Mark Wade Writes


I took two years of Latin in high school and I'm still not sure what Julius Caesar said in all of his written documents!  But I found out that "pro bono" means virtually "for the public good", or in layman's terms ... FREE.  That's right, I am advocating using strategically placed free shows to help build your vent business.  Usually speaking I don't think much of free shows.  I don't want free shows to upset the balance of my fee structure.  But if you have serious plans, and control the "pro bono" shows in the correct way, the occasional free show can help your regular business grow.

Let's say you want to work a certain market but have no way to capitalize on it to do a show.  A free show given to a group, especially one that has many contacts like a Rotary Club, Lions, etc., can be viewed as a showcase.  Because the club has many well connected members, a free show is a good way to introduce yourself.  When I first moved to Grove City, Ohio, I did a free show for the local Rotary Club.  The show was a rousing success ... and it led to at least three paid shows at full fee.

"Pro bono" programs can also be used to help a loyal client who has been hit hard by the recession, especially if this is an "every year" customer.  I will give them a free show because we have established a bond, a friendship.  What kind of friend would turn his or her back on a friend when they are having troubles?  I do the show and chalk it up to good will.  More than once has my loyal customer remembered how I helped them and they came back to me with paid shows when things straightened up.  This means I had to look beyond the immediate dollars and look to the future with this company.  When things got better they brought me back.  I had staying power with them.

Consider ways in which a free show can help you and others.  If you use your free show as a win-win with your clients you will definitely be in the game of performing for a long, long time!


1 comment:

  1. Canon John Jordan10/24/2011

    Mark Wade's "pro bono" comments are right on the point. I agree that those looking for "something for nothing" are not deserving clients. But a true pro bono is very much bread on the waters. Every deserving one you do will ultimately bring you more good will than many dollars spent on advertising in other ways. Paying clients will respond.