March 5, 2010

Experience + Help + Time ≠ Free

Can You Spare An Hour?

One issue that has been coming up more and more is free.

Give It To Sell It.

This is not about being there ahead of the sale or building a strong community, this is about allowing vultures to pick away at your gray matter with wild abandon.

Lovely image, isn't it?

If you don't give your time and experience value, who will?

Social networks have given us the wondrous opportunity to meet people we would not have otherwise met. It gives us a chance to get to know each other. It's far superior to cold calling by ten to the power of infinity.

Business Over Coffee.

If you and I met for an hour to talk about your business, it would not be an hour, it would hour plus twenty-six years of marketing, media and management experience overseeing multi-million operations. It's also an hour of your time plus all of your experience.

But I buy most of my music. The album only has two good songs. The band already makes plenty of money.

The music industry continues to deal with the issue of free. After all, there are hundreds of thousands of songs being illegally downloaded every minute. They have tried watermarks, law suits, embedded code, threats, public relations campaigns and people are still stealing their stuff. Why? Because they can.

The Doors Are Wide Open.

If you owned a clothing store and told the world that Thursdays were free night, how's the lineup on Fridays?

If you are planning to redecorate your office, the manager at the hardware store is probably not going to let you bring home the paint so can decide if you want to pay for it later.

But it's much tougher to quantify our time. It doesn't fit in a glass, it's gone and there's more in its place so how do you value it?

It's Just a Doodle.

A colleague recently reminded me of the story about Pablo Picasso having lunch in a restaurant. Another patron approached the master and asked for a quick drawing on a napkin.

Picasso quickly informs the man that it will be $1 Million. Shocked, he questions why a simple drawing would be that much. Picasso replies that it took him thirty years to perfect that talent and that is not free.

We are all Picasso in our own way. We need to celebrate that and stop giving our time away like it's in endless supply.

Three posts about free from three brilliant colleagues who continue to give away plenty for free. You can read them here, here and here.

And feel free to add your free thoughts.

@knealemann
strategy. marketing. social media.

photo credit: echostains

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