Setting Guidelines

I am in the process of setting up the guidelines for the work I’ll be doing under the umbrella Debworks. It’s been an interesting process.

I’ve from the school of thought that you learn as you teach. Now, teachers get paid. Students don’t. I’ve been a student who has shared her information with her friends and coworkers. I am now stepping into the teaching phase of my life.
And I still have people asking me ‘just one question’. And expecting an answer for free. Where do you draw the line? And how do you draw the line?
My main local focus is working with small businesses in my county helping them to get a handle on social media. They know they need it (or think they do) but have no idea how to go about it. I’ll consult with them, help them find a direction and show them how to go down that road.
My Melaleuca business is growing, and social media solutions are helping. Of course I will work with my team – they earn, I earn. But what about the side teams? It makes me no money answering all of their questions. As a matter of fact, it takes away from my time I could be doing something else. I’m exploring ebooks for this industry – and think I’ll be writing some of them.
Where do you draw the line with giving information away for free — or charging for it?


  1. fredhschlegel on June 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    An eternal question for consultants of many stripes. I find three thoughts useful here: First – Clearly 'packaging' the service you plan to sell. Second – Understanding the differences between customers who will tend to pay vs those who will prefer DIY. Third – Practice conversion tactics that can close a deal.

    For me it's very hard to decide which 'conversation' will turn from free ideas to sale or referral. Some of my best customers have come from free-form conversations held over long periods of time. I usually start thinking about converting someone when their 'one more question' seems to identify a larger scope opportunity that I can softly start converting against. "Well you could do A or B, but maybe we should take a couple of hours to really delve into this."

    Best of luck.

  2. Deb Brown on June 10, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    thank you for those thoughts — I plan on using those three thoughts! Thank you for the best wishes as well.