Anyone in any consulting or freelance role gets asked all the time, “can we meet for coffee so I can pick your brain?” and the world often expects that your time (and labor and skill) is free because you aren’t a corporation. The above is a real ad from Craigslist in Atlanta from a photographer who is obviously tired of being asked for free photography, a common plight in this and other industries.
Consumerist.com says of the ad, “Very amusing, and very true. It can be tempting as a freelancer, whether you’re a photographer, writer, or designer, especially when you first get started, to work for free in order to build up your reputation and good will. Don’t do it. Know your real market value and charge accordingly. You might give away a few golden eggs, a few samples or examples as a marketing tactic, but don’t give up the whole goose without getting some coin.”