Spec work is better known in the graphic design world, but many consultants are asked to work on spec at some point in their careers. Spec work (short for speculative work) involves doing work without a contract or even promise of pay. For example, a prospective client may ask you to put together a marketing strategy on spec. The idea is that, if they like it, they’ll pay you. Of course, they’re probably telling several other consultants the same thing.
Before you work on spec, you should check out No Spec, a great website devoted to explaining the problems involved with spec work — for consultants and for clients. I found it today via Google.
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"Spec work aka speculative work" from Become a Consultant at ConsultantJournal.com.