Giving Out Free Advice? Then Know Your Boundaries

By Jennifer Hall | Business Mindset

Aug 09
know your boundaries

'Are You Taking The P*ss!' - They Will If You Let Them...It's all About Boundaries... 

A fair few of my clients have become friends and a few of my friends have become clients AND many people in my network who were neither, but, could use my services have also become incredible friends.

And this is where it can get dangerous for your business if you don't have boundaries. Because if you're not careful you'll become a friend with business benefits.

How many of us have had our brains picked over coffee?

We've all experienced this and it doesn't feel great and we can sometimes feel like that person has taken advantage.

But here's the #truthbomb...

...It's got nothing to do with them...but It has everything to do with you!

you don't set boundaries with yourself and you don't arm yourself with ways to respond to requests for free help then you will almost certainly have your services stolen from you.

...It's your responsibility to prepare yourself for these requests and situations.

Now the other side of the coin is - you may WANT to give away some stuff for free because you adore them...

BUT I want you to ask yourself this...

...is that fair to your paying clients? And is that person going to truly value what you are offering them?

I say feel free to give pointers but know where the line is and be prepared to 'handle' the situation.

Here are a couple of ways you could handle the situation...

  • Random prospect brain picking request - 'I'd be happy to chat through whether I'm the best person to help you with this, and I charge X to help my clients achieve 'X result' let me know if you'd like to chat and I'll send you a call link.
  • Someone you know on friendly terms asking for your help - 'I'm really excited that you're looking to move in that direction, I think that it's a great idea! I'd love to brainstorm some ideas with you, moving forward in terms of implementation I'd be happy to chat through formally working together if that's something you'd like to explore.'
  • OR if it's a more direct ask - 'Totally happy to chat through some ideas with you (if indeed you are -if not omit this part) but in terms of helping you implement for free, it just wouldn't be fair to my paying clients.'

So the lesson is...

Know your boundaries, stick to them and enforce. If they're professionals themselves they'll respect them and you. AND - you'll be helping them own and respect their own boundaries and value in the process. Because the truth is... if they truly value it, they'll pay for it.
There's a big difference between offering friendly support and actually taking someone through a process.

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About the Author

Jen Hall is Business Clarity Coach for Coaches, Consultants & Experts who want to become Unrivalled Go-To Experts. Jen not only gets you clear on your micro-niche, message and what makes you unique and desirable, but she helps you to define what makes you an irrefutable offer to the market so you can position yourself as a high-end 'must have' option for your prospects. She is a Multi-Award Winning Speaker and Best Selling Author of Expert Unrivalled.