I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but doing some work for free is one of the best ways to get paying jobs when you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur.
I talked last week about building a portfolio with some mock work to increase your ability to get jobs. Another way to increase your paying jobs is by doing some small jobs for a testimonial or as a one-off freebie has worked well for me. Let me explain.
Networking in Facebook Groups
I noticed in a comment thread that a lady I adored was asking for copywriting help for products. So I commented that I offered this service, which she seemed surprised to hear. I offered to rewrite a product description that was already on her site and send it to her as a sample for free.
I suppose you can guess what happened next. She loved the rewritten description so we discussed pricing and all the details of working together. Contract was signed, and I’ve just about completed half of the descriptions. I’m so excited to see the rest of her new products!
Moral of that story: Use Facebook groups to your advantage while following the rules. Many business networking and support groups will have a once a week or once a month post where you can promote your paid products or services. Don’t be afraid to offer to do a small sample of your service or to send a small sample for free if you’re just starting out.
Offering A Small Sample Of Free Work
This is another way I’ve gotten some work. It’s also resulted in some glowing testimonials. You can advertise this in those same Facebook groups and on your own social media accounts.
Announce that you are doing a certain number of free whatever it is you do on a first-come, first-served basis. Have in mind a particular client you want for these free spots. Have a way to collect names and numbers for a discovery type call just like you would for a paid client. Always make sure your client and you are going to work well together!
Once you have those spots filled, be sure you announce that as well and get to work! Be sure you give the same quality of work and customer care to these clients that you would if they had paid full price. Also, have a system in place to collect timely feedback and testimonials for your website and social media.
How Do These Help You Actually Get Paying Jobs?
I’m glad you asked!
- Offering to send a free sample helps by:
- Giving them a risk-free, personalized sample of your work
- Showing you take initiative, especially if you are able to grab and idea from their website in advance of the initial contact
- Showing your enthusiasm for the work you do without being overbearing
- Doing work for free helps by:
- Helping you get testimonials faster
- Getting your portfolio real work to show
- Starting to build word of mouth sooner
I’m sure there are way more benefits that those. I just dropped a few off the top of my head to help you see the benefits of both methods.
What do you think? Could these strategies help you get paying clients?
Will you try either of these methods? Have you tried them before, and how successful were the for you if so? I’d love to hear you thoughts! Drop them in the comments and share to your favorite social site.