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How To Get People To Work For You For Free?

Created by Liza 2010-03-15 10:32:37
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Free in the work market is not a popular word. Whenever someone asks someone else to do some work for him or her for free, unless we are talking about friends, lots of cursing follows. Why the hell should I work for you for free? Am I not worth your money? Would you ask someone in some other field to work for you for free? Heck, would you ask a professional plumber to fix your plumbing for free? I don't think so, so why should I? If you've ever asked some people you don't know to do something for free, this type of responses are probably already familiar to you. And just to answer the plumber question - in some situations, I would.

The truth is that per every 10 people that want to kill you there are couple of guys who are willing to consider it. And if you are able to handle the angry guys, why not give it a shot.

The secret? You need to find people's motivation. We are all different, but I am rather certain most of us would consider doing something for free under some circumstances. I might not be ready to write for free, I might not be ready to offer links on my sites for free, but then again - I could be a bartender for free for couple of days just for the experience, I might play the part of a transport worker just to get some exercise, I might offer my services for free in exchange for someone's services. It all comes down to the day, the situation I'm in, the work discussed, the benefits I see for myself.

It all comes down to who the people are. As an example, here are some potential reasons why people could consider writing for free:

Promotion
Many writers just starting their career could consider writing for free - often that's what social media is about - people submit their thoughts to others sites for free. In order to get published in big magazines or newspapers, you must often submit couple of sample clips and often the magazines expect you to already be a published author. So offering your articles for free to magazines might actually land you on a paying gig in the future.

Often just seeing your name in print might make the thought of writing for free somewhat tolerable. Even though these days everyone can create a blog for themselves instead - but then they have to market and do everything else all by themselves as well and writing for some existing publication might be actually a preferred way to go.

Ease of submission
Both online and print magazines receive tons of emails, resumes and phone calls from writers who want to start writing for them. Because of the huge selection high paying publications have, they often take couple of weeks up to 6 months just to answer, and more often than not the answer is NO. If they answer at all that is. If a non-paying publication can do it within hours, it leaves a lot better impression of them than any high paying magazine would. Thus submitting a few articles for free might start to look like a great idea.

Editing for content (or not)
Depending on the publication, not all types of content is allowed. Religion vs atheism, Bush vs Obama - most publications are somewhat leaned towards one side and might not be interested any ofter type of views. If you can offer the writers more freedom, that might turn them to you as well.

Taxes
Being an online publisher myself, the best answer I have had about writing for free was from a retired clinical psychology Ph.D - author of different books, and of course, as a retiree he had some spare time in his hands as well, but when I wanted to confirm as to whether he was aware I can't pay him, he simply said - "Yes, I know. Less problem with taxes."

Free time
If you had a lot of free time in your hands, why not do something with it, and if you can afford it, why not do what you love for free.

If you want or need someone to do something for free for you, there are many ways to get things done. The main thing is to respect the people you work with, to NOT manipulate anyone to do anything for free. Rather - you just need to find the people that already are willing to do something for free and do your best to offer them something in exchange. And it doesn't matter if we are talking about writing or anything else here. If I'm a publisher and you're a writer, I must do my best to promote You as a writer by promoting your article. If I'm an accountant and you're a plumber, I must offer my accounting advice to you whenever you need it.

The word free in here always means that there must be a good-will relationship between two people
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