I was in a networking event recently, there was a presentation from a guy that worked for Barclays Digital Eagles, they were talking about the work they do in the community and how they support local schools, groups and even small businesses.

At the end of the presentation the audience had a chance to ask any questions and someone said “But what is the real reason that Barclays are doing it – nobody does anything for free?” – this was literally a red rag to a bull for me because here at Creative Content Company we do lots for free, but why do companies do things for free?

As the man from Barclays Digital Eagles answered, they do it to help in the community, he didn’t go much further into this but my feelings why they do it, and why the team here at Creative Content Company do things in the community for free is to build up brand awareness as a company that cares about their community and wants to help people in the community.

We do monthly reviews of social media and websites for business owners; we do them completely free for charge because we want to help people. We don’t charge for the reviews, instead we use them as a way to build up trust so when something is needed we will be the first people they think of.

We teach marketing in prison every other week for a few hours, we don’t get paid for this and do it for free. We do it for many reasons, to set us apart from the competition as we are doing something different, to create a better community for the future and to give prisoners a chance. A prisoner is serving time for something they have done wrong, when they come out they will have served their time and want to make a fresh start down a better path – our lessons will hopefully help them do this.

We worked on the OpenCity project for free and this took up a lot of time, including a full 36 hours over a weekend when the screen was being created. We did this to help create something for our community and to help put Peterborough on the map, while helping businesses in Peterborough.

We present in schools and speak with students about entrepreneurship so children can see there is another option. Again, this is not something we do for payment, we do it for free. When I was at school I didn’t get the best grades and felt I couldn’t do anything – I fell across running my own business but this could have happened sooner if someone had been into my school.

So, when I hear someone say that nobody does anything for free it makes my blood boil. Of course people and businesses do things for free, either to help increase their brand awareness as a company to trust or for personal reasons. Without businesses doing things for free the world would be in a much worse place – what can you do for free to help your community?