When it makes sense to work “for free.”

A while back, I posted in Justin and Stefan Talk Copy about how I was looking for an experienced “DM Closer” to test out selling RMBC through Instagram.

I got a ton of applicants, and out of them, several offered to do it for “free.”🆓

Now, these offers came in two types:

Offer Type 1: “I’ll work for you for free because I want to learn from you/be close to you.”

Offer Type 2: “I’ll work for free for the first 7-14 days to prove that I’m the right person for the job. You only hire me if it’s a good fit.”

There’s a big difference between these two offers.🤔

Offer Type 1, I have ZERO interest in. Why? It’s a big red flag for me.

When it makes sense to work “for free.”Basically, when you do this kind of offer, you’re generally saying, “Hey, I’m willing to trade my time for your time!”

The problem, though, is the prospective client’s time is drastically more valuable than yours.

That’s why they are looking to hire someone in the first place: to solve a hole in their business and to do it in a way that reduces their time expenditure.

So offering to work for someone in exchange for mentorship is normally not a great proposition for the client.

If we put on our cold, rational, economist hat…

Essentially the offer is: “Hey, I’m going to offer to trade 20 hours of my time, which is worth maybe $20 an hour for 4 hours of your time, which is worth $2,000 an hour.”

Let’s do the math:

20 x 20 = 400
4 x 2,000 = $8,000

So you’re basically asking the client to trade $8,000 for $400.

Now of course, the argument can be made that your $400 of time will produce an ROI, and that actually evens out the trade…

But most often, the client won’t see it that way.

Sure, maybe you’ll do a decent (or even good) job with the task…

But if they’ve got dozens of additional applicants who also seem like they could do a good job and who aren’t asking for any of your time…

Why would they go with you?

I hope this makes sense, it’s important.

Okay, now on to Offer Type 2:

“I’ll work for free for the first 7-14 days to prove that I’m the right person for the job. You only hire me if it’s a good fit.”

This one makes more sense, but it’s not a magic bullet.

There’s not a ton of downside to making this offer if you really want the job and trust the prospective client…

Because in this case, you’re simply alleviating their risk, right?

That’s why it’s a better offer…

But here’s why it’s not a magic bullet:

When it makes sense to work “for free.”Most people who make this offer are less qualified. So you’re trying to overcome your lack of qualifications by getting the client to “take a chance” on you.

There’s no downside to you doing that, however, you still may not get the job if another candidate shows up who checks all the boxes, has great referrals, tons of experience, and mastery of the skills required to do the job.

Got it?

Okay, now there is a third way here.

If it were me, and I was applying for the job of being a “DM Closer” who sells someone’s course via Instagram Messenger…

But I didn’t have any experience…

Here’s what I would do:

In my cover letter, I would address the client’s needs (you want to sell courses via DMs), talk about how I understand their product (I’ve gone through it or studied it in some form) and then talk about why I’m a good fit (I’ve sold tons of stuff with the written word/in person – even though it’s not via DMs I’m a ruthless learner and implementer).

Then, I would actually write up a sample DM Conversation.

Yep, I would get creative.

I’d write a conversation where there’s a hypothetical prospect, and then I’m closing them.

This would take some time and work…

But I could demonstrate the questions I would ask, the objections I’d anticipate the prospect asking, my knowledge of the product, and the way I’d move the prospect from curious to closed.

This still wouldn’t guarantee I get the job…

But this way, I’d at least make it easy for the prospective client to visualize what it would be like if they hired me for the role.

Granted, it’s more work…

But it’s also what sets you apart from all of the competition.



P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link



© 2022 SPG Educational Resources LLC
Stefan Georgi

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