The forums ran from 2008-2020 and are now closed and viewable here as an archive.

Home Forums Other "The Freebie"

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #28713

    Recently I was approached by someone to build a website. After some discovery, it was apparent that the person who wanted it done has very little monetary form of payment. So, the form of payment would be in the form of *some* money but mainly in the form of advertising my services to others within their sphere of influence.

    I think there I’ve landed with this in the realm that this "advertising of my services" would happen normally with anyone I do business with as long as I’m doing a great job for them. I can’t see anyone giving an "extra special" dose of props to me over another. And if anything, I instantly cheapen myself because this individual who is clearly unable to compensate me may be talking about his experience with me as if I cut him a really good deal or something along those lines.

    Earlier in the year I decided that I would give a large flat price break across the board to non-profits, charities, etc. And aside from that I’ve maintained a relatively strong position on maintaining my rates.

    I believe I’m going to politely refuse. But at the same time I wanted to at least see how other people handled these types of situations when they come up.


    I would politely decline as well.

    I’ve done trades before, sometimes they can be great (especially keeping your net income at the end of the year down). But I would never trade for something intangible (like a promise to promote).


    I would decline to…

    I only exchange service when the other company can offer immediate service in return.

    But maybe you can write a clause in the contract to make sure you get a cash compensation if the first agreement has not been met…

    Best of luck ! :)


    I guess it depends how hungry and busy you are.
    Starting out, creative deals can generate some cash flow but more importantly references and referrals.
    One of my best PPC clients started out with a free month, with the deal being I’d be payed retroactively if there were results.
    After you’re established though, it’s time to get more selective and take a pass on these kinds of things.


    *L* I have been bitten a few times. I now offer to take 10% of the site and revenue instead of payment up front. Magically they seem to find the money to pay me. :twisted:


    There’s no good answer for this… I’ve done freebie stuff for friends and nonprofits and activist groups, all of whom have either said or implied that "it will give you great exposure". In the beginning I believed that might be the case, but I can’t say any real work has ever come from these things — not saying it can’t.

    Sometimes they can go into your portfolio though, and the benefit is that you might get to experiment and do the kind or style of work that you want to do more than you might if they were a paying client, which can lead to those types of clients seeing your work in your portfolio and wanting to hire you based on it.

    Depends on how busy you are at the moment too. If you’re in a dry spell or are just starting out and need to fill your portfolio, it might be worth it, but try to get something in return — if not money then their product or service or what have you (if you have no use for it yourself, maybe you know someone who does and can retrade it or whatever) or a promise to pay later if things go well, and of course if they’re offering to promote you in any way, get that too. Get all you reasonably can out of them if payment isn’t forthcoming.

    Otherwise, they get something for nothing, and that drives what I’ve come to call the "Craigslist mindset" that good design is, if not free, then close to it, which brings us all down.

    In your situation, it sounds like you’re getting some payment at least, so if the money to "exposure" ratio works for you there in the short term and you decide it’d be a good portfolio piece as well, maybe you can either set up a payment plan to make it more manageable for them or set a milestone for their site/business somehow and have them agree to pay the rest at some future point, prefaced strongly by "I wouldn’t normally do this, but…".

    (If its at all related to multi-level marketing, just run. Fast.)

    Good luck

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • The forum ‘Other’ is closed to new topics and replies.