Consultants and experts will tell you one of the ways to compete with Free is to make and offer something better; a better product, better services, better everything. They say, make a product or service that is perceived as higher value for your clients and they don't mind paying for it. Easier said than done. I'm not saying it is easy to compete with free. You need to tackle it head-on.
But before talking about what you can and should do, here is what you should not do.
Don't do 'gimmick's. Don't throw money at hard marketing. Don't just try to 'push' the same thing with a twist.
You have two alternatives:
- Fight on price - but then you can't fight Free.
- Offer tremendous value that Free just can't offer.
It is obvious the second alternative is better, but how do you build value?
The first step is to start from scratch. Re-think your target market. You cannot be all things to all people. Who are your current clients? More importantly, which of your clients value your product and services - those that bought and appreciate the value you provide. Segment them and re-define your audience.
Define your marketing strategy to target that market and audience only. This is where your sweet spot it. Stay focused.
And, here is the most important thing - do not hesitate to increase prices if you need to, because this newly define segment is probably willing to pay more for your services.
Understand the Psychology of Free.
All of this may seem obvious, yet we hesitate to take steps. Inactivity leads to the frustration I see when clients approach me about their inability to fight Free.