And You Want To Eat My Cake Too?

October 6th, 2014

Slice of Chocolate CakeAs the Internet has flourished, we have witnessed the growing demand for ‘free’ content. According to Brandon Gallie there are 152 million blogs online and over 170,000 new ones added every day. I publish one most weeks sharing hints, tips and thought provoking comment, I also have a couple of free e-books as well.

For me this is my marketing collateral; an opportunity for me to demonstrate what I do; a way for people to ‘check me out’ before hiring me. I love my job and I’m generally happy to help anyone – the Go Giver in me; but it has to be two-way traffic.

Let me share a story with you. I was approached to write a series of 12 blogs for a national professional body and naturally I said yes! I agreed to write them for ‘free’ on the basis of my authorship links.

I wrote the first two and had a good response from their readers. Several people called me for advice and help finding a local coach. Some called with specific questions which I took the time to answer. Several downloaded my e-book and one signed up for paid coaching.

Then the marketing guy changed. I had an introductory Skype with the new people; explained we were getting a good response. We talked about other opportunities and mentioned I had almost finished writing my book. Two days later I received this….

“Hi Shirley,

I hope you have been well.

Unfortunately my CEO has asked that we discontinue carrying the articles from yourself on the website and in the newsletter, as he feels that it is gaining too many referrals from the ICB at no cost.   Many apologies for having to inform you of this, your articles have been very well received and we really appreciate your help. I suppose it is testament to how good your advice has been.

Best of luck with the book and finding a publisher, I hope it all goes well.

Kind regards….”

I hadn’t been paid for the articles. This was my response; I was curious……

“Hi ….

My apologies, I didn’t appreciate that introducers fees were required. Please let me know the terms your CEO requires.”

And they said and I’m paraphrasing “…we recognise that you are getting business and want something out of this too”.

Why do they think that I would invest my time and give my expertise and intellectual property away for free and because it appears on their website that I should also pay them introducer fee?

What do you think my next move should be?


Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach and Master Problem Solver. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 14 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter.