The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Please share Does, Donts, Cautionary Tales about Free Work Experience

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

Rammsteinfanboy

Contributor
Jun 7, 2017
31
20
39
30
Germany
Hey,

I am thinking about doing some free work, to build my skillsets and my brand. But I dont want
to be exploited. I thought the best way to avoid that is to come up with VERY specfic conditions,
such as getting mentioned or introduced to other people. Can you tell me personal experiences,
dos and don`ts, tactics etc.?
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

dmichaelmccann

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 20, 2015
58
262
171
20
New Jersey
When I was starting out a few months ago I did a few free websites that worked out well, so I'll share what I did to not get exploited.

First, definitely try to meet in person or at least talk on the phone with anyone you are doing free work for. It's ok if they are a total stranger (all of my free clients were) but by talking to potential clients you can quickly tell if they are someone you would enjoy working with and that you can trust.

When looking for potential clients you should also choose someone who has a need for the services you are giving them. This way you can actually help them and get them good results, which will get you more referrals/repeat work and a better portfolio piece for later when you are looking for new clients.

If you can get them to promise to introduce you to new potential clients in exchange for your free work, definitely do that. I don't know what service you provide but if possible, the best way to do this is to show your client your work and release it to them after you get introduced to another client.

Lastly, set a very detailed and specific project scope before you get started, and make sure the client agrees. If you feel that you are being taken advantage for your free work you can always refer back to this.
 

Kak

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 23, 2011
6,068
26,393
4,554
Assuming you want to be an actual entrepreneur and not just a freelance loser... I don't see the point in wasting your time unless you are learning to LEAD.

The whole concept of "hustling" is foreign to me. What are you waiting for? Just go try something big and cool. If it fails who gives a shit?
 

GPM

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 25, 2012
750
3,298
775
Canada
If it fails who gives a sh*t?
THIS x1000

People just don't seem to get this. They seem to think failure is some big scary thing that we all need to run away from.

"but what if it doesn't work"
"I know this person who already tried that and it didn't work"
"I did that once and it failed and now I will never do it again"

Strike that attitude out, and banish it to the pits of hell. WHO CARES IF IT DOESN'T WORK!!!

Go out and try something. Just no matter what happens learn from your experience, and then build and adjust. People become successful by doing, not by thinking about doing. Just go do some shit and keep learning.
 

ZF Lee

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2016
2,216
3,875
906
21
Malaysia
Assuming you want to be an actual entrepreneur and not just a freelance loser... I don't see the point in wasting your time unless you are learning to LEAD.
I think that is the dominant reason why I am still in freelancing.

In that approach, I would be able to see how clients hire, keep up the communication and employee feedback or support loops first-hand. That is a good takeaway for any future venture.

Unfortunately, most of the folks I worked with weren't very seasoned...so I saw more 'don't's rather than 'dos'
 

SquatchMan

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 27, 2016
453
1,665
468
Nowhere
Don't do free work. The clients won't value you and a referral will be less meaningful from a free client.

You can do paid work AND get introduced to people, build your brand, AND build your skillset. Literally zero reason to ever work for free (unless it's charity).
 

Xeon

All Cars Kneel Before Pagani.
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 3, 2017
1,395
2,916
666
Singapore
"Man only respects what he paid for".
 

Olimac21

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2015
443
579
260
27
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
Hey,

I am thinking about doing some free work, to build my skillsets and my brand. But I dont want
to be exploited. I thought the best way to avoid that is to come up with VERY specfic conditions,
such as getting mentioned or introduced to other people. Can you tell me personal experiences,
dos and don`ts, tactics etc.?
The best thing you can do is set boundaries in terms of how much time you are willing to work to avoid being exploited. Also since nobody can work forever for free, give yourself a certain period for example if you are doing websites write down: I will do 3 websites for free and then start charging a bit more.
 

LittleWolfie

Silver Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 28, 2018
963
509
195
Holbeach Hurn
Why not do the work for charities?
They will be more grateful for the work, you will get more exposure, looks good for the community (you might be able to write it off) if your doing it because you want skills knowledge of the person running the company then do it as a skills/timeswap. I'll do ten hours on your website if you do 1 hour sit down and give me your advice. You can sell for value that is other than money. That baker in need of a website might have leftover bread, that's better than "free" or "exposure" I can eat stale bread.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
FEATURED! Introducing... WEALTH EXPO$ED, A Short Story By MJ DeMarco
Finally! I just launched a short story on Kindle (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited)! After...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Fox's Web Design Guide: Earn $100K this year (Yes, 2020!) and Go Fastlane
I have zero coding skills whatsoever. Are coding skills needed? Will the be learned in the...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE How To Create A 100K-1M+ Sales Funnel
@LynX You know, this is a "Marketplace" Thread. Completely appropriate to offer goods and...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Dropping a quick note in here to say... if you are on TFL, you are part of an elite group of...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE KAK’s “Kill Bigger” Incubation Program- With DAILY personal attention.
I joined @Kak's business incubator in the first week of May. During our daily chats we uncovered...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
This is your May reminder that you can do this. I'll keep it short. These are the May promos...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Grow Your Business With a Book (An Unorthodox Marketing Strategy That Built One of the Largest...
Thanks! This is a cool idea, actually. I would like to use your experience as I heard that these...


Visit A Forum Sponsor
sponsor

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom
AdBlock Detected - Please Disable

Yes, ads can be annoying. But please...

...to support the Unscripted/Fastlane mission (and to respect the immense amount of time needed to manage this forum) please DISABLE your ad-block. Thank you.

I've Disabled AdBlock