Never Work for Free
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”
I have learned that extremely valuable lesson recently. And of course I would make this a Batman reference, but my friends, the Joker nailed it. If you are good at something, you should never do it for free. Now, I am new to this whole concept of freelance work, and I am eager to add work to my portfolio, but that does not mean, I should have to do work for free. I have done that for the past 7 years of my life (college), and that is called homework. I have done my fair share of “free” work. I’m sure you can all relate to my pain on some level.
I guess I have come to the point in my career, that every designer and freelancer has to come across. The age old question of “How much do I charge?”
Now that, I do not have an answer for right now, but Google might. What I have learned is something much more valuable than just how much to ask for, but rather, WHY I should receive payment from clients in the first place.
I would like to argue, that we as designers provide a service for people, not just a product. We take our creativity and time, add a little bit of love, a dash of passion, and
We create some MAGIC!! Just. Like. That.
Ultimately, I want to make the client happy, to ensure a future client, as well as creating something I like/am proud of. After all, they hired ME, the designer, because I can provide them with something they want. If they had the time and talent, they would do it themselves, right?
No I do not think that I am the shit, but I really think its absurd for someone to ask for “free work” in the first place. First off, are they offering anything in return? I have worked really hard to get to where I am, just like all artists. So, I deserve to get paid for my hard work. After all, if you have ever done free work for someone, you know that they will push you as far as they can, and you will pull out all of your hair bending over backwards for them. Not Cool. I do that at work all day, I don’t need to do that in my free time! I would much rather spent it playing with my dogs, or spending time with my husband. I too, have this thing called a life (imagine that!) Now I’m not saying everyone will be like this, but the vast majority. They are just looking for a hand out. No matter when they need their shit done, If they are not willing to pay me for my time, then Im not willing to give them any.