Independent Thinking Blog

How Much Is a Referral Worth?

There was an interesting discussion on the SoloPR tweet chat last week about discounting services. Specifically:

As a new SoloPR [pro], would you give a big discount to a client who offers to or does actively help you grow your business?

If you read this blog regularly, you know my position on discounting. I want referrals from my clients because they value my work, not because my rates are malleable. And any quid pro quo that involves money changing hands (directly, or indirectly via a “discount”) will always make me uneasy. Or, as I tweeted:

This is a biz philosophy issue too. I believe referrals should happen “because”–not “because I’m getting something in return.”

Plus, as one person pointed out, “once you offer a discount, odds are you will never return to your full rate.”

While some people echoed my position on this, others did not. Several people said they would offer a discount–or had done so in the past. One person said that he might do it, but advised setting a scope or time limit. Another said, “Yes to discounts. When you’re new, money shouldn’t be your main concern. Getting your brand out there should be.”

Sorry, still not a fan of this model. There are lots of ways to thank clients. Cheapening your brand isn’t one of them.

Photo by Bixentro (Flickr).

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