Thursday, July 27, 2006

Confused Expert wants to get paid?!

Confused Expert said...

What would Wanda do about this?

Last week, I taught a workshop to an industry association. One of the members sent me an email requesting that I give out my workshop templates so they can be posted on other sites ... to help other people ... for free ...

My dilemma is this. I do want to help other people. But teaching workshops is how I make a living. How do I gracefully say "no" without seeming uncooperative and greedy?As always, I know you'll have something to say about this. As a matter of fact, I can hear the phone wringing already.

I know it's you ...

Love,
Confused Expert


How about this for an answer? NO.

Honey, what you hear wringing is my hands...maybe my hands reaching to wring the necks of the fools who want to diss you by even asking this of you. Just kidding, violence is not the answer. However, if it is a first impulse, it may be an indication that boundaries have been crossed...in this case, yours.

Seriously, if this is how you make your living, how is giving it away for free helping you to do that? How can anyone consider you "uncooperative and greedy" if what you are doing is making sure you get paid for the work you do?

Okay...don't answer that. Some people will think "uncooperative and greedy" and there is nothing you can do about it. However, just because they throw the hook out there, it doesn't mean you have to swallow it.

On the other hand, maybe you can throw them a hook. Is there some small piece of your template that would be useful that would not give away the whole program, yet would put your name and contact information out there for people to come and get more? Is there a way you could use this as "free" advertising for yourself without being taken advantage of?

A lot of people want something for free. There's no getting around that. What I have found is those who want something for nothing don't value what you give them. They place the value at what they paid. Don't give them the opportunity to place zero value on your work.

If you can make this a mutually beneficial proposition, go ahead. How about this?

"Thank you for your inquiry about placing my templates on your web site [or wherever they want to put it]. I am pleased that you found my presentation to be helpful and that you want to offer it to more of your members [or whoever they want to help]. That is a great compliment to the value of my work.

"I am sure you will understand, however, that as a business person, I cannot afford to give my product away in great quantity by letting others place it openly on the web. At the same time, I would very much like to see more people be able to avail themselves of the material from my workshop.

"While I cannot give permission to copy [print, publish...choose the right verb] my material, I would be happy to discuss what portion I would be willing to share on line [and choose a piece that is useful to a point that will whet their appetite for your bigger program] as long as my name and contact information and 'all rights are reserved' are included.

"Please call me to talk about this." Yada, yada.

You determine what they can put out there and the exact wording for your contact information. Word it so that it is very clear that this is a small portion of what you have to offer and they can come and get more from you. Then when they do, charge your full professional fee.

Stand in your value. Don't let them whine you into giving them something for nothing because you will get nothing out of it in the long run. Been there, done that. Made me want to wring my own neck for being short sighted. I started making more money when I began turning away low- or no-pay clients. No kidding.

Bottom line: Experts get paid for what they know and do. Don't be confused about that.

Here's hoping you find a way to make this work for you. That's what I'd do.

Wanda

1 comment:

sar_girl said...

I hope Wanda posts this because I think it relates, at least a little. I am a hairstylist and people will call me or come in the shop and ask me what kind of color they can buy and do at home themselves....hhmmm. There are a few things wrong with this. Over the phone do I know what kinda of shape their hair is in and if something goes wrong whose fault it is? Then you get bad mouthed! The other thing is I didn't spend all the money and time to go to school to tell people what to do for FREE!!!! If they come in and see what a great job I can then they will spead the word and I will have even more customers!!