Invest In Your Future By Doing Pro Bono Work Now

by WorkFromHome on November 2, 2011

If you are trying to start a home based business, doing pro bono work, also known as giving away your services for free, may sound counterintuitive, but it can actually be a terrific investment in yourself as a professional and in the future of your home based business. Even if you have experience working outside of your home, doing pro bono work while launching your new business from home is a great way for you to hone some of the new skills that you will need to run your business while getting references for your business which will help to boost its reputation in the future.

Get References From Pro Bono Clients For Your Website

Today’s consumers use the Internet to find everything from new hair salons to custom fit dog leashes. Whether you are selling products or providing services, you can expect your customers or clients to take a look at your website prior to making a purchase or signing a contract. A home business website is your most important marketing tool to show potential new customers that you not only offer the products and services that they need but that you also have done so successfully in the past.

Shoppers like to read testimonials and product reviews to see unbiased opinions of the items that they are thinking about purchasing. Products that have several great reviews are more likely to be purchased, since customers are more confident that they will like them. In fact, you may even be able to charge more for your products and services when you are able to show several great reviews of them! When you offer those products for free, it is much easier to ask for those reviews to post on your website. You also can use key quotes in your marketing literature, as well.

How To Offer Pro Bono Work To Get Paying Customers

Offering pro bono work initially may feel a bit awkward, since you have not done it before. Try soliciting for customers by offering the pro bono arrangement. Make it clear up front what you are and are not including in your initial pro bono arrangement so that it is easy to transition the client into a paying arrangement if he or she is happy with your products or services.

As you do your pro bono work for a client take the opportunity to practice your skills and see what does and does not make your new client happy. Adjust your communication style, services and products accordingly in order to continue to refine and improve your overall business. When you do pro bono work, the clients that you work with will be much more likely to forgive any initial missteps than paying clients would be. This will give you the chance to correct mistakes and learn from them rather than losing the relationship.

Great Paying Relationships In The Future

The best reason for doing pro bono work is that pro bono clients who are happy with your products or services will then provide you with the best kind of marketing: positive word of mouth endorsements. Customers want to feel confident that they are spending their money on service providers and products that are high quality. As a result, they like to ask around for recommendations and reviews of potential vendors.

When you provide pro bono work to a client, you position your home based business to receive uniquely positive recommendations and reviews which will help you to land more clients in the future. Of course, the repeat customer that your pro bono work may land you could even be your initial pro bono customer! Even though you are doing work for free, never treat your pro bono customers with less courtesy, attention or high quality service than you would paying customers. In fact, considering pro bono work to be an audition to do paid work for the same client in the future may be the best attitude to adopt while doing pro bono work.

To keep your attitude positive and the quality of your work at the same high level that you want your clients to associate with you at all times, it is important to refrain from taking on too many clients or projects at one time. Whether it is pro bono work or regular projects, keeping your workload within a manageable level is an important part of continuing to offer quality work which will generate return business and loyal customers. Although it may be tempting to take on several pro bono clients when you first start your new home based business, remember that each one of these new clients will expect your full attention and professional services. Start slow and build up to a full client list while you adjust to a full workload while you work at home.

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