As I write this, I know I’ll receive a mixed pot of responses from those of you who are offended (I can lend you some tissues) and those who freelance and find themselves up against this crap day in and day out. I’m cool with it.
Please don’t text, call, Facebook message, Twitter DM, or otherwise out-of-the-blue message me pretending to be interested in what’s going on, only to not-so-sneakily throw “By the way, I was wondering if you could do me a favour. Especially if the favour you’re asking for involves me writing, editing, creating, promoting, or otherwise using the employable skills I rely on to feed my kid and keep a roof over my head.
What I’m saying is writing a blog post or article to promote your business, or editing that big article you’re submitting for payment, isn’t a favour. It’s a job. And I’ll probably tell you what I would charge for that ask. Try not to be offended when I expect to make money on the business-y request you’re asking of me so you can make money.
Tit for tat, right?
I’m not saying I won’t do you a favour. I’ll read something quickly. I’ll come pick you up at the airport. I can probably lend you a dress, jacket, shoes, $50, or help you move. What I’m saying is asking me to do something I’d otherwise be paid for isn’t asking me to do you a favour; it’s asking me to give you my employable skills and services for free.
And it’s kind of shitty.
Like how I wouldn’t ask my hairdresser to do me a favour and colour my hair for free.
Or I wouldn’t ask the garage where I have my car serviced to do my oil change, sans charge. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t either.
I’m not talking about vast amounts of money, here, either – I can all but guarantee you I can work within your budget. I understand budgets.
So, I’m going to ask a favour of you.
Please don’t exploit our friendship.
Please don’t put either of us in that position, because I don’t want the conversation that stems from it to cost us our relationship.
Instead, let’s talk. Let’s make a plan.
Or let’s just leave business out of it and be friends.