Random negotiating tactics

I have a couple random thoughts on the things that people will try to get something for less or for nothing from you.

Years ago I heard an artist talking about how people will frequently try to bargain with you and give you some hourly rate for a piece as if you’re a house painter or something. He says that people will say “How long did it take you to paint that picture?” and he’ll respond “All my life.”

There are times and places to do things for the exposure. When you’re new to the biz, when you want to try out a new market, when you’re willing to do something like blog posts or articles for an organization’s newsletter or whatever Just Because, sure. Shucks, I do lots of things just for the exposure, myself. I’ll publish a lot of otherwise-saleable content here on this blog and contributing to lots of other blogs and some non-profits’ newsletters. It’s all pro bono and I’m glad to do it. But you also need to remember that, in a lot of places, people die of exposure. (Thanks to David Okum for that pithy thought.) Another friend, JoAnne Kirley, observed similarly that, when she hears “It’ll bring you business,” she responds “That’s not the kind of business I need.”

Be careful.

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