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If you must volunteer to show a client what you can do….

By Andrew Neitlich



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I’m not a big fan of offering free work to clients, but I know that sometimes some of you do that with good reason.

But if you must volunteer, please treat your assignment as if it were paid work.

A media professional volunteered recently to do an online project for me.

While I appreciate his help, he has treated the project as a “side” project. He has been consistently late, very late, with deliverables, explaining that he was too busy. And he just cut the scope of the project back considerably, leaving me hanging a bit.

Fortunately, I know how these volunteer projects often go, and had some back up ready to move immediately. As they were paid, they got the job done in 3 days vs. 5 weeks with the volunteer.

So what do you think my inclination to work with this guy is going forward?

If you must volunteer your services to show what you can do, please don’t think that you are doing a favor for the client. Treat the job as you would any other.

Or you will waste time and money, and actually hurt your reputation – even if you are doing a nice thing.

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