The Psychological Reason Why 'Free' Just Doesn't Work

The girl I was seeing last year, she was an entrepreneur.

Good at her work, too.

So obviously,  we would discuss business, and marketing, and I’d give her ideas and tips that she could use for her business.

Most all of it though would go unheeded.

The words; “Eh Martin, what do you know” still ring around my mind.

Not surprising though: as human beings, we have a terrible (and really silly) propensity to not value what comes to us for free.

I mean, how often do you actually stop to really, gratefully, appreciate that the weather is nice?

That you’re alive?

That you’ve got talents and skills?

Like, consciously stop and be grateful for the people in your life?


If you’re like most people, you take much of the blessings in your life for granted.

I know I do – and I also know that gratitude as a conscious practice is very valuable, which is why I do my best to be grateful for the people in my life, and the fact that I like learning, and that, simply, I’m alive.

When it comes to business though, this notion of unappreciated free/taking things for granted is extremely important.

That is, if you want to make a good living.


Used to be, I would give my copywriting customers all kinds of free advice.

How to tweak their layout for better conversions, or what kind of traffic to attract, or a specific type of follow-up email to send…

But like my ex-girlfriend, they’d just ignore it – much to their own detriment, I might add.

We just don’t appreciate what’s given us for free, in most cases.

For me, the big shift came when I started charging money for consulting.

Suddenly, people started paying attention and getting results.

Ah, the wonders of being human.


Take these daily emails, for example.

Every day I tell you something that has been tried, tested, and proven to work.

I don’t make these things up – I learn them from thought leaders in the industry.

And yet, I’m pretty sure that most of my readers take the ideas, and then do nothing with them.

Not that I mind, nor do I blame anyone: it’s just a fact of life.

Many marketers tout the idea that you should give everything away for free, and only charge money for one thing.

I’m not saying it does work, but it sure does have drawbacks.

For one thing, if people are attracted to you because you give free stuff, how likely are they to become a paying customer?

They came for the freebies, so it’ll be mighty hard to convince them that there’s & better once they purchase.

This is one of the reasons that as a freelancer – say a writer, or designer, but also as an artist – you always want to charge an advance fee for your work.

It filters out the people who do not really, badly want what you do, and who are willing to pay for the privilege of working with you.


Because if your work is good, then it IS a privilege, and don’t forget that.

The result is that those people who do end up doing business with you will automatically be more likely to be happy, to appreciate your work.

All this is also the reason why the LEAP Marketing Newsletter isn’t cheap.

It’s only for serious people, the kind who invest in their business, and who are willing to study and get better.

The result?

Well, subscribers send me pretty good feedback. They get better, smarter, more confident.

And, they sell more of their work.

Could happen to you too…

That is, IF you have an investor-mindset, and IF you go here to sign up –>




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Martin helped our co-working space get to full occupancy and $25.000 monthly revenue in less than a year.

~ Antonio Herrezuelo,
Avenida Capital

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