I’ve recently written some blogs on bartering and charitable giving. I know that everyone has a different opinion on those topics, and I understand completely. Everyone is coming from a different place in life and in their business, so what is right for me may not be right for you.
One thing should be common, though…
Don’t give yourself – your time or your products – away for free because you aren’t confident of your worth.
If you want to barter your good or service, just be sure that you are pricing yourself appropriately. Don’t discount yourself simply because you are bartering. The same goes for charitable giving. Just because you are dealing with a non-profit, it doesn’t mean that you have to provide a discount.
People are going to approach you all the time for discounts and freebies. It’s just a fact of life. They will say things to you like, “I can see how passionate you are about your work,” or “We could really use your expert eye.”
That’s wonderful. Compliments are fantastic! But, not when it leads to you selling yourself short.
If you are lucky enough to own your own business, doing something you love to do, it doesn’t mean that it’s a hobby. And even if it IS a hobby, your time is worth something, isn’t it? What about your skill?
I get it – I’ve been there. When you first start out, especially if you are in an artistic business, you just want people to see your work. There may be times that a discount or a freebie makes sense. But, let me tell you – as big as northern Virginia seems, it’s a small world. Word gets around quickly. If you start giving discounts, then who is going to want to pay regular price? If you give it away for free, then who will want to pay anything at all?
That’s why I support doing your own events for charity. You are still being socially responsible, but it’s on your own terms. No one can say they got something from you for free – you just gave it to them without asking.
It’s not devious, it’s positioning.
Whatever your price may be, you are worth it. Don’t think that you need to prove to the whole world that you are valuable by giving yourself away.
I was just outside and saw two huge magnolia trees. Some of the buds have already bloomed, while the others are on the verge. All over the ground underneath, I saw these fuzzy little “bud covers,” I’ll call them. They’ve fallen off the buds as the flowers are about to open.
It reminded me of you, of me, and of all us small business owners trying to “sell ourselves” to the world. Those flowers are in there. The trees know it. Even with the fuzzy bud covers, the trees know that once it’s warm enough, they are going to produce thousands of beautiful flowers.
The trees didn’t have to give us a free preview. They didn’t have to put up a sign saying, “Pretty Flowers Coming Soon – Here’s a Free Sample.” They just did their thing– they didn’t try to prove anything to anyone.
They let their work speak for itself.
If someone doesn’t think you are worth what you are asking, then great! You must not meet their specific needs. You’ve now opened up your schedule for the next person whose needs you do meet, and who knows that you are worth your cost.
Because they can see how passionate you are about your work.
And they could really use your expert eye.
Alimond Photography Studio specializes in creating strategic corporate headshot portraits for not only the individual small business entrepreneur, but also the Fortune 500 Company. Alimond Photography Studio is located in downtown Leesburg, Virginia, where they will create the perfect look for you in their 1300 square foot photo studio. If you have a large team or you have a specific vision you want to create, we can also come out to you on location of your choice. Please go HERE to get more info and set up your session.