Starting out as a new designer, many are tempted to offer their services for free in order to branch out and develop an audience for your work. However, with the Freemium notion, comes the adverse reaction to offering your services for free. I have been a designer for quite sometime and I have seen both sides to the free services concept. I decided to share with you some of the negative impacts associated with offering free design services upfront.
1. You can decrease the value of your work.
Your work will not be as valuable as you would like it to be. Many people associate “free” with poor quality. Your work won’t necessarily be poor quality, but the mass majority of the audience that you are attracting will think that it is.
Solution? Try offering small components of your work for free. For example, offer to design the homepage of a website for free instead of the entire website.
2. You might attract the wrong type of client
3. The projects may not add value to your portfolio
In fact, these free projects can actually make your portfolio worse. Individuals who are looking for free services tend to have mediocre projects that can actually make your brand look worse than it really is. Those clients do not feel it is necessary to pay top dollar for what they are looking for, so of course they come to you, the free service provider.
In defense of offering free design services + What do you think?
Now, I am not saying just give up offering free services all together. I have actually gotten pretty good clients off of free services. Just do not provide this service to every individual who responds to the offer. What do you think about offering free services in order to entice clients to hire you? Have you tried it in the past? Share your thoughts with us.