I see it written in people’s social media pages and we often hear about it, I too have bemoaned the same fact, that people ask for our skills for free. “can I ask you a favour?” “Can you just take a couple of photos for me, I’ll post them everywhere and advertise your business?” “What is it you do and do you mind sending me a spread on how you do it? so I can base my business on your model, I’ll change it but I just need help.”
Sometimes you do it without thinking and berate yourself afterwards as most of the time these people NEVER give you anything in return, nothing. Most people are generous with their time and words, if people did charge for time and travel (car) no one would employ them, some people spend 2 hrs of their day just traveling to and from work. It’s not just those people who work for themselves that get the raw end of the stick, I have seen some employees do it to their interstate bosses. Take advantage of their money and good nature, you all know the type or at some stage may have even been one of these people, you know it’s wrong but you do it anyway, it may just be arriving to work 10 to 15 minutes late per day but that’s over an hour a week you are taking from your boss and they are probably not even aware you are doing it.
Most people work hard for their income and to have it ‘taken’ is insulting for the years they have learned their craftsmanship. Here’s a suggestion to all those people who want something for nothing, it breeds resentment in the person you ask, it makes you appear selfish and mean (sometimes makes you look dumb) and can ruin a nice friendship or relationship because the person becomes wary of your motives every time you call. Coffee breaks are to talk about kids, family, social outings or in a business sense talk business, but these are always prearranged and give people the option of opting in or out but springing it on people is never nice nor is it appreciated by the receiver.
I have never heard of an electrician installing a light or ceiling fan so you can tell everyone each time you turn it on they did it or a sign above the switch saying “installed and fixed by turn me on electrics” or a plumber saying yes to ‘fixing’ your blocked toilet so you can tell your friends they did it – I have never seen a sign on the top of the cistern saying “fixed for free by unblock me plumbing”. So why would social media experts, photographers, marketing managers and finance people give you their information for nothing? it’s not really helping them out nor is it free publicity for their business. I have scrolled through face book pages and nowhere have I seen, “design concept and expert advice with assistance by experts r us”.
Giving people what they want is saying to your friend in business, “can I ask you to do a job for me? do you offer any mates rates by chance? ” this then gives your friend and business owner an option to come to an arrangement with you and shows them that you respect and appreciate their skills. Even if it is to give you a quote GST inclusive that is effectively 10% off the bottom line of the price, this is more than some retail shops will give you. Give people what they want, recognise their worth and value, offer to pay upfront, be honest and most of all stop asking for people’s business tips for free.