free

Imagine you walk into a electrical shop. “Hello Mrs/Mr Smith” says the shop owner, “How can I help you today.” You know Mr Brown, the shop owner quite well as you buy a lot of your electrical goods from him. “Its my friends birthday, I’d like an MP3 player please,” you say. “Of course says the shop owner and shows you his complete range. You choose the one you want, take it and start to walk towards the door. “Ummm.. Mrs/Mr Smith, you’ve forgotten to pay.” “No, I’ve bought a lot of stuff from you so I’m having this for free,” you say.

It just wouldn’t happen would it, yet how often as a design company or freelance designer do you face that situation? The dreaded freebie.

Your client says –

  • My daughter’s school is having an event I could really do with a poster
  • One of our staff is leaving – we need a card designing, this is what we would like
  • I have a friend just setting up a business he can’t afford to pay for a logo I don’t suppose you could just put one together quickly for me?

Of course there is the need for a bit of give and take, but this is your business, not a hobby. While it is fine to help out now and again, the difficulty arises when you are stacked out with live work already, the client asks for a freebie and says I really need it by the end of the day!

Even more frustrating is when they become very picky about the freebie – “If you could just change this, oh, and I am not sure about that”

What are your thoughts?