5 Reasons Why Working For Free and Exposure Can Kill Your Freelancing Career

When starting out a career as a freelancer, exposure is one of the hardest things to acquire. In a profession that relies heavily on a good portfolio to land jobs, newbies looking to establish themselves as credible freelancers often find it hard to break into the market.

Due to this, the temptation to work for free — in order to gain exposure and have the credits to build a portfolio — is prevalent. Many freelancers make the mistake of thinking that working for free in the beginning is beneficial to their careers. This could not be further from the truth.

In this article, we have compiled the 5 reasons why working for free as a freelancer (even if just starting out) can actually be detrimental to your career:

1. People Don’t Value Free Things

Anywhere in the market, if something is free or acquired for cheap, it’s likely of poor quality and little value. As a freelancer, whether it be writing, graphics design, or photography, your service must be seen as something of great market value.

The product of your efforts and time need to justify their price and that wont be easy if you’ve marketed yourself as a newcomer willing to work for free. The idea is to work to get paid and you can only do that if you offer something of value, not by offering freebies.

2. You Might Be Exploited

There are many employers out there who are more than willing to exploit novices with the promise of future jobs and payment. You will end up spending hours and energy into a gig that will end up being either rejected or plagiarized.

You bear the brunt of the costs by working with no pay and the commissioner would have gotten the finished product for free.

3. Your Reputation Suffers

Reputation is just as good as a portfolio when freelancing. When you prove yourself as capable of delivering quality work that justifies payment, your reputation improves.

People will come to know you as the dependable Filipino freelancer you are and will know who to go to when work of your kind is needed. There are very little to no reputational benefits to you by working for free.

As stated above, people don’t associate quality and value with things that are given for free.

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4. It’s A Waste Of Time

Productivity and time-management are the name of the game with freelancing. How much time, work, and dedication you put in your chosen field will set you apart from the many others who tried to freelance full-time but failed.

Once you know this, you will understand the value of your work. This is why you should always think twice on spending time on pro bono gigs. This only means you are wasting scarce resources that you can never recover on work with no definite return on investment.

5. Its Just Bad Business

When you begin to freelance you are essentially starting your own micro-business. Businesses operate to generate and maximize profit by marketing and selling products of value.

With freelancing, you are both the owner and employee of this business and what you are selling is your services. If businesses market their products to the masses in order the gain traction in the market and drive up sales, in freelancing you are marketing yourself.

Instead of offering up your services for free in the hopes of future paid work, think more like an entrepreneur and focus your energy on maximizing your time, marketing yourself, and building a good relationship with paying clients. It may take longer but is definitely more rewarding and sustainable.

In Conclusion:

We hope that this article helped you in learning about the negative impacts of working for free. Freelancing is not an easy thing to do — everyone has different experiences regarding the difficulty of finding your footing in this highly competitive market, and mistakes can be frequent. But with some determination and a good amount of research, you can certainly etch out a great and profitable future for yourself.


A&D Creative lab is Article & Design’s specialised unit which strives to help everyone (digital business owners or freelancers alike) who wants to upgrade their skills and expertise to the next level through our courses and workshops.

A&D Creative Lab is made by freelancers for freelancers. <3 

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5 Tips On How To Start Your Freelance Career While Still Working Full Time

If you want to listen to the audio version of this article, please click below. Or subscribe to our Podcast – Super Freelancers PH.

Here is a brief work from home roadmap you should consider starting your own freelance business while still working full time:

1.    Define Your Goals

You need to decide what you actually want to accomplish and why you wanted to do freelancing even if you are working full time. If one of your ultimate goals is to make enough money to support yourself then figure out how much you are going for and how many projects you can accommodate in a month. It is best that you should be able to track your projects and schedule your time.

2.    Find a profitable niche and Identify your Target Market

Determine and assess which niche you are going to be able to stand out and do work better. In freelancing, you are actively taking part in an industry where clients value quality over price.

https://youtu.be/Z8wnI6SI3kk

3.     Build Your Own Website and Showcase your Portfolio

You should get organized and show off your skills and abilities. You need to prepare your portfolio as your weapon to convince your clients why they should hire you. Start going through your previous works and choose those you think would best represent the skills you are offering. Your own website helps promote your professional image online.

Write Your Work From Home Roadmap

4. Market yourself as well as the skills and services you can provide

Learn how to pitch yourself. Make a strong impression and introduction that shows you know what you are doing and you are great at what you do. Know your strengths and sell them. Your work samples and past works are your visual representations of experience.

5. Be a networker, not a loner

Meet other freelancers and get advice about how the freelancing industry works.


A&D Creative lab is Article & Design’s specialised unit which strives to help everyone (digital business owners or freelancers alike) who wants to upgrade their skills and expertise to the next level through our courses and workshops.

A&D Creative Lab is made by freelancers for freelancers. <3 

Let’s get social! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Get inside our Free Newsletter for The SuperFreelancer’s Tips!

Filipino Freelancers: 5 Freelancing Jobs on How to Earn Money While on Lockdown?

The global pandemic has prevented many of us from going into work or socialising outside with our friends. 

Suddenly, with so much time on our hands, we are looking for ways to keep productive. Work from home jobs are in high demand now and freelancing offers us the flexibility to work from anywhere we want, whenever we want. 

However, with so many options of freelancing available, from designing logos to virtual assistants, it can be overwhelming to think about where to start.

Here are the top 5 most popular jobs in freelancing:

Data Analyst

If you have a quantitative mind and enjoy crunching big datasets then this is the job for you. You will be examining large datasets for trends and patterns. You will need strong mathematical abilities. Programming languages such as Python, SQL are also a must.

Web Developer

If you are skilled in coding and like to get creative then developing websites for clients will be a great freelancing opportunity for you. Knowledge in HTML, CSS and Javascript will be required and experience in WordPress will also be advantageous.

Writer

There are a lot of Filipino writers that are now hired to write blogs, articles and contents for websites on various topics. If you like researching new topics and have a very high level of English then this is a very fun freelancing job.

Graphic Designer

For creative artists out there. Companies now require catchy visuals and graphics to communicate with their audience effectively and will happily pay good money to hire you for projects.

Online Tutor

Do you love teaching and can communicate ideas across clearly? With schools closed, parents are looking for ways to continue their childrens’ learning and online tutors are required during this time.

It is not easy to get started in freelancing, but if you have the skills and motivation, then it can be the dream work from home job for you.


A&D Creative lab is Article & Design’s specialised unit which strives to help everyone (digital business owners or freelancers alike) who wants to upgrade their skills and expertise to the next level through our courses and workshops.

A&D Creative Lab is made by freelancers for freelancers. <3 

Let’s get social! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Get inside our Free Newsletter for The SuperFreelancer’s Tips!

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