Business March 8, 2019 Last updated March 3rd, 2019 1,291 Reads share

Considering Unpaid Work? Here Are 5 Instances When You Should Work for Free

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A common misconception many entrepreneurs have is that taking up unpaid projects is no longer an option once their businesses have reached a certain level.

This is a mindset that needs to be corrected if you want always to stay a step ahead of your competition.

Freelancers, startup businesses and even established organizations all need to take up free work from time to time. In some cases, It helps to view your unpaid work as part of your marketing strategy — this way you see it as an investment and not just a waste of time and resources.


Here are five instances where accepting to work for free can be a good idea.

1. Supporting a cause you or your target audience believe in.

No matter what stage your business is in, it’s always helpful to donate time and services to worthy charities, causes, and organizations.

A worthy cause would be one you’re passionate about. Contributing to solving or creating awareness for a problem that your customers are passionate about is also a great way to build brand loyalty.

To optimize this as a lead generation strategy, you need to survey to know the most beneficial causes your company can support.

An example of a company supporting a cause that appealed to their target audience is the Nike ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick.

2. Your business needs exposure. 

No matter how good your product or service is, no one will pay you if they don’t know it exists. Before approaching an organization to offer a free service, or accepting to render a service for free, you need to ask specific questions like:

  • How many people will my work be exposed to?
  • What percentage of this audience is my target audience?

If you’re guaranteed to get a sufficient number of your target audience to view your work, consider it an opportunity to market your business to more people and do a fantastic job.

It might help to think of it as part of your marketing strategy.

3. A chance to gain social proof or an impressive addition to your resume.

If you’re in your early stage of business, it can be beneficial to take up some impressive volunteer work that can be added to your resume.

Working for high profile organizations that are regarded as authorities in your field helps to establish you as an authority in your area. It makes your potential client think “if X company could trust him, so can we.”

If you can’t get one of these high profile organizations to pay you, you can offer a free service in exchange for referrals or just social proof.

4. You’re in need of client testimonials.

The importance of client testimonials in 2019 cannot be overstated. Whether you’re selling a product or a service, leads want to know whom you’ve worked with and how well you’ve been able to help.

These days, client testimonials can be placed on your website, Linkedin profile, Facebook page, and other social media platforms.

Having an impressive list of client testimonials may be what you need to transform your business.

5. You need the first-hand experience with something new.

Whether it’s a new career path or an additional service you’d like to venture into, doing some unpaid work to gain real-life experience is not a bad idea.

This is highly beneficial because it’s helping you improve, know what to expect from targets and also helping you build a portfolio.

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Joseph Chukwube

Joseph Chukwube

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