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How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning



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How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning

If you're just starting out, you probably can't afford to hire any employees to get some work done that you can't do yourself.  Now you can get someone to volunteer their time at your company, like an intern, but if you're not well known or branded you won't get many people jumping at the opportunity.

So how can you get people to jump at your volunteer offer and do loads of work for you?  Well all you'll need to do is promise them some sort of payment after the website is generating money.  You will have to sign a contract with them so that they are more willing to partner up with you.  Without the contract, you won't get many people jumping at your offer.  You can partner up with anyone from web designers to marketers and even sales reps, it doesn't really matter.  If you don't have the money to invest in them, and they have the skills you need, you can still get them interested in working with you for some promised income later on down the road.


Steps to Take:

  1. Entice Them - You won't catch many fish if you're not using bait.  You will need to entice these people to bite, and since they're going to be working for free in the beginning, your bait better be good!  I like to offer a percentage of the profits for the first few months and then I reduce that percentage by half and they are usually happy.  For example, I will offer a web designer 20% of our profits for the first 3 to 5 months after we begin to advertise and then reduce it to 5% or 10%.  They will usually jump on this because that just means they will do the initial work and get 20% passive income for 3 to 5 months and 5% to 10% passive after that.  This is similar to an investor putting in their own money, instead you have people putting in their skills and getting paid for it over time. 
  2. Contract Up - You'll always need a contract in play when doing this.  No one will work with you if there isn't a contract, because you could cut out the person doing the work after it's done and not pay them anything.  The person doing the free work will want some type of security blanket, and that comes in the form of a contract which will say what's going on and how much they will be getting paid.  If you don't justify the contract, you lose a lot more than the money you were agreeing to pay them.
  3. Call them a "Partner" - Even if you're not signing over a percentage of your stock, you should refer to them as your "partner" because they will feel more involved with your website and think of it as their own.  I actually have a friend who is my "partner" and he does the web design, content writing, product descriptions, etc.  He's basically a jack of all trades and helps me out when I need it.  He knows that he's going to be invested into the website because he's going to be getting paid by it every month, so he does his best work.  I call him my partner even though he doesn't own any portion of my company.  I had him sign a contract that my lawyer wrote up, and he's getting paid a percentage each month How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning


Finding volunteers can be one of the more difficult things to do when it comes to getting some free work done for you.  No one who is looking for a paying job will want to do free work for you at a chance to make money later on.  They want a paying job right now, which you're not offering.  For this reason, you will need to say something along the lines of "Volunteer your services to us in your spare time in exchange for a percentage of our sales!"  This shows that they don't have to work 8 hours a day for you and they can do what needs to be done at their own pace.  They may work 1 or 2 hours a day on your project or work 16 hours a weekend on it.  You can't pressure them to get the work done because that will just turn them away, that is if they're doing it and not slacking off.  You'll of course have to have something in the contract that states they have to be done in XX days or the contract is null and void.  Since you won't be paying them until AFTER the work is done, they will rush to get as much done as possible within the time frame so they can start making some passive income How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning  You can have the contract say something like "Weekly status updates and proof of completed work are required" so that you can see what they're doing.  Obviously if you know what you're looking for, you can find it, but it's nice to have something in there to make them actually do the work lol.  You'll also want something in the contract stating that if you don't see updates or forward progress after XX days, the contract is null and void.


In Conclusion:
You need to think of this as a guy at the bar hitting on every woman he sees.  And I'm not talking about a guy who is a model, we're talking about the most average of guys here lol.  He will talk with every woman at the bar, and strike out 95% of the time.  But there is that 1 girl in the bar that will actually give the guy her phone number.  That person giving out their phone number is the one who will volunteer for you.  You will get 95% of people telling you to go to hell, but you need to power through it and find the ones who will help out.  After a few websites and a few "partners" you will now have a downline of coders, programmers, marketers, etc. who will be willing to help out in order to get some passive income later on down the road.  Build trusting relationships with them and they won't ask questions when you have your next idea How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning  I know this works, because I've done it many times How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning



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Thanks!

Razzy

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Corzhens

My style is to make promises. When I put up my boutique, some neighbors were offering their help. But since I know that there is no free lunch but I cannot afford to pay them, I entered into an agreement that I could give them something if my business would progress. I needed someone to man the store during my break and also assistance in arranging the merchandise. It was good that I was able to fulfill my promise of somehow remunerating their free labor. But my suggestion is to make a realistic promise in the hope that you can fulfill it with a 90% probability, Never promise anything that is improbable to happen for people will lose their trust on you.




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TommyCarey

So true.

I taught this little trick to someone and they told their volunteers that if the business hits 10k a month, each volunteer would get 25% of the profits. Now he had 3 volunteers, which would mean that $7,500 would be paid out to the volunteers, and he wouldn't have much for himself or the business to become even better.

You need to keep it realistic, and that's why I always keep it at a percentage, not a dollar value. So if someone were to volunteer for me and we start profiting a decent amount, I will give them 5%, 10%, 15%, etc. as compensation. Obviously the compensation depends on the work they were doing and what they'll continue to do, but that's up to you to break down.




