Want to get exposure?
Want more business?
Do things for free, says Gary Vaynerchuk.
The debate over whether or not people should be willing to work for free remains a hot topic. On the one hand, people deserve to be paid for their effort, and in an increasingly gig-based economy, working for free can contribute to a bigger gap between the poor and the middle class—ie, those who can afford to work for free and those who can’t.
On the other hand, starting out by doing the work you want to be doing for free can help you turn it into a career in the long run.
“I get very well compensated for my time and efforts and I still do things for free,” says Gary.
He does things for free because it enables him to build greater value.
“Somewhere down the road I’m going to want something from you,” Gary says, “a video view, a book purchase, a like, a share—and when that time comes, you’re likely to do what I’m looking for.”
“Why? Because I’ve done something for you in the past, and in a weird way, I’m almost guilting you to do what I need.”
On top of that, Gary points out that offering small ‘jabs’ for free are going to make it much easier to land the larger ‘right hooks’ when the time comes.
“I hear people say all the time that you need to ‘pay the people’ and ‘pay for the quality of the work.’ And I totally agree. BUT, money is not the only way to pay people for their efforts.”
“Simply giving people an at-bat is an absolute way to compensate people,” says Gary, “and is something I very strongly believe in.”
“Truthfully, I don’t think there’s a single person who’s achieved a substantial amount of success that hasn’t done anything for free as a strategic chess move.”
Have you worked for free—and did it pay off? Share on social media using the links below and let us know!
If you want to hear more about what Gary has to say on the subject, check out this video of Gary chatting with a fan from Twitter about how working for free can help you build authority.