An arm of my business involves providing advice to other businesses on how to amp up their strategies. And it is some of that advice that forms part of the hundreds of articles I write, sharing that advice for free.
However, every single day I receive requests from business professionals who enjoy reading those articles and now want me to address their specific problem with some custom-created strategies just for them — for free.
Do I want to help them? Of course I do. So I respond with my rates for either a phone consultation, or a face-to-face if applicable.
It is an honour to have people want your advice. It is a sign they respect and appreciate your years of experience in your industry (15, in my case) and are keen to experience the same success.
This is what business is about.
But you need to be savvy enough to separate those who are wanting free advice to those who want to pay for your services. The latter are often the more serious business professionals who truly appreciate that they get what they pay for. The former are surprisingly offended if you expect to be reimbursed for your one-on-one time and expertise.
As a business woman, there is sometimes an added expectation to give away advice for free if you’re asked by a women. This is not equality. If we are demanding men treat us as equals for our experience and knowledge then we must do the same with other women.
This is not a man vs woman issue. This is an issue of respect and equality.
Unfortunately, many women can fall into the trap of being flattered and give away thousands of hours of advice — and therefore income — purely because someone asks them to.
If you expect to take your life and business to the next level, then you need to respect yourself enough to know your value.
If you do give away free advice — and there will be times that you should — then make sure there is a large enough return. And stand your ground when you are asked for a specialised or customised supply of your ‘opinion’ or ‘help’. Make sure you respect your time and value … or no-one else will.
Amanda Rose is the only 'Strategic Connector' in Australia, connecting CEOs, directors and businesses together to enhance brand, profile and lead generation opportunities.
Host of Amanda Rose TV, Founder and Host of The Business Woman Media, Keynote Speaker and media commentator including a weekly Smart Connections video blog for SmartCompany.com.au.
For help bringing your brand to the next level, contact Amanda today on 0432 49 02 48.