Why Giving Things Away is Good Marketing

When you are approached to donate your product or service to an online event or giveaway, do you feel reluctant? Do you worry that you are being taken advantage of or devaluing yourself?

You should not worry at all. In fact, giving things away is a powerful tool for marketing — generous marketing.

The fear of generous marketing is based on a false assumption that your potential customer base is very small. You may think that if you give away your ebook to hundreds of people that you will not have anyone left to purchase it! This is wrong.   The real problem is not the small number of potential customers; the challenge is in reaching people with your message.

Generous marketing spreads the word about your product widely and with power.

Benefit 1: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

When you give things away for online promotions, giveaways, launches, and celebrations, you receive links back to your product landing pages. Backlinks are a valuable factor in your search engine rankings.

Some people pay big bucks for these kinds of backlinks, and you have people offering them to you in exchange for your goods. Say yes.

Benefit 2:  Advertising Expense

You can deduct the retail cost of the item you donate as an advertising expense. If you are giving copies of a digital product that is already created and costs you nothing to deliver to the winner, you are coming out nicely in terms of financial gain.

Over the course of a year, the added value of the digital downloads that you offer for free can add up to a hefty deduction from your taxable income.

Benefit 3: Reaping What You Sow

It is a truth of the universe that “the amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Being generous is always the right thing to do. And giving away your product has so many added benefits, that it’s foolish not to share.

If you engage in stingy marketing, you will get stingy results. Freely giving is the key to freely receiving.

Benefit 4: Building Authority

When you are appearing on many different sites and with many different communities as an ebook author or a specialist in your field, you are developing your personal brand. Over time, people will come to recognize your name and associate you with

It Didn’t Work for Me

Maybe you were once generous and didn’t see an immediate uptick in sales. You considered it a failure and resolved never to be taken advantage of again.

Give generosity a second chance. These kinds of marketing efforts do take time. With repeated participation in giveaways, you will build a backlink structure that suddenly snowballs into strong SEO. You will be reaching different audiences with each project. And those tough customers who need to hear about you multiple times before signing into their Paypal account to make a purchase will have a chance to see your name multiple times across many platforms.

If generous marketing didn’t work before, ask yourself some tough questions.

1. Is my product excellent? Is it worth sharing and talking about? No amount of marketing can sell a second-rate product.

2. Is my participation in giveaways being leveraged strategically to get the most benefit? Are you using your exposure in the giveaway to promote specific actions such as newsletter sign-ups, site click-throughs, or social media followings?

I have a good friend who uses her ebook not only as a way to generate income but also to kick start her new speaking career. Included in the pages of valuable ebook content is an outline of her speaking topics and how to contact her. When she gives away that ebook, she is not only positioning herself as an expert in her niche, but she is also marketing herself for potential speaking engagements. Smart!

Jimmie Quick

Jimmie is a veteran homeschool mom and empty nester who works from home doing digital marketing in the homeschool niche.

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Melissa Crabtree - May 14, 2013 Reply

I love this, Jimmie! 🙂 I’ve seen it work too!

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