When Should You Give Away Free Professional Advice?


As a marketer and blogger, I frequently get approached for professional advice by friends and acquaintances. I usually don’t mind giving people a few tips here and there but sometimes I wonder where the line is between giving away advice and getting paid for it.

I believe that It’s a good practice to share your expertise and knowledge with people; however, when people start asking for specific advice relating to their business, I think they should be paying you.

Professionals such as consultants, lawyers, doctors and accountants earn their livelihood from their time or “billable hours”. This means that every free idea or piece of advice they give away takes away from their potential income. For example, I’d never approach a lawyer or accountant and ask for free professional advice because those are typically services you’d pay for.

As a consultant, I find that a good practice is to give a potential client a free analysis of their business or an idea to work with and then lead into suggesting a possible business relationship.

What are your thoughts on giving away free professional advice?

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