🤔 Free Project Endeavor
We know working for free to get your first client can be a controversial stance for a variety of reasons.
But hear us out.
What if I told you that starting with one free client might be the spark that ignites a series of successful client relationships? Short-term sacrifice for long-term gain.
🚀 My Personal Story
When I launched my recruiting consultancy eight years ago, this is where it all began. I proactively contacted a key decision-maker on LinkedIn, introducing my newly established consulting business. I offered to conduct the first placement at no charge, requesting the opportunity to demonstrate my capabilities. Despite being part of a larger company with established vendors, this approach expedited my approval, and within just one week, he granted me the green light to tackle a specific position.
I dedicated myself wholeheartedly to filling that open role, recognizing that showcasing both the speed and quality of candidates would open doors to numerous other placements. In less than 30 days, I successfully made the placement, leaving the client thoroughly satisfied.
❄️ Here is the snowball effect that came from that one cold outreach and offer to work for free:
- That client gave me more roles to work on immediately and never stopped becoming a client (Client Count-1)
- That key decision maker was so satisfied with my services, that he recommended me to 3 other companies (Client Count- 4)
- That key decision-maker left after a few years for another company, and used me as a consultant at his new company (Client Count- 5)
- That key decision-maker left his second company after a few years and brought me along to his new company again (Client Count- 6)
Not to mention those other clients he referred me to recommended me to others. So after doing cold outreach to get that very first client, and offering free services one time, it led to me never having to market my services again. It all came through referrals.
🔍 Here's a Step-by-step guide on how to do it:
By strategically offering pro bono services in exchange for testimonials and referrals, you not only gain valuable experience but also create a ripple effect that can lead to more clients down the line. This approach is a win-win, allowing you to establish credibility, build relationships, and ultimately pave the way for a thriving consulting career.