The Tricky Business Of Charging Friends For Professional Help
Art Business

The Tricky Business Of Charging Friends For Professional Help

illustrated by Mallory Heyer. Photographer and artist Areli Arellano was once approached by a friend trying to start a business. The friend asked if she’d be willing to help create the company’s identity design. Arellano sent over her rates, but the friend pushed back, asking if there was any way she could do it for free. “Her reasoning was that this business had no revenue yet, therefore it would be absurd to charge for a design,” Arellano recalled. “I wished her well on her new journey and left it at that. It might have been harsh, but my time and work is important.” The topic of charging friends for professional service is a murky one. And, for many professionals, it is an uncomfortable scenario that comes up all too often. For freelancers and small business owners — particularly those in creative fields — being asked to perform odd services for friends can be a persistent dilemma. And, for many people, setting appropriate boundaries that separate friendship from their professional lives is not always an easy thing to do. Lauren Cocking, a freelance writer , finds that one way to navigate this dilemma is by making an exchange arrangement with […]

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