13 min read

How "working for free" can get you on the Inc. 5000

Growth Tools managed to get themselves on the Inc. 5000 - and a huge part of that success is through the free marketing tools they offer.

While working solely as a service provider, I lived by the mantra “never work for free”.

At the start of my career, I believed payment for any work always had to be financial.

As the years passed, I realised that payment didn’t have to always be in dollars and cents.

  • A well placed free guest post can pay you back with more traffic and visibility
  • A well-created sample can be used to convert more customers for months or years
  • A small piece of advice can build a relationship which later blossoms into a full paid engagement

I still don’t believe anyone should ever work completely for free.

However, payment can take many different forms and we need to look beyond the immediate financial compensation.

One of the most impressive examples of turning a free offer into financial payment later down the line is from Growth Tools.

They offer a number of small, free tools to help small business owners handle important growth tasks. These tools are some of the most visited pages on their site.

I wanted to check them out in more detail to figure out why these free tools work so well and what it is we could learn and apply to our own businesses.

Let’s get into it.

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