On the other hand, many businesses try and use those same reasons to not pay professionals. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, graphic designer, chef, lawyer, or doctor.
Let me be clear, if you need to build your portfolio doing free work is a great strategy. I fully support putting your butt on the line to show your chops.
That being said if you are in need of building that portfolio I recommend finding major influencers in your space and reaching out to them. The free work will (if you are good) create a measurable result in your business.
However, there are tons of people that are not beginning their businesses. They have portfolios, they have clients and they are great at what they do. This is not the time to give out your services for free. In fact, doing this would devalue your work.
I have a love-hate relationship with giving away free consulting and free work. On one hand, doing free work can be a very smart chess move in business. You get to showcase your chops and “wow” a major influencer or business owner. It can potentially land you a much bigger opportunity that is paid work.
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