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The Fastest Way to Book Paying Clients is to Begin Working For Free

building your business how much should i charge making offers meredith recommends online course Aug 17, 2021
Trust Me when I tell you Working For Free Can Be a Good Thing

In mid-October of 2020, I started a new business. A partnership of which I was 50%  had dissolved, so I decided to help small businesses expand their reach and explode their sales with Facebook and Instagram Ads.


But there was a tiny hiccup.

I had never run a Facebook and/or Instagram Ad campaign.

I just knew I would be good at it!

I had watched a digital ad strategist whom we hired to create and manage a campaign for our partnership successfully run an ad campaign and I realized that my work experience and education in accounting had provided me the perfect combination of creative and analytical skills to be a great Facebook and Instagram Ads Manager.

In fact, my partner had noticed it too, "you could totally do that," she affirmed!


I was sure, with a little training and experience, I could help many small business owners create a big impact for their own businesses with digital ads!

 I knew my solo shop was going to be a success and was ready to start earning money STAT!

But Facebook Business Manager and Facebook Ads Manager, the programs used to create ads run on Facebook and Instagram, are very powerful and complicated tools. And studying to learn how to run these digital ad campaigns was going to take time!

And contrary to what I had heard many of my favorite online entrepreneurship experts teach, I decided

The fastest way to book paying clients was to begin by working for free.

So, while I completed two extensive digital advertising certification courses I created and managed Black Friday digital ad campaigns for two small businesses with whom I had worked before, but in another capacity (they were once featured in a magazine I owned, called The Scout Guide Miami).

I didn’t’ earn a fee running these campaigns, but it still cost my clients money. They both had to pay Facebook for the ad costs.

Neither of these women, the business owners, had ever run a Facebook ad campaign for their business before. I explained to them why I believed digital ads would be great for their businesses and told them that I had carefully researched and invested in TWO online courses that would teach me how to run the campaigns as we went.

I asked these business owners to trust me, to lean on their past relationships with me and their knowledge of other work I had successfully completed or value I had created. 

This real-life experience was invaluable. It helped me complete those courses so much faster than I would have otherwise because I had practical examples of the information I was consuming.

Agreeing to work for free gave me 3 advantages when I made my first offer of services to a potential client in exchange for money.


  1. Experience- when I went to business owners to ask for money in exchange for my services I could point to work experience which I assume helped me close the sale. Sometimes business owners don’t want to work with a newbie.
  2. 3rd party testimonials of a service provider work almost always help close the sale in any industry.
  3. Confidence.  Recently, I spent 5 years selling expensive print advertising to small businesses.  Before I even made the sales pitch I often presumed my offer was too expensive for the business owner with whom I was speaking which I now know lost me that that client before I even walked in their door!  Experience running ads for free gave me confidence which I am sure could be felt by my potential clients on our discovery calls and gave them reassurance that I was the perfect woman to help them get the results they wanted with a digital ad campaign. 

I would argue that in the end, I probably booked paying clients faster with my method of working for free first, then if I had started from the get-go of proposing to work for money.

Otherwise, I would have had to look for people comfortable paying an inexperienced service provider who lacked confidence in herself!   

8 months into my business I have had a full client load, and have been able to put service contracts in place that included payments, as soon as I began making offers.

For what service would you like to receive payment but you have not done so before?

Maybe providing that value to a business owner at no charge will get you where you want to go faster, too.

Meredith Kallaher helps small business owners Expand Their Reach and Explode Their Sales with

Facebook and Instagram Advertising Strategy and Management.

Learn How Meredith Can Help You Build Your Business and Exceed Your Sales Goals. Book a FREE DISCOVERY CALL Today.

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