Shamefully, there are plenty of freelancers who, at some point, feel the need of writing an article explaining why they don’t work for free. Nevertheless, it seems that no amount of articles will stop certain behaviours, but trying makes no harm so here are my two cents.
Why I don’t work for free.
1. “It is only one quick question. It costs you nothing.”
Meeeeeec. My domain isn’t anything close to free, neither are my memberships to the diverse Tarot sites and foundations I belong to in order to get valuable resources so I can provide my very best service which is constantly evolving.
My online shop hosters get their fee as well and I couldn’t have any of these without a decent internet connection that isn’t gifted.
Besides, the decks I am using are worth a little fortune and are essential for getting the job done.
2. It is not only “a quick question”.
When you get a reading, you are not only paying for having me pulling a bunch of cards. You are paying for my expertise, for my time, for the time and money I have invested in learning how to interpret that messages for you. For the books I have read on the topic, for the courses I have attended, for ten years of experience, and yes, ultimately for getting me to provide you with that service.
3. “Can I get a trial so I’m sure I like your reading style?”
This is just like going to a restaurant and ask the chef for getting a free appetizer and then, if you consider it worthy, you’ll order the rest of the lunch. Just nope.
Whenever I get a service, be it a Tarot reading, a cup of coffee or a haircut, I pay its price, if I like it, good, if I don’t I just won’t go back again. Easy, isn’t it?
4. “But I’ll recommend you.”
So do my paying customers. Have you tried paying your mortgage, electricity supply or your weekly groceries with recommendations and exposure? You get it.
5. [ Insert appeal to emotion.]
If you try with emotional manipulation I am not your girl.
I am sorry you can’t afford a reading, but if I work for free, I won’t be able to afford eating everyday or this internet connection thanks to which we are talking right now and so, I just can’t read for you.
6. “You shouldn’t charge for such a gift.”
This is no gift, and even if it has its part of “gift”, talent without work is nothing. See point 2.
7. Working for free damages the business, lowers my value and other readers’.
Reading for free I contribute this attitudes to continue and this is something that is just not going to happen. I am part of an awesome community full of worthy readers who as I have done, have spent years, bucks and tears becoming professionals. Cheapening or just giving away our work is only a way to sink the community.
So, next time you think of asking for a freebie, ask yourself this few questions.
— Think of what you do for a living. Would you work an hour for free just because I ask you to?
— Have you ever asked for a trial haircut at a salon, a trial meal at a restaurant, a trial flight with an airline and succeeded?
— Do you pay your bills with exposure / experience / thankfulness?
— Were you born knowing how to do your work?
If you’ve answered NO to one or more questions, you are starting to get what I’m talking about. If you answered YES to one or more questions, I congrat you, but I am still not working for free.
In a nutshell, I work hard to maintain my work’s, my community’s and my own dignity, at the same time I am committed to give the best service I can, and I do it through honoring all the abovementioned by recognizing its value and encouraging others to do so.
Respect is key for all professionals, and it is undoubtedly a hot topic among freelancers, so when you’re asking a photographer, an artist, a therapist or a Tarot reader for a service, keep in mind that we prefer to be valued as professionals than to be recommended.