The Gift of Reciprocity and Creating Financial Freedom
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
How to give freely in gratitude without your bank account hitting $0...
Give and take is a part of life. We compromise in everything we do. Not only that, but as workers in the health and wellness self-help industry, you know the benefits of giving freely from a place of love without expectation. When you step into your brave, you inspire others to do the same.
We live in a world that tells us that in order to thrive, everything must be monetized. Nothing is free. Definitely not happiness. Which is why, and you might agree, it is so refreshing when someone offers you something valuable and created from the heart - with NO expectations.
Giving a gift free of financial or emotional strings is so rare nowadays, people are constantly on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop...
You can’t influence the reactions people will have to your content - all you can do is channel your heart as it aligns with your values and goals. Yet there are a few things to consider in making the leap towards creating free custom content for your potential clients.
Now more than ever, people crave authenticity.
Think about it - even for the most health-conscious of us, our days are filled with non-stop fleeting, superficial, instant and goal-oriented interactions. What people truly long for is valuable and purpose-affirming moments of connection that blossom into a lifetime of purpose.
So how can you help your potential clients feel like they are more than just a means to an end for you, more than just a small cog in the revenue-generating wheel that is your health and wellness business?
Your potential clients have been living from a place of shaky ground and fear - whether it’s in being able to voice their desire for that promotion and a better life, or in believing they are capable of blossoming in their self esteem and embracing their power. They are scared and used to endless ploys to grab their money. How are you any different?
More traditional and stiff-necked businessmen might scoff at the idea of giving your content away for free, even if it’s for your ideal clients. “Stick to competitive advertising and email marketing”, “A Direct Outbound Campaign is the way to go”...
Except that it isn’t.
Hubspot, a leading marketing resource, reports in their 2020 Guide to Marketing that “Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads”.
They also found that “70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing”, with blogging leading as the top content marketing strategy.
Why do I mention these stats? Because creating custom content not only puts your expertise into action, giving your audience a taste of what it’s like to actually work with you, but it taps into their sense of reciprocity.
In his book Influence: Science and Practice, Dr. Robert Cialdini lists reciprocity as one of the six principles that govern human dynamics. In an interview with HSM, Cialdini explains,
Of course, as a heart-centered entrepreneur, it might feel like we are bordering on icky salesy manipulation.
The difference? You.
What are your intentions? What are your goals?
It is 100% possible to give your heart and soul to making the world a better place and the people in it healthier, happy and whole WHILE making money.
Understanding the value and psychology behind the power of the unexpected gift does not make it any less an extension of your heart and intentions towards people. Give freely, yet set boundaries and be open and honest with what your ideal outcome is as well.
Make it easy for your ideal clients to see what you see: a partnership that helps them rediscover the beauty and intuitive wisdom they already hold deep within them. A partnership wherein you offer your clients a space for loving reflection, and development of the tools that will help your clients achieve their goals, personal and professional, just as you’re achieving yours.
So what does this look like?
Thanks to Demand Metric, we know that:
roughly 78% of consumers perceive a relationship between them and the company using custom content, building trust and an affinity between client and business.
82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content.
70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles than advertisements.
This leaves us with the undeniable truth - custom content reigns supreme. What can you give your ideal clients that will help them?
Here are some ideas to get you started...
Blogging is the easiest and most well-implemented strategy. Whether true or not, articles read as more impartial than advertisements, and often put the reader at ease and in control of the situation. Providing valuable and engaging content that connects with your clients and shows you understand their experience and how to help is invaluable.
You can read more about crafting a super-powered, heart-aligned, and non-salesy Blog Post here.
Blogging is also a great way for your readers to hear more of your voice, and to associate you and your ideas with the sense of comfort and alignment they are now trying to implement in their lives. When they hit a roadblock or need more help - they know who to come to.
Ebooks are a great way to bundle a load of material on a specific subject that is highly sought after by your ideal clients - even better is if you can find an angle that provides a solution to a specific problem your client is experiencing.
If your clients are 20-something super-powered ambitious business-women taking the marketplace by storm, yet feel somewhat out of balance and strangely empty and anxious when they come home? They might be super excited in the free ebook you offer on “Taking the World by Storm: turning your dreams into reality without burning out”.
They may be so intrigued, especially since there’s no catch-22 or payment on the line, that they feel inclined to write their email down to receive your ebook that validates their dreams and encourages them not to slow down, but to re-balance from a place of purpose and intention.