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Everett

Very interesting read. I was actually looking for php developers or content creators with seo experience to help me with some of my sites just moments ago. There is just too much work for me at the moment, and it appears that I do need some help to lessen the load. However, i do not want to necessarily want to pay the help but rather add my 'business' as an experience to their work portfolio. I wonder if this can be done? Who would do this?

Also, sometimes interns are not paid, and in certain places this is illegal so I'm wondering what the legality of not paying employees/contractors is? Can you get in trouble or no? Does anyone from the US have any insight into this (would make a great discussion topic)?




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TommyCarey

Having them do work to add your business on their resume would depend on how well known your business is. No one will want to add joebobsautorepair.com to their resume if it's not well known, but they would add apple.com How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning

As for interns being paid or unpaid, if you have the people "volunteer" their time, you don't have to pay them unless you want to. It's a sort of loophole since it's the person coming in on their own free will. The only problem I think you might run into is that there would be an agreement between the two parties for some type of compensation if the website or business does take off, which could make it sound more like an internship.

In the US you don't have to pay interns, they're doing the work for a chance to get a decent job within the company their interning at, so I'm not sure about the rest of the world.




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augusta

For me the best way is to give them flexible time to work.People would jump at offers that give them ample time to do other things and also allows them work at their own pace.So if you need volunteers to jump at your offers promise flexibility of working time and work when they're comfortable.

Give them the hope of working still even when the company has grown.Let them feel belonged that they're part and parcel of the business and that they wouldn't be dropped even at the growth of the business.




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Everett

Have you ever done this before? If you have did you pay the volunteer anything, or offered some type of stock? Just curious. How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning




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overcast

I think what I have seen working is that you give the people something that can be added. And they can tell you the long term value out of it. If they can't find the long term value from the project or offer. I think that is what going to set things up for many of us. And if we persist on that point, it'd be lot easier for many of us to fix things. I personally think not all of us can pull that out.

But if people can be convinced for their benefit. Then we can easily make them to get into the offer. That's what I have realized over a period of time. Giving them understanding to get to know the benefits can set you in lot better position as well.




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DarthHazard

You actually don't have to do any of this. I am currently a gaming platform/social network and I have been able to find a team of staff to work for nothing. I have promised that they will get a share of revenue but only after the site costs have been taken care of. There are people out there that will be happy to work for you for free if they believe in your idea/website and they are interested in being part of the project. Of course, this is not the case for everything. If you are making a lot of money then people will obviously not want to work for free for you.




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TommyCarey

You actually don't have to do any of this. I am currently a gaming platform/social network and I have been able to find a team of staff to work for nothing. I have promised that they will get a share of revenue but only after the site costs have been taken care of.

So I do or I don't have to do what I posted? lol How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning

You basically said that I don't have to do any of this, but then you said you do it at the same time lol How to get volunteers to jump at your offer and work for free in the beginning




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DarthHazard

Sorry I probably didn't write it clearly enough. You don't actually have to offer anything. I managed to find a team to work on my site who were willing to work for absolutely nothing in return. I just said that I decided to give them a share of the revenue as an extra (which I told them after hiring them). So you can find people to volunteer for nothing.




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vinaya

One of the easy ways to get people to work for free during the business startup is by offering them a job after the business is launched against their free work for the initial months (launching phase).
Another way to attract volunteer is by making your partner. By giving 5-10 percent partnership, you can make them work for free.
Offering some percent of revenue sharing is also a good way to attract volunteers.




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overcast

I think that may often not work. I think offering them to travel to location can be one way to solve that. I have seen some of the people working into this type of the problem. And they often take the people who are having less salary to accept on such positions. So such positions may tend to attract such labor. But I think if the employer is adjusting on this part. Then surely volunteers can get into the work. Revenue sharing is hard to dispute though. Not a lot of people get to work on this.




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kgord

I think some volunteers simply want experience in the field. They may know that their reward is down the line, so pointing out how important is likely to be, and will allow them to pad their resume is probably one of the most important things. It is fundamentally a good thing for most people to volunteer.




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Baburra

I agree, and I think that is a good way of going about it. The best way is really to just increase your chances by talking to as many people as you can and offering your services to them. I think some people give up too quickly in that when they don't get bites right off the bat they immediately think that they are not fit for that market. It's best to give it a good chance first and see how much you can make out of just finding one or two clients first at the most minimal pay, and make a decision from there, instead of giving up almost immediately.




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Authord

Well, I clearly do not agree with some of these. But with my experience and what I have seen, it's really not feasible to get volunteer workers that will jump on your offers just like that. It can only happen when your offer which is linked to your business, is promising, I mean the business must have a bright future and be really promising, so they can be able to see some potentials in the business.
But without that, I think you will only be able to attract wack volunteers, who will run down the business in future.




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Corzhens

Have you considered the graduating students who need to go on OJT – that’s on-the-job training for their academic requirements. Some big companies are exploiting this angle because those OJTs do not need to be paid although it is a humane obligation to at least give them transportation allowance. With the influx of OJT students during summer, companies can have volunteers with little compensation for the services.




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jpyy

This is a tough one cause people are very cynical. I mean, this like asking people to give you business capital or getting a bank loan. Note, in most cases, it's tough luck. However, though, if you happen to meet someone open minded and ambitious enough, you might be able to at least say that their work can be useful on a resume.




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