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.