Customers are those who stay, at least for a quarter


July, 2016


Are you building something? You should provide value. Define value by anything you benefit your customers. But you should have something. Here comes a question, whether it’s possible to provide value only if you give things for free. Absolutely not, but if you ask me, giving free stuff is the easiest way to provide value.

That doesn’t mean you have to be a non-profit. Here is some stuff that might be useful on building a profitable business while you give stuff free as well.

Give basic stuff for free

To do this, your bar should always be high from your competitors in the industry. Your basic stuff is free and should provide a bit more value than the competitor. It’s hard. To do this, your business in the plan should have a modular approach where you can decide the free modules. This, you can provide as a trial version or a special pre-launch version. Your call.

Love what you do and who you do it for. The rest will come naturally — David Cohen

More free stuff

Now that you’ve made some trust among your early adopters, you have to give more stuff for free. No, don’t nod your head. I’m not mad yet. You should give your users premium features free as well. But, for a short span of time. This time, you can ask something in return. Endorsements, social sharing, testimonials or whatever stuff that’s good for you. And the tryout of premium will make them believe that it works. (It should work)

Surprise them

Now, it’s time for the next level in your funnel. Conversion. It’s not that easy as it says. Surprise them with an offer, should be something they want and an irresistible one. How’d you find that? Run A/B tests on your customer interactions with the product. Find the most wanted one. Surprise them with something they can’t resist. Games do this with in-app purchases and analytics.

Keep goals on making people come back

One thing you should keep track on is, your customers should come back to use your product. Else your strategy is not working. Give free stuff as long as they’re staying with you. Because some day you’ll be asked for more. Make that request a challenge for yourself. From that stage, your returns will matter.


I’ve always wondered how investors bank on zero revenue startups and invest huge amounts. Eventually, I realized they have a long vision. They’re experts in the field. They invest on the ability of a startup to hold their customers and convert them sometime in the future. That’s how you grow and scale. Don’t just pitch right in. Patience is the key.

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