Free is Bad, It Just Is. Mostly.

Over on the Black Star Rising blog, John Harrington takes a look at 12 ideas about why shooting for free is a good idea and concludes – not surprisingly – that they are all myths.

If I worked pretty hard at it, I might come up with a few situations where I wouldn’t charge a client (pro bono work for a charity I supported or a licensing package that let me handle resales of high-value content). But, really, there’s little in Harrington’s article I’ll contest. Pin this one to the cork board over your phone.


One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. I saw this, too. It’s funny how many responses to these photo biz posts are from semi-pros who still just don’t get it. However, some of the responses make an interesting point: Often, being cheap is worse than being free.

    I can understand how doing SOME jobs for free can be beneficial – as long as you receive something valuable in return. Referrals can be valuable, as long as your reference testifies to the quality of your work and not your free or cut-rate services. Perhaps you might swap work for advertising.

    Work done for charities and some non-profit businesses may be eligible for tax write-offs, too. Just make sure you send an invoice stating the full value of the job so that amount can be considered as a charitable contribution. You can do the same for non-charities, too, and write off the amount of the invoice as a promotional expense.

    And always retain your copyright for future sales.

    Do some research and find out what the true value of your work is. It’s a deep hole to dig out of when you build a reputation on low prices or free work. Consider the quality of your clients, rather than the quantity.

Add Your Comments

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <ol> <ul> <li> <strong>