There’s an old cartoon that taught me an interesting lesson. Odds are, you might have seen it a thousand times, but I bet you’ve never watched it as a learning tool for your business!
In the cartoon, a man is down and out on his luck. Then, one eventful day, he finds a frog. But this is no ordinary frog… it can sing and dance!
The man immediately sees dollar signs and realizes this little green guy will make him rich! So he rents out a theater and puts a sign in front of the building, saying “SINGING FROG!”
Well, nobody comes to watch it.
So he thinks for a bit, then puts up a second sign that says, “FREE ADMISSION!”
Still, nobody comes to see his great singing frog.
As a third try, he makes a sign that says, “FREE BEER!”
As soon as the sign is up, the crowd pours in, running over our poor entrepreneur.
So what’s the lesson in this little cartoon?
First and foremost, the main character found a great product (a singing frog!) and he knew he needed to get it to an audience.
He also understood a very important rule in marketing: Give them something for free!
And he learned that it’s not just the act of giving something away that matters. The next step is you have to give them something they want. AND, give them something of VALUE that they’ll appreciate and can use in their business.
Giving them something for free is the best tool to show them that they can trust you to treat them right. If you throw up something with no value and scream about how it’s “Free!” they might sign up, just to give it a shot. You’ll get their contact information.
But as soon as they realize that your “free” item has absolutely no value to them, you’ll lose the client… and that defeats the point of getting their contact information.
Our cartoon has one more important lesson:
Know your product! Our cartoon friend didn’t test his product and all his startup costs were wasted. He found that frog and immediately sold it to the public.
And we all know what happened next. The frog only sang when he was alone with it!
So the next time you’re preparing your next product launch, or big promotion, remember what we learned from that old singing frog:
If you’re giving away something for free, make sure it’s something of value… and that it solves a problem that your prospects have and something they can use. (And remember, if you don’t know what keeps them awake at night or what problems they’re having, create a survey, ask them and find out!)
After all, what’s the point of a singing frog if nobody sees it sing…