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Episode 105: Working for Free or for Exposure

This week we are talking about free work and working for exposure. This is often portrayed as every designer’s worst nightmare. So, we’re going to explore if there is ever any upside to working for free and what you should do when presented with this option.

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Show Notes for This Episode:

[1:00] Tom opens the show with a listener comment.
[2:30] The hot button topic of working for free.
[3:00] Tom shares that a recent guest was asked to work for free by a celebrity.
[4:00] Determining if a free job is a good idea and which are the benefits.
[5:00] Tom goes into more depth on free work for benefits.
[6:00] Lisa’s has a strong opinion about working for FREE.
[7:00] Dustin challenges Lisa on why she does the Honest Designers cover graphic for free?
[9:00] Working on your own projects is not bartering.
[10:00] Ian says free work isn’t as black and white as some believe.
[11:00] Free mural work is allowing Ian to get experience while building a portfolio.
[12:30] Dustin suggests finding monetary worth in the work you do for free.
[13:10] Tom talks about how he has worked for free.
[14:25] Knowledge vs. Skillset.
[15:10] Tom shares how he is helping Ian.
[16:20] Helping others for free builds trust, relationships and reputation.
[17:00] Is free work more beneficial for certain industries?
[18:00] Free work may eventually develop into paid work. See the possibilities.
[19:25] Weighing the pros and cons of working for free before you leap.
[20:00] Who initiates the request for free work is huge.
[21:00] Ian shares an example of designer-initiated requests for free work.
[23:00] When companies presume you need exposure.
[24:00] Exposure doesn’t pay the bills due today.
[25:00] Money is what people really need.
[26:00] The team discusses a better way for companies to barter with designers.
[27:00] Don’t shy away from discussing the terms of the barter.
[28:00] Be assertive and know your worth.
[29:00] It’s all in the wording. Work for FREE vs. Work for Barter
[30:10] Lisa benefits from doing the Honest Designers cover art.
[31:30] Ian views free mural work as research on mural timing and materials.
[32:00] Being off the clock removes pressure and can open up creativity.
[34:00] The benefits of working for free are dependent on many variables.
[35:00] Tom shares a scenario for free work.
[36:00] You have to look at all factors -time, aspirations, how established you are.
[37:00] Tom uses Gary Vaynerchuk as an example of giving to get.
[38:00] Work for experience not exposure and the exposure will come.
[40:00] Jump at opportunities that excite you.
[41:00] Ian talks about saying yes to big brands for gaining experience.
[42:00] Some free work is compensated with fun rather than money.
[43:00] Don’t forget to take in and appreciate the experiences.
[44:00] Trust your gut.
[45:00] Successful people see the diamonds not coal.
[46:00] The best barters find the angle that will work in their favor.
[47:00] Ian shares a bartering analogy.
[48:00] Both parties in a barter should feel compensated.
[49:00] Dustin shares a barter for a month idea.
[50:30] See bartering as an opportunity to turn it in your favor.
[51:00] If the offer is FREE then work the angles to gain value for yourself.
[52:00] That’s a wrap!

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