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You ever see those people downtown handing out flyers on the street? They think they’re out spreading the word, but when you turn the corner, you see where everyone has just ditched the papers on the ground. Just because something’s complimentary doesn’t mean someone will want it.  People desire something of value, even if you’re giving it away for free.

To move people through the sales funnel of your hourglass, you need to offer a free item to get the word out as well. But don’t leave people thinking, “Great, what am I going to do with this?”  Instead, create a giveaway item of value that demonstrates your expertise.

An effective freebie offer helps your potential client and markets for you at the same time. You want to leave your target customers thinking, “Hey! If the stuff they give away is this great, imagine what they provide when you pay!”

So, how do you create something of value?  How do you catch people’s attention, so you stand out among all of the other competing messages out there? The following steps will help walk you through the process:

Ask yourself what problem does your business solve?  Think about this question. It may be trickier to answer than you think. Don’t just respond, “I build websites.”  Drill down. Websites for whom?  Why do they need one?  What value do your customers receive from your product or service?

What do you offer unique that your competition does not?

Your answers should frame the core of your messaging.

If you have trouble, think about what feedback have you received from those with whom you have worked in the past.  Do people say that you design great, user-friendly templates? Perhaps create generic web forms. Do people come to you with all of their computer questions? Perhaps write an e-book or how-to guide. Dig deep and find that one thing at which you really excel. Then capitalize on this strength by turning it into something tangible that you can offer your clients to help them solve their problem.

Give a strong sample of what you can do.  Treat this as an audition, or demonstration of your skills.  You want to impress.

Videos, e-series, coupons, or other electronic media items all work well as instant giveaways. Make it enticing! Remember, there’s a lot of competition for attention out there.

As people sign up, you’ll want to gather their names and contact information so you can add them to your distribution lists. Make it easy to collect that information by creating a web form through a program such as Aweber.

After you design your web form, grab the code provided and add it to its own landing page.  Share the link to your landing page in all of your social media channels to gain the most exposure.

Here are some other ways to draw people down into the sales funnel:

*Create buzz by letting your fans know that you’re working on the latest freebie. Continue tweeting and posting about your progress and include a link where anyone can sign up to get it when it comes out.

*As visitors come to your website, encourage them to sign up to receive your freebie. Add these names to your list, so you have the ability to email these people and bring them back to your website over and over again.

*Include a signature line on your forum profiles that invites readers to sign up for your freebie.  This will also grow your list and increase your reach.