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

Rammsteinfanboy

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Jun 7, 2017
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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.?
 

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dmichaelmccann

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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"Man only respects what he paid for".
 

Olimac21

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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

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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.
 

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