Are you in a creative profession? Photographer, designer, blogger, marketeer?

Then you are sure to have come across people that want you to work for free, ‘for the exposure’. Or do the work first and ‘if they like it’ they will buy.

This is a strange but very hard to beat thing that has been going around in the creative branch. Companies will be asking you to do the work first and if they like it they might work with you at some point. But they do want the work you did to be theirs, while not paying for that part.

The worst thing I ever saw was someone asking for people to make loads of designs, and send it all over to them, including the raw materials (which means they can add/change it in any way). And then one of those people would ‘win’ a 100 bucks. Yes, they would get material from loads of designers, be able to use it all and pay 1 ‘lucky’ fellow a 100 bucks while the work that would go into that would be much more than that. The others would just lose: designs gone, no money…..

I was really happy to see that a lot of designers stood up and said ‘no’ against that demand. However there were a few younger designers that thought they had no choice…That is would be the only way they would get work.

But why would you want to work for free? I have bills to pay and I am sure you do too. Your work is valuable and should be considered as such. You put your time into in, and it took time, energy, schooling and effort to learn the skills you have now.

Zulu Alpha Kilo made everyone see how rediculous the demand for ‘free work’ is, by asking the same of non-creatives.

I especially like the personal trainer’s comment in the end: “Do YOU do what you do for free? No? So why do you want me to?” which sums it up perfectly.

Have you ever done work for free? Will you keep on doing that or are you reconsidering?