Why are clients/companies still asking professional contacts to undertake work for free in exchange for exposure. I frequently read of these ridiculous negotiations. The professional always feels blown away by the in-saneness of the insult, and the often condescending manner in which it is offered.
Social media platforms often carry requests such as “Looking for a writer for a few small stories. Can’t pay much, but can offer exposure” “Looking for a photographer. Have no budget but you can get a product freebie and free exposure” “Looking for ghost writer for a personal book, very little funds available but will gave you a credit on the jacket” “Need a poster/flyer designed, nothing fancy, offering free exposure as a trade off”.
While these offers may be enticing for teenagers who think they might like to write, design or take photos, or university students studying in the field – may I politely suggest that you contact the inexperienced directly. Those who have established a name and reputation do not need ‘product freebies’ or a nice ‘thank you with a smile I will be sure to tell my friends’ engagement. Respect breeds respect.
Photographers are particularly in the firing line for this kind of negotiation, with artists, designers, writers and communicators galloping up behind them.
These are professional people, they have their own marketing and publicity machines, why would they do it for nothing?
Where is this remarkable exposure going to be ? Is the client going to post something on their website, tell all their clients or do a massive word of mouth drop the bomb campaign in order to justify a fee rejection?
Exposure does not pay the monthly bills, nor does it offset the costs of the equipment that these professionals invest in.
Would you go to work for free merely to have exposure from your employer that hopefully lands you another form of employment?
Time to open the eyelids peeps.