What’s awesome? You now have their email for when you have more content to give them, or when it’s time to roll out your next big project!
Checklists & How To’s
Who doesn’t love a good checklist to help you reframe your to-do’s? As a list-maker fiend and feet-dragging procrastinator myself, checklists are a great way to give your clients a clear, structured, and energized way to tackle their problems head-on.
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Been dreaming of starting a new chapter in your life, but dragging your feet? Download your 15-step checklist to create the change you want to see in your life…
These are just a few ideas you can play with! Downloadable checklists and step-by-step how to’s are super fun to make, especially because they don’t require too much effort when it comes to content - you get to focus on design instead! I got started with Canva, which offers plenty of free templates - no need to go Pro, I find there’s more than enough to make beautiful projects with regular access.
These can also be used to capture emails to save for whatever big projects you have ahead of you. It is never too early to start collecting emails - sending out weekly newsletters with new blog posts and content is a great way to keep you on your readers' radar, and actively a part of their lives.
Who doesn’t love a good quiz?!? Everyone loves a good personality quiz - just about as much as we all love talking about ourselves. If you don’t believe me, Buzzfeed has made an entire business borne out of fun quirky personality quizzes that make no sense but ARE EVERYTHING. They give you a break from the seriousness of life, and allow you to relax as someone else takes the lead.
We all want to understand ourselves and our lives more, whether it’s an active passion or subconscious ruler. Tap into the desire to relax and have fun, while still investigating the depths of ourselves with a relevant and engaging quiz! It doesn’t need to be much longer than 10 questions - just figure out what your audience wants to know.
Do they want to know more about their triggers and are fascinated by personality types?
Do they need the root of a problem diagnosed in their lives, and can your quiz point them in the right direction of their current roadblock?
Maybe what they really need is a bit of a laugh, and a short quiz that compares them to which Disney villain their current level of stay-at-home psychosis currently represents.
Whatever the case, a dynamic and engaging quiz that gets your client excited about involving themselves in your system is a fun gift to offer.
Okay, I know the insane apocalypse of zoom meetings and webinar sessions have our heads reeling (if not imploding) - but there’s a reason why so many people are using them!
Webinars are a great way to give your potential clients that final confirmation of who you are and what you offer. Think of webinars as a taste test of what it’s like to work with you.
I recently attended a webinar held at the end of last month by Natalia Benson. The energy between her, myself, and the 87 other people who keyed into her webinar on ‘Launching Your Business’ was beyond motivating, and insanely powerful and inspiring. Of course similar lessons and tools arise in every webinar, but it’s the presentation - the vibe and energy that you bring, the comfort and hope you inspire, that marks YOU as what makes this program valuable.
What was most impressive and touching, was the energy she ushered into the room, simply by marking her intention and giving us room to embrace her love for us, our belief in ourselves, and the collective power and support of everyone on the call.
In a webinar, you are able to give evidence of your expertise directly to your future clients. You can build that bridge personally with them so they come away stronger and feeling more sure of themselves. This is a gift that is not soon forgotten, and I know I have not been alone in checking back in on her page regularly for updates in content!
This is a great angle, the principles of which you can apply to any content you have on your site. Now is a great time to open up introductory parts of your programs and offer them for free, the rest of the content available with a members-only upgrade or purchase.
With everyone strapped for cash and stressed beyond belief, it might be hard for your readers, who are already looking to uplevel their life, to dig out the cash to pay for your services, even if they are interested.
But if you reach out and offer the unexpected gift of putting connection and support before finance - if you forge a bond of trust when people are at their lowest, those bonds become cemented for a lifetime.
Now is the perfect time to step into your courage and share freely without reservation.
People are looking for you, but financial and self-imposed limitations make it hard to accept the value of what you have to offer.
Reach beyond that wall and give your readers the helping hand they didn’t know was out there, waiting for them. Let them know that yes, you are a business, but you are also human, and you want to see them succeed right alongside you.
If you’re worried about giving away all your proprietary secrets, consider this: You are so much more than the tools you offer. We all need people to believe in us and help us along the way towards our individual and collective greatness.
Be that person and tap into your reader’s sense of reciprocity. Not only will it continually re-center you in alignment with why you got into self-help in the first place - you’ll find your community will grow in both passion and hope.
Aren’t you excited? I know I am.
Thanks for reading - I hope this information helped you on your journey in growing your coaching business. I’d love to hear your thoughts - what’s worked for you? What would you like to see more of? Let me know below!