?
When looking at purchases to grow your business, it’s an important question: would you spend $100?
Depending on your answer, you might find yourself throwing good money after bad chasing the next new approach for improving your freelance business. Or trying to grow a blog that will never get anywhere.
We all face this question. I do, and so do you.
The trouble is that the “right answer” might not be what you think it is. Three freelancers looking to grow their blogs faced the same question – let’s call them Charlie, Sam, and Will. Only one of them ended up being successful, and they had very different answers…
Meet Charlie, Sam, and Will
Cheapo Charlie wants it all for free… or almost free, that is. Charlie isn’t a kumbaya blogger who thinks money is evil and everything should be free… he just doesn’t want to spend money himself.
He scours the internet for free information, and when he’s feeling desperate for answers, he’ll buy anything he comes across, as long as it costs less than $47.
Spendthrift Sam buys course after course… a new training program or membership site subscription every other month.
He’s desperate to make it big online, and falls hook, line and sinker for the empty promises of guru strategies that never end up working.
And then there’s Will…
Wise-Spending Will invests carefully… he prefers free tools and information when they’re available, and he is careful never to buy anything that he doesn’t need. But when he has a problem or has a specific job that needs to get done in pursuit of his strategy, he’s willing to spend to find the solution and get the results that he needs.
When We Spend: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
There are a lot of different reasons to spend money, and only some of them are good reasons. Take a look at this list, and tell me if any of these reasons are embarrassingly familiar:
- You’re dazzled by the results that they’re promising.
- You see the case studies, and think to yourself that “…if I only have 10% of the results they’re getting, that’s still really good…”
- It’s going to give you a crazy new traffic trick that you’d never heard of before.
- You just heard the pitch, and you’re so excited that you just have to have it.
- There are only 93, 67, 44, 23 spots left in the program, and they’re going fast.
- Someone impressive said that you should.
- They’re promising quick and effortless results.
- There might be something really important in the program, that you can’t afford to miss.
If some of these hit close to home, then don’t worry – you’re in good company. I’ve bought my fair share of useless marketing programs because of one of the above reasons. I’ve even bought a couple of good ones for these reasons – which is almost as bad.
There’s only one good reason to spend money on your business or blog:
- You have a specific problem, and you need that problem solved in order to move ahead with what you’re doing. You’ve done your homework, and based on your research, the purchase that you’re considering will be able to solve that problem for you.
That’s the only good reason. If that’s true, then buy it. But if not, then don’t let yourself get suckered in.
A Purchase Decision Reality Check
It can be hard to stay rational and focused when you’re presented with flashy marketing messages, so here’s a quick decision checklist that you can use to see whether the purchase you’re considering is actually a good idea:
- Do you have a problem that needs solving? If things are fine the way they are, then you don’t need to change anything, no matter how compelling the marketing might be.
- Did you know that you had a problem before you saw the offer? If you’ve suddenly realized that you have a serious problem, then it could be true – but it could also just be manipulation.
- Does the purchase you’re considering solve your problem? It’s not enough that it’s a cool product or service – it can be super cool, and still not relevant to your needs. So do you need it?
- If you don’t make this purchase, will you still need a solution? In other words, if you don’t get this particular solution to your problem, will you still have a problem that needs to be solved?
- Do you trust the source of the offer? Are you confident that the marketing promises will be delivered on? Is there a guarantee to back it up?
- Can you afford it? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy expensive stuff – you really do get what you pay for. And I’ll even agree that occasionally, it makes sense to spend money that you can ill afford to lose – but you’ve got to be really sure that the results will justify the investment. Is that the case here?
- Have you taken a day to think about it? Beware of pressure tactics – just because you’re excited doesn’t mean you should spend large amounts of money!
- Will you be embarrassed to tell people about the purchase? If you are, that’s usually a sign that deep down, you think it’s a dumb idea.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should help you avoid at least some of the dumber purchases that we all make from time to time.
Feel free to print it out and put it up on your wall!
We Want You to Buy for the Right Reasons
Are you wondering why I’m telling you this? After all, I’m a marketer, and I do have a marketing training program for sale. The answer is that – like other responsible marketers – I only want you to buy if it’s for the right reasons. Not just out of the goodness of my heart, but because if you buy for the wrong reasons, it’s bad for marketers like me!
If you’re like Cheapo Charlie, wanting everything for free and only buying stuff when he’s desperate and finds a deal, then we don’t want your business. You’re going to be demanding and very high maintenance, and you won’t be satisfied with the results that you are buying for under $47.
Responsible marketers turn away Cheapo Charlies by avoiding bombastic and unrealistic promises that only appeal to the desperate, and by setting prices that are outside their meager budgets.
If you’re like Spendthrift Sam, who buys a new program every month because he’s desperate for success and falls for empty promise after empty promise, then we don’t want your business. You’re not going to do any of the work, which means that you won’t achieve any results, and ultimately it’s our reputation that is going to suffer.
Responsible marketers turn away Spendthrift Sams by writing sales letters that make no mention of overnight success, and emphasize the need for hard work.
But if you’re like Wise-Spending Will, we want your business. We know that you’ll take the time to consider our offer, and you won’t buy it unless you need what we have to offer (in our case, effective marketing strategies), and you’re willing to work to achieve your goals.
The Difference – Responsible Marketing
Responsible marketers appeal to Wise-Spending Wills by building relationships with their audiences, being transparent about what they are and aren’t offering, and offering a solid guarantee that they’re confident standing behind.
Tell us about your experience – what’s your buying style, and how has that been working for you?