"Are you trying to get us addicted to your templates so we come back to buy more?" (a sweet friend photographer asked me tongue and cheek when I first started sending out the freebies) "The templates are so nice!! Isn't it stupid to give them away for free? You should sell them!"
The free downloads that I design and make available are classy, beautiful, professional looking and that's the way they should be. While I create them I ask myself: "Would this be something I would proudly use for myself?" The way I see it, they would lose their value if I didn't put in them just as much time, energy and thought I put in the paid resources I offer. They would simply become test files you can look at, before you would buy something in the store, or maybe not even that. The more it costs you when you do something for someone, the more value adds to it.
I certainly don't think I am stupid for making them available for free.
Am I trying to get you addicted to them? Not at all. While I know that many of you look forward to every monthly download and they are of great value to you, I think you could do just fine without them. They might make you and your business look good, but it is you who makes your business successful.
There is nothing stupid about being kind and making a difference.
… Every so often I get emails like these:
"I found your work while looking for rep card templates. Thank you for the free templates! It's so kind of you to give to other photographers. I'm in my first year in business in a new town and being eaten alive by start-up cost. I was thrilled to find your templates – they where exactly what I needed. They're so nice I can't believe you're giving them away!" ~Rosalyn T.
"I have to thank you for all your hard work and great freebies. I have used several (including the biz cards and gift certificates) and they have all turned out beautiful. […] Again, thank you so much for all you do. You really help out all of us (especially the ones struggling to begin!!)." ~Jen S.
This is the reason why I keep creating and sending out the monthly free downloads. For those who need marketing materials and could use a break. There are many costs involved and it is not all rosy and easy, especially when starting out. And, for that matter, you know that better than anyone else, doesn't matter how far you took your business by now. It involves hard work, little sleep, sweat, sometimes tears and always money. Everyone could use a bit more money, especially these days.
...I have a degree in design, but not one in photography. All I know about photography I learned by studying a lot and practicing, and from other photographers. Photographers who were kind and willing to answer my questions and emails. Were they stupid to help me out and take the time to do that? I don't think so. And time will prove it, even more so :)
I truly valued that they took time out of their busy schedules to make a difference.
That's how the free downloads were born. It was a way for me in the beginning to say a little thank you, and later evolved into what it is now. While I don't know for how long I will keep creating new templates every month, for now I keep building the library of goodies, for all those who need them.
It pays to be nice. In personal satisfaction, if nothing else. But many of you have been visiting and buying products from the EW Couture Collection store, even with the small number of products that are being offered there right now. And I know how many are waiting anxiously for the baby announcements, the mini accordion books and the Christmas cards. (Thank you for your patience.)
Was that a must, or a condition for you to be able to get the freebies? Not at all.
So, no. There is no catch. :)
I do hope you put them to good use and pay it forward when you get the chance. I love to hear about people that take that seriously and to heart. A couple of months ago one photographer e-mailed me to tell me how she forgave the bill for one extra hour she shot for one of her wedding clients and what that meant for her client.
Fill a need where you see a need, do things that matter for others and make a difference.
And have an enjoyable, safe 4th of July everyone!
To download June's goodie, the trifold marketing brochure, click on this link. *[As of December 2011 all the free downloads are available through email only. To get exclusive access to past, present & future monthly free downloads check out the EW Couture Goodies List.]
Remember, the colors the files come with match the color palette of the little marketing set I made available for download in January. The sample shown here simply shows a possible color customization.