It’s all too easy to think that stuff we find fun isn’t work or doesn’t have a price tag on it.
Here’s what happened to me about twenty years ago. When I had to quit my job and started doing freelance PR work. I shortchanged myself not just a little, but a lot.
I’d have potential clients call me and we’d chat and then set up a meeting where I’d go through everything I’d do to help them and their business get noticed. Most of the time, we’d meet in a café or coffee shop and yes, I’d even pay for the drinks or meal. I’d spend an hour, sometimes more, with them, setting out my PR plan in a very detailed way, thinking they’d be so impressed they’d hire me on the spot.
That never happened.
All of them told me they’d, think things over and get back to me. None of them ever did but when I did a follow up call, I’d hear the same thing over and over again.
You gave me so many great ideas that I think it’s enough to get started doing my own PR so after much thought, I don’t need to hire you.
It made me angry about these time wasters and almost made me want to start looking through the want ads for a job. That was until one day I sat down and thought about who my anger should really be directed at. It was me not them.
I’d given away too much too soon. I needed to quit giving away so much detail about my PR plan…they’d get that later when they hired me. I also realized that this PR consultation was worth something. I was offering my expertise and the knowledge I’d gathered over years of working in the business and I should at least get paid for it.
I had a new strategy,
I’d meet with them but give them a brief outline. That way they couldn’t do everything on their own. I’d also charge for what I now called a one hour PR consultation. And yes, one hour and no more. Even if they didn’t hire me, I hadn’t wasted my time and come away empty handed.
If you’re in business or starting a business, get paid what you’re worth. Nothing should be given away for free unless you’re offering your services to charity. Don’t shortchange yourself because it can ruin your bottom line and even put your business in risk of going bankrupt.