YES! Absolutely! Working for free is the best tradeoff you can make for the initial phase of your career as a freelancer or a wantrepreneur. Some would emphatically disagree, but that’s okay. For me, I would like to ensure that the work that I do for free is as good or even better than the paid stuff (or service) out there. Period.
That’s what will define me and my service in future.
Free is the best currency when you’re starting something new. That’s why samples are a better strategy for a brand new product than a strategic product placement strategy. You’ve got to give your potential consumers a chance to try you out. Irrespective of what you offer — a product or a service.
Being a service professional myself, I’d say most of my deals are made during the initial scheduled call that I make with someone who’s keen to get coached. It’s important for me to walk them through the process, create awareness and most importantly ask them if the discussion is of any value to them. No pressure there. In fact, they can take as much time they’d like to make a decision. I’m not waiting for clients. I go to them! And that’s where a prospecting pipeline comes into play. I can’t afford to wait for potential clients. Waiting isn’t a great way to make a living.
My “free sessions” are samplers designed to create awareness and determine if the client (or coach, for the client) is a great fit. If not, I move on. If yes, I lay down the commercials, the ground rules and the call series as preferred by the client. It’s that damn simple!
Is it worth the time? Yes. Is that a LOT Of time? Heck, yes! But you’ve got nothing to lose but a great opportunity should the potential lead convert into a full-fledged client. And there’s absolutely no way of knowing unless you try. See, that’s why freelancing and entrepreneurship suck for a person lacking temperament. It’s a waiting game. And a lot depends on the attitude you’ve been able to develop.
For me, it’s either FREE or PREMIUM. But it’s the FREE that creates opportunities for clients to pay me a premium. And in a sense, that’s the best form of content marketing one can do. All it takes is a little bit of awareness and the business sense to understand that FREE isn’t a waste of time.