I saw a small store today which seems new since I never seen it before till recently. I went home and checked out their website and I can see how I can improve it. Should I talk to people who follow them on social media and ask them about their experience with the website if they use it? I was thinking if I go to the store then maybe present them with what people said instead of telling them that I can improve their website with my skills. What do you think is better? And is this the way I should do it?
Kudos to your spirit of wanting to help them out
I see what you’re saying about gathering customer impressions beforehand, but some businesses may feel a bit nervous about you talking to their customers on their behalf.
Is there a way you can instead collate existing comments people have left and building a case that way? You can then go back and do a proper study later if you get the go ahead from the business.
First, try not to do any work for free. It’s a bad habit, until you can afford it.
Decide what’s your reason for wanting to help them, is it because you like the place, to gather experience, or just pure altruism? This may not be the best way to do either of these.
If you are trying to gain them as a client, approach them like one. This may depend on your local custom, but I’d try to arrange a formal business meeting with them. Tell them what you do and why you want to help them, how much can it cost and how much can it help them. Then just expand on those points in presentation with a project plan. This can be done very quickly and cheaply, depending on your experience and the customer’s mood.
If that works out, you can continue working with clients like that for years with little extra effort concerning preparation.
Now if you really just want to help with no payment, maybe it would be better to do this as a mentoring excercise with someone junior who can put in the hours for the experience gained from you.
(I realise I said you should not work for free, but for absolute beginners and students, if it’s the only option, it’s better than nothing.)