Working For Free…This Needs to Stop Now
Have you been fooled into working for “exposure”? Don’t feel bad…unless you are doing that right now in which case feel bad. Feel really bad. Are you someone hiring freelancers to work for free? Shame on you.
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free”-The Joker
Yes, today’s lesson comes from the joker because even in all his craziness, he know not to work for free!!!! I can only assume those working for free are not good at what they are doing. If you’re good the free labor has to stop.
When to Work for Free
I don’t understand this idea. I never have. Sure I’ve done it before but that was when my resume had zero credits on it. Working for free should be something you do in a festival, showcase, or audition because it’s obvious what the benefits are here. Even then some of those gigs can be paid but if the main goal of the function is to be seen by people who are looking to pay someone, I get the free aspect of it. I shouldn’t be paid to audition for the role of Superman. Once you get it, we all know the rewards of a job like that. Nevertheless, those are the only reasons. You can’t convince me leaving your house to do a set for 6 minutes at a random free bringer show is a good idea. Don’t try.
Sidebar: Once you know the ropes and you are a competent PROFESSIONAL, stop working for free. Just wanted to make that clear. Keep reading ☺️
Understand Your Worth
You deserve to be paid! I don’t care if you have this written on your bathroom mirror or tattooed on your hand. We all should be paid well for our work. It doesn’t make any sense to plan an entire event, host a show, give music, or provide any service for free. If whoever is hiring wants a quality event, they will pay people for their time. You are a brand. We all are. Unfortunately, most people just suck at branding so they have no idea they are a brand. If your brand has you working for free consistently then that’s all you will become. Someone who people can get a free show out of. If you don’t already have the value to demand pay, then build up your value. Invest in yourself so you are worth the money. I’ve been qualified as a comic for some time now. If you’re booking me for a gig I’m asking if it’s paid. If it’s not and I’m being asked to do a short set most likely I will be turning that down. Just because it’s offered doesn’t mean you have to take it. You guys know I produce music. If you didn’t, consider yourself informed. There is no such thing as free beats. I’ve invested a fortune into my music production and I continue to invest to put out high quality sounds. I’ll be damned you get all that work for free for your crappy mixtape. To get paid is to get respected. To go unpaid is to be disrespected. Simple.
If You Need People, Pay Them
Nothing says I like what you do more than giving someone money. Here’s a secret…it doesn’t have to be much! I did a show earlier this spring where I was asked to feature for a headliner and I was paid for the event. I wasn’t given 400 dollars but I was paid. It made the whole event much for fun and enjoyable for me. I had came a long way to get there and it felt worth it. It meant I was supposed to be there and I felt valued. Not to mention it was an awesome show. I’ve sold music to several artists. For me that means that my production is respected and I’m trusted to help someone else. When people are booking for something and trying to get away from paying folks they are either being arrogant or self centered. Need a Dj for a party? Pay one. Don’t have the money. Cut back on drinks and pay the man (or woman). Trust me you can have a party with less alcohol. You can’t have a party with no music. If you have colleagues or friends that do this let them know they should pay for talent. If you can’t afford to take a 100 dollar bill out and pay whoever deserves it for your function you probably shouldn’t have that function.
I feel like you get the point by now. If you are still going to work for free, that’s fine. Just know you deserve better. Make sure you are getting some value that assist your brand. I promise you the folks you want to be seen by are not hanging at the shows or places where artists perform at for free.
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