So, should you work for free? Are you giving your work away for FREE?
A lot of people, especially at the start of their self employed career think this is a good option.
Personally, I see it as a form of business sluttery. Giving it away strips it of any value and will hurt you in the long run.
Time to crush some myths of working for FREE:
(and yes, I am going to be brutal about it!)
“Working for free will help me get clients/ more business”
NO it won’t! Those “clients” who you are working for FREE for will probably never pay you because you’ve not attached ANY value to your work so how can you expect them to do it for you?
They’re more likely to go to your competition who attaches a price from the start even if their work isn’t as good.
Be wary of “promises” that they’ll give you more work down the line if you do this for free. It’s a LIE.
>> Free consultations, pitches, and introductory audits are part of the process to secure clients but draw the line there. Whether you are selling a product or service you need to make sure your pricing is right!
If they can’t see the value after that then you need to move on or rework your pitch process.
“Working for free is great exposure”
Umm … for who? This is another lie.
>> The ONLY time it’s great exposure is when it’s on YOUR terms and it’s part of your game plan (please tell me you have one!) Identifying someone you want to dazzle and show your work to is probably the ONLY time it’s worth it.
“Working for free is good karma”
Sure, it can be – as long as you are working for a good cause … charity is great but if your efforts have nothing to with a greater good then ask what are you getting out of this?
>> Remember being a volunteer for a profit making business won’t pay your bills and karma hangs on a thread.
“Working for free is not the same as an exchange or barter deal”
This is true. If you are getting something in return then it’s not free is it? If you do something for someone and they do something in return and you are BOTH benefitting then it’s a business deal.
>> Barter deals can be great but be careful not to overdo it – you still have bills to pay.
NEWS FLASH: You are already working for FREE
Oh yes! Your time on your blog, your newsletters, your TIME is all FREE work.
You are giving away valuable content for FREE (if you aren’t then rethink what you are doing).
Keep it streamlined – don’t give everything away for FREE if there is a possibility you could sell it – selling it will give it more value, more meaning, and well, generate more business.
Are you guilty of any business sluttery? What’s your take on working for FREE?
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