As any web designer could confirm there are a host of people with “good ideas,” no skills to implement them and no money to pay someone to do it for them. If this describes you read on, this post may tell you how to have a chance of getting someone to invest their time for free.

Time is money

Right away recognize that time is money. You tell me my only investment is time and you’re taking the risk with cash. As a professional designer/developer I charge a decent hourly rate. It is very likely that my investment of time far exceeds you initial cash outlay. Don’t try and play the “only time” card cause you’re fooling yourself.

Be a friend first

Before you contact someone make sure you know them and are friends in some way. I get at least 10 “offers” a week for free projects. I have never met any of them. What would convince me to do a project for someone with no pay that I don’t even know? I don’t mind helping friends a bit as many of my Twitter followers would verify but I don’t just help for free. I help those I know aren’t just looking for a free ride I only know that if I know you.

Send other business

Part of being a friend. Is helping me out. You want me to work on a cool idea for free butter me up first. Send your friends my way. Get me some work. Make sure they drop your name as the referral source. Then when you ask for a favour I’m way more likely to say yes.

Those tips won’t guarantee my help but they will definitely put you way ahead of the other 10 requests this week. Be sensible when you have a project you need help on. People generally like helping other people but appreciate the sacrifice I’m going to make.