How to Get Free Employees for Your Business Colleges, high schools and trade schools are great sources of eager-and free-workers for your business.

By Pete Silver

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You may find this surprising, but free employees are oftenavailable for your homebased business. In fact, it's easierthan you might think to find talented, energetic people who areeager to work for free to help your business grow. But youwon't find them by placing an ad. To successfully find theright candidates, you have to write a creative letter.

In lieu of a paycheck, these employees will want to work for youfor two primary reasons. First, you'll be offering themreal-life experience that will look good on their resumes. Andsecond, they'll gain skills that will enable them to advance inthe marketplace.

So what's the secret? Internships! Colleges, universities,high schools and trade schools are eager to help you connect withtheir students.

According to Michele Morris, who heads the Marketing andCommunication Department at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida,"We actively seek meaningful work opportunities for ourstudents. They eagerly want to get out of the classroom and intorealistic experiences where they can see how people in theworkplace handle projects. It's one thing for them to get anacademic background in journalism or marketing; it adds a whole newdimension when they get to work for a newspaper or advertisingagency and see what really goes on. Our experience with internshipsis that this is often a first mentorship experience for ourstudents, and they highly value the opportunity."

Schools place interns in many types of offices: architectural,engineering, construction, design and IT firms, for example. Ahospitality student could work for a restaurant, a bed andbreakfast, or a catering business. A marketing student could workfor a florist, a travel agency, a bookstore and so on.

Instead of spelling out duties and responsibilities as you wouldfor a traditional employee, your message has to be tailored to thedesires and interests of the people who will be trading their timefor your experience.

Here's a sample letter you could send to a school. It'sbased on an actual letter I've honed over the years to attractthe best and brightest students from area colleges to work in myconsulting and writing business.

For more information about managing interns, read"Intern Burn".

You may have students who desire to learn the inner workingsof a marketing consulting and freelance writing business.

The student who interns with us will gain the followingreal-world experience:

  • Interviewing clients for press releases.
  • Writing press releases.
  • Pitching editors for placement of the releases.

While learning, the student will be supported by our staff ashe or she gains knowledge and skills in the capabilities requiredfor successful completion of these projects.

After a six-month internship, the student will be able tooperate across the spectrum of public relations duties, includingspecial events, media placement and writing forpublication.

While we cannot guarantee that writing assignments wouldresult in bylined articles, our previous four interns have allobtained bylined articles in the course of their work withus.

Here are the key qualities we seek in students:

  1. Sincere interest in writing for publication.
  2. Passionate commitment to quality work andreliability.
  3. Willingness to be part of a team and work well withothers.
  4. Ability to maintain confidentiality of our clients'information.

We offer the following advantages:

  1. Flexible work hours.
  2. Nonsmoking environment where diversity issupported.
  3. Relaxed dress code, except when clients are involved inmeetings.

Interested students should begin their contact with us bydoing the following three things:

  1. Review our website ( to become familiar withwhat we do.
  2. Write a sincere letter about their interests and goals,along with two samples of their work and three references we cancontact regarding the work attitudes of the student.
  3. Follow up with a phone call to set up anappointment.

Thank you in advance for your assistance. We look forward togiving you feedback on their progress and performance.

Pete Silver is a homebased entrepreneur who's launchedseveral successful businesses from his home over the past 20 years.He's also a creative marketing specialist and author whotravels widely as a speaker and seminar leader. To find out moreabout Pete or his coaching service, log on to

The opinions expressed in this column arethose of the author, not of All answers areintended to be general in nature, without regard to specificgeographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied uponafter consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney oraccountant.

Wavy Line

Pete Silver is a homebased entrepreneur who's launched several successful businesses from his home over the past 20 years. He's also a creative marketing specialist and author who travels widely as a speaker and seminar leader. To find out more about Pete or his coaching service, log on to

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