An Ancient Proverb with a Great Marketing Application…


They say, “It’s better to give than to receive.” I’m not sure who said it first. The Bible certainly teaches it (see Acts 20:35). I suspect the marketing corollary to this truth is that, “If you give, you will receive.” Now that I think about it, the Bible teaches that too (see Luke 6:38).

To sell your product or service, you have to do two simple things:

  • Create something that has value—more value than the money you will ask them to pay in exchange for what you offer.
  • Make the people who will value what you offer aware that it exists and enticing for them to get it.

The first part is a product or service development question. The second is all about marketing. Now here’s where the give and receive saying comes into play…

If you are an unknown author or your business does not yet have a well-recognized brand, how can you attract attention and get people to notice you? There will always be others with bigger budgets who can outspend you in terms of buying people’s attention. People are busy and their brains are processing millions of images every second. How do you break through the clutter and get the value you offer to be noticed? One way is to give something away for free.

Who doesn’t like free? How many times have you walked through the food court in a mall and stopped to sample a piece of mandarin chicken from a restaurant you never heard of and then decided to pass up the more well-known restaurants to order the lunch special you just sampled? It works! We have a couple book author clients who put this give and receive strategy into practice in promoting their new books. Bob Crick is not a well-known author. He wrote a wonderful book about his own experience in caring for his precious wife through her final stages of Alzheimer’s. He gave copies of his books away to pastors and leaders as a way to encourage them to make room in their services for those with challenging circumstances and to equip their congregations to better care for those who are dealing with senior care issues. The result is that he has gone through two printings of his book and is about to order a third. In the process he has received countless letters of thanks and more invitations to speak than he can handle.

Another client of ours Debbie Woods wrote a book called Mended which helps women work through the “rips and tears” of life to find wholeness and joy. She is a first time author. So she got her book stuffed into the gift bags of a major women’s conference. This is leading to all sorts of new connections for her where people are now wanting to purchase her book. The give and you shall receive principle works!

So what is it that you offer that has real value? Who are the people who will value it the most? How can you get their attention by offering something for FREE. Maybe it’s a white paper, or an excerpt from a book. Maybe it’s an introductory coaching session, or a free tour of your facilities. Be creative. Be intentional. BE GIVING!

If you would like a free sample of my book, Get Your Book Published, click here.


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