Should you offer free trials to SMA clients in 2020? Let’s find out!
Now, look, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the thinking behind free trials. It’s experience. Hey, maybe if you do a great job for them, then they might actually start paying you after a woman service. I mean, look, we’ve all tried free trials for Spotify or audible or, or this software, that software. And a lot of times we actually stick, you know, we become customers after that trial period. And Hey, I mean if you do a good job for them and they decide not to stay on, who cares? At least you might get a testimonial from them or potentially a referral from them. And all of these points make sense. I understand it and it’s totally flawed.
Free trials are a no go when it comes to social media marketing. And more importantly than that, what it can tell us about client psychology, the psychology of loss aversion, and a bunch of other stuff. So first thing the free trials do is they attract the wrong people. You see pretty much anything on this earth when it is given for free, you are just going to attract the wrong crowd. Ask anyone who’s experienced at having a marketing agency and they will tell you that clients that pay the most for their services are actually the ones that cause the least amount of headache and had the least input of time compared to the ones that literally they’re charging 50% maybe even 30% as much as their highest retainers for, it’s crazy how that works. Right? In the same way, if you look at a bunch of different industries, for example, maybe a tennis coach for example, watch dealer, for example, a travel agent.
Most of the time the client that spends the most amount of money with them is usually the one that is the best is usually the one that is the least hassle, expects the least from them. Whereas the ones that pay the least expect the world and more so that is reason number one that you want to avoid free trials. In fact it is crazy what even a hundred dollars it’s, it’s crazy what even $1 will do. If I was to go ahead and offer you guys something for free, I would just get a bunch of tire kickers, but even a $1 commitment, let’s say a hundred people go for that free offer. Literally only shifty people would probably go for that $1 offer. Anytime someone pulls out their wallet and pays even an insignificant amount for something, you will immediately get a totally different mentality with the sort of person you’re dealing with.
The next one is you don’t want to avoid free trials is the fact that it builds false feedback loops to make you believe that you’re moving forward. Now, thank God, a lot of people out there have kind of come to their senses, but I saw this epidemic in 2019 where a lot of the SMA experts out there would actually tell their students to get free trials and in my mind I thought it was super unethical because the reason that they would tell them to do it is this false perception that you’re moving forward. So that way all these students of theirs would come in and they’d be like, Oh, I tried this thing and any work I have a client. But it’s like, no, you don’t actually have a client that is paying you well done. All you have accomplished is given 30 days of your time to someone entirely free when the person telling you to do that, at least if they have any experience out there on the field knows full well that that free trial client will not stick.
And the reason that is is it brings us onto our third point, which is wrong expectations. You see, I’ve used this analogy before, but if I give one of my friends a thousand pounds, I’m like, look, you’re the, Oh OJI you’re a Homer. You were there for me from the beginning. It’s a new month here.
Here’s a thousand pounds. Just because first of all, I’m very nice thing I needed to do, but the thing is that person would be extremely happy, but the next day if I come back and I go, Hey, so sorry, emergency come up, I’m going to need 500 of that back. But you still get to keep 500 in their mind they have not made 500 pounds. They’ve actually just lost 500 pounds. Even though for 48 priors they had zero. And that comes down to a cognitive bias known as loss aversion. Your RAs, your reticular activation system focuses on the money that you lost rather than the money that you gain.
And that kind of bleeds into the whole like, Oh, it’s a glass half full or half empty kind of thing. So when you are selling a client on a free trial, you’re going ahead and giving them something for free. And even if you bring an immense return for them, I mean you’re killing it the next month, even though they say at the beginning that if it goes well, you know, we’ll definitely pay your feet. If you then go ahead and charge them $1,000 a month, 1500 a month, $2,000 a month, in their mind they’re not thinking, Oh I’ve got 30 days for free. They got me incredible results and you make sense now I have to pay 2000 they’re thinking, damn, I went from paying nothing to now having to pay $2,000 a month for this. Now I’m all right. So it sets entirely the wrong expectation.
