Working for Free as a Newbie: Is it Ever Worth it?

A lot of new businesses end up providing their products or services free of charge, as a way of gaining name recognition and potential paying business down the road. But, is this opportunity or exploitation? As Naya of the National Freelancers Union points out, “you can’t pay your bills with exposure and experience.”

Is there a way to take the upper hand in such a situation, and negotiate from a position of strength rather than weakness? Take a look at Naya’s article, which has some interesting and useful suggestions for getting more than “exposure” out of a free gig.

 

Working for Free as a Newbie: Is it Ever Worth it?
by Naya the Creative of the National Freelancers Union

You’ve been designing/painting/consulting/writing code/underwater basket weaving for years. Maybe you’re self-taught or maybe you’ve taken some classes. Either way, you have skills. And, if you do say so yourself, you’ve gotten pretty damn good at what you’re doing. But, since you’ve never charged actual money, and you have no idea how to get clients for a new business, you’re feeling a little insecure.

You don’t have a portfolio, or case studies, or past clients to show for your skillset. And even though all of your friends keep telling you, like, every day, to go out on your own and start a business, none of them have any experience in how to get clients. And yeah, while you’re glad that they’re so supportive of you, you don’t actually know what to do now. #Pressure

Because, even though you’re really talented, you don’t know how to get clients for a new business when you’ve never had clients.

Read the rest of this article.

Looking for a Place to Work? Try Your Public Library.

public-library
public-library. Photo by Sebas Ribas on Unsplash
Let the library help you build your business

The public library is a great place to work and to grow your business. Here in Arlington, the Robbins branch of the Arlington public system has its own business collection, one that includes books, periodicals and databases that you can access from the library or from home. And, it has a feature common to public libraries everywhere – a reference desk with staff whose job is to help you find what you need!

Arlington Entrepreneurs spoke with Linda Dyndiuk, the head of Adult Services at the library. The wealth of resources for entrepreneurs there surprised own own interviewer! Not only can you check out a state-of-the-art computer, you can also find parts of the library that are reserved for conversations. Need to study or research? Enjoy the quiet at the library. Need to speak with a client or conduct a one-on-one training? Find a place a place to talk at the Robbins.

Although the library has yet to open its own coffee shop, you can bring your own food and drink. Of course, if you need help accessing or understanding any of the library’s resources, a reference library will be on-hand to guide you through the process.

Listen to this month’s podcast for more information about building your business with the help of your public library – anywhere!

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