Should you offer your services for free? Your gut reaction might be, “No way.”
I feel you. I’ve been there. I’ve had people ask me to do work for free, and it didn’t feel great.
BUT there are times when it’s actually OK to work for free and I sought out free gigs when I first started out as a freelance designer.
I talk more about this in my new reel, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever volunteered your skills to grow your portfolio…and did it work in your favor?
A couple of tips for starting out in your industry and volunteering:
• Only volunteer your time if there’s growth as a result and it aligns with your goals. So I highly recommend setting a short-term goal first (ie. book your first 3 high ticket clients by next month) and make sure that any free work you do will help get you there!
• If you approach a business and volunteer to do free work, keep it small and simple. No more than 5 hours of your time. You don’t want to resent it, you only want to enjoy the process and get your client quick results. Because results = very happy clients who could come back excited to pay.
• Make sure there’s something to gain in exchange for your time –– contact phone numbers/emails of potential clients, a testimonial (customer feedback holds a lot of weight!) or referral, hands-on experience…think about and plan what’s in it for you so that you walk away with exactly what you wanted going into the gig.
• Be strategic in what you offer for free.
Ok, so let’s say you’re not starting out. You’re actually a pro and expert in your field right now. Should you be offering your skills for free?
Big brands and influencers offer their time for free with the strategy of gaining new customers all the time! How many free webinars, email freebies, podcasts, or Instagram lives loaded with valuable info have you consumed recently? And did it encourage you to make a purchase? I know I’ve purchased books after hearing the author get interviewed on a popular podcast –– which they most likely didn’t get paid for, and I got to listen for free.
Heck, Rihanna didn’t get paid to perform at the Super Bowl and her music sales increased 390% after her performance.
Offering something for free with value does lead to sales. People were entertained and as result took action that looked something like this: “Whoa this performance was epic! Let me purchase this song so that I can practice this dance routine for TikTok and embarass my kids while I blast Rihanna for all to hear in the carpool line.”
So, what should this freebie look like for YOU (…if the Super Bowl is not offering you a gig this year)?
It would be an offer that leads to a quick win for your client. When they see results, they trust your expertise. A challenge, a checklist, a workshop, an interview…find opportunities and offers that your ideal client would enjoy and truly gain from. If they can apply something they learned from you right away and see a result or transformation (ie, you offer a free workout plan, and they notice that they don’t just feel more fit but they enjoy movement now, as you promised) you convert your curious potential customer into a paying customer. Because now they just want more of the magic you offer.
Offering something for free now sounds more fun, right?
Did you learn something new today? How will you apply it to your business growth? Let me know!
PS – Speaking of free, I’m offering free consultations to help you learn more about my brand new business launch packages that include coaching to guide you through the business growth process with lots of tips and tricks! Book a free consultation to see how we can beef up your business offers and get you more sales, whether you freelance or sell a product!