And just to go back to my previous point about building that false feedback loop, as I said, you know, you’re gonna be super excited cause you get these three free trial plants and at the end of it you think that it’s going to turn into something and then at the end it doesn’t. You feel disgruntled. And in that time where you brought them on first few trial, you were delivering results for them, et cetera, et cetera. You could have been out there getting a paying client. No. I am also very sensitive to the fact that a lot of beginners don’t feel comfortable charging $1,000 a month, $1,500 a month, $2,500 a month. Trust me, I’m aware of that. I understand that. So here’s what you do instead. Instead, if it comes up, you offer a discounted rate, because remember earlier in this video, I told you if I was to offer people some sort of value proposition for entirely free and a hundred people take that, if I was just a charge of $1 for that and get someone to put even in my new financial investment forward, that would probably go down to $50 that would probably go down from a hundred people to 50 people.
But even with a dollar of investment, those people are much, much higher quality. So my point is, as a beginner, if you want to be charging, let’s say $1,500 a month, but you’re just not at that place where you’re confident yet totally. Okay, you give your clients 50% off the first three months and you should always be signing clients on a three month minimum. And then from there roll in month by month, you give your clients 50% off. So you give him a discount rate. Or if that still feels like too much money, you know what? Give them 66% off. By that I mean two thirds. So rather than 1500 a month, you’re charging $500 a month, still is daunting to you, whatever. Just charge them $200 a month, literally them. I’m happy to do this for you pretty much, almost entirely for free just so I can show you that it works.
But if I was to charge you nothing for this and make this a free trial, then you wouldn’t have any skin in the game. So I’m only gonna charge you $300 per month for the first three months of this just so you have some sort of buy in and you’re invested as well. That is a much better way to go about it than doing free trials. Now for me and the way that I teach my students, I tell them, look, if you go into with a certain mindset, the whole notion of a discount won’t even come up. Like here’s the thing for me, there was a certain stage in my agency where I had enough reference experience and enough understanding and I went into the meeting with a strong enough frame that it would have just been like outright disrespectful for the client to ask, could you do some sort of discounted price of this?
So my point is for me that was very distinct period in which clients just didn’t even dare to ask for disc. And the only thing that changed was the frame and the mindset. I went into it, but that wouldn’t even be a conversation or that would almost be a ridiculous thing to come up in the first place. So as I said, for me and my students, I tell them, look, just don’t even offer any discount. If you’ve gone out, you’ve pitched clients and you just can’t seem to make it work. You need that confidence that first client find given 50% off. And that way they have a lower barrier to entry, but they also still have some skin in the game. So those of you that have gotten to the end of this video, trust me, I’ve seen you so, so, so much time, but all going out there offering these free trials that inevitably never really end with any sort of result, any sort of progression with your agency.
As I said, he just builds this false feedback loop that you’re moving forward when in reality you’re no. So as I said, this video would have saved you a lot of time. Now if you want to see even more time with your social media marketing journey, there’s a link in the description for the updated free training. This is a three hour behemoth free training and at the end you’re actually going to get an entire cold call, plug in plate, literally everything to say on your cold calls to set appointments, to set clients. And I even give you a light abridged version of the sales script that we use in the number one agency program on earth right now, agency incubator. Furthermore, once you’ve got that clan, you know you’re going to be getting cold feet. You’re like, ah, I don’t know how to actually deliver results from no worries whatsoever. One thing, I think there’s a seven page plugging plate with video tutorials. Click by. Click what to do to deliver results for local businesses using Facebook ads. So if you want to go ahead and save even more time in your agency journey, the link is in the description. Go ahead, check that out. My name is EMAG edgy. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video and don’t you dare offer another free trial thinking that’s moving you forward when it’s not. Hope you’ve been drinking and I will see you guys in the next one.
Offering free trials is a popular way of closing clients for your SMMA.
The reasoning is that by offering your services for free, you get your foot in the door, and get a chance to show the potential client what you can do.
This is a great way of ‘signing’ a client in the first place. But what happens next?
Watch the video below to find out what you should NEVER offer free trials to get SMMA clients.