Knowing where you stand
If you’re an established designer, and already have a decent portfolio then you may not have to work for free. Gaining access to people and clients won’t be much of an issue. However, if you’re not, then you have to compete with those established people who have a healthier portfolio and much more experience. In order for you to gain that leverage, working for free might be your only option. This will give you the opportunity to shine among others who are already ahead of you.
Already working for yourself for free
If you already working for yourself for free and do personal projects all the time, you are basically missing out on a couple of things. You won’t have referrals and references. You won’t have networks of contact that you can go back to and basically no one to vouch for you, introduce you to other people and potential clients,
Benefits of working for free for someone else
At a glance, working for free might sound horrible and seems non beneficial in a monetary way. In this situation experience is what matters, experience is what pays your bills in the long run and working for experience matters because it is one of the main things that people writing a check care about. Your portfolio of recent or past client projects, will increase a new potential client’s confidence in you. Having a portfolio that contains a body of past projects will show them that previous clients trust you enough to work with you.
Spec work don’t necessary equal working for free
Spec Work could also mean working for something other than money. Maybe you can’t pay a bill by doing so, but what if you got something you needed that you couldn’t even afford in the first place that could make all the difference in your life or business. Yes you can work for something in exchange like advertisement. If a company or person is proposing that you design something in return for advertise or promote you as a designer, it might worth considering. An unpaid internship is a prime example.
At the end of the day, if you’re going to work for free, work for a good cause. Make sure that you stand to gain something such as beneficial experience, access to other professional designers or referrals to paying clients. Or if you’re not going to work for free, then find out what you can charge, even if it is a little bit. So make sure you know your worth, and then do so accordingly, and just be consistent and have fun along the way.
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