Stop Giving Stuff Away for Free!!! Here's Why...

**Article updated 4/26/2020
**Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my fair share of giveaways. Especially when I was first starting out and wanted to get more exposure to my shop. After doing several giveaways with little to no success, I realized that giveaways really don’t make much sense.

First, think of it like this: Why should I give free stuff to followers who will just want more stuff for free? Give them an inch, they take a mile. Not only that, but the vast majority of people who follow you when you host a giveaway will more than likely unfollow when that giveaway has ended. They have no intention of actually making a legitimate purchase from you.

After everything I just said, this next thing may surprise you… continue to host freebies, but get something out of it in return! I know you’re wondering “well, how is it free if I’m getting something from it?” Have no fear, I’m about to drop some knowledge on y’all!  I don’t mean you’ll be getting monetary compensation for your “freebie”, I mean you’ll be gaining either valuable feedback from your target market or more exposure for your business. How can you do this? Host a contest instead of a giveaway!

How to Gain Something from Giving Stuff Away:

First, here is a very important disclaimer I must give you (since this is illegal in the US): You cannot ask anyone to make a purchase from you in order to be entered to win. Giveaway/contest rules must be clear that no purchase is necessary.

1.) Ask contestants to submit a new product idea or design. Make it clear that you may use or tweak their design for your shop or website and by entering the contest, they are giving their consent for you to do so. The winner could receive a free product and/or be featured on your website, blog, Social Media, etc.

2.) Tell them they can share one of your posts or Etsy listings to their Social Media in order to receive extra entries. It’s not a contest, but you’re getting something in return since they’ll be sharing your content with their followers.

3.) Ask contestants to tag their friends in one of your posts to gain entries. This is a simple way of getting potential new customers to find you on Social Media and they may even click through to your shop. Again, not a contest but you’re gaining something from it.

4.) You can also ask previous customers to submit photos of themselves or a friend/family member using your product. This may result in fewer entries since submitting a photo takes a bit more work than just hitting that follow button, but you’re also gaining feedback and value from prior customers. Ask them if you can use their photos on your Social Media, blog, or website.

5.) Find other business owners in your niche or category and see if they would be interested in teaming up for a giveaway or contest. Ensure that contestants must follow all accounts that are hosting the giveaway. You’ll essentially be “trading” followers with the other business owners and will gain more followers from your target market.

6.) Contact influencers to share your giveaway/contest with their followers. You may have to pay some of these influencers, especially if they have a large following or they might agree to be compensated with free products that they can review on YouTube or their Social Media. All of the details would have to be worked out between you and the influencer, of course.

Like many of my other posts, I will update this one whenever I think of new information or tips for you. Until then, feel free to check out some of my other blog posts and I thank you for stopping by!

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