We used to get asked to work for free – alot. Maybe it was the bright-eyed enthusiasm that attracted such people, or the desperation required to work for nothing, donating your time and money to someone with the promise of ‘more where that came from’ (yay!). Fifteen years down the line, we’re still just as enthusiastic, but not at all desperate.
This blog post is more for those who tell us they get asked this all the time. Perhaps you’re new in your business. Here are our reasons. Maybe you can adapt them for yourself.
4 Reasons Why We Won’t Work for Free
- We’d rather spend the same time getting paid (well) for what we do. We’re running a business. It’s our living. It’s simple, why would we deliberately choose to get paid less or nothing? Would you?
- We’d rather spend the same time improving our marketing, replying to enquiries and referrals, chatting to people who want to work with us, or networking. This is a better use of our time.
- We’ve been around too long to buy any of the following patronising balderdash:
- “It’ll be good for your portfolio.” It may be. But that is a separate issue from whether we get paid or not.
- “It’ll be good for your CV.” I’m no longer 22 years old and fresh out of uni. And, I’m also not looking for an employed gig. I rarely use a CV. If only there was an easily accessible social network that supplied a handy list of professional people…
- It’ll be “good for exposure”. Every time I hear that word, I think of nakedness. And cold. And penury. Nope. Exposure does not pay the bills, raise our profile or bring us well-paying work. We’re already happy that recommendations, networking and our marketing efforts bring us in paying clients we love.
We already do charity work – but that’s voluntary, in our personal time, not our work time. And, it’s really quite rude of someone to suggest we take on a business as a charity venture. (Employees in that sector should be paid in line with the true professionals they are, btw.)
Peanuts are for monkeys.