Theres no such thing as a free lunch, there is also no such thing as a free website...
Companies like Wix, Godaddy, Squarespace and Weebly offer template based websites, which are free for the average small business owner to create and design. Unfortunately what they don't tell you is the backend work that needs to go into building a website. A good web designer will not only build you a website that is visually stunning and full or hi resolution pictures, he or she will create you a website that is fully functional as well. Whether its SEO, Pages titles, keywords, Rich Snippets, and meta tags. The more technical it gets the more the average small business owner gets fed up and looks to hire a professional to build a website for them. Thats where you can contact us to build a professional website for your business and lets us takeaway all your stress and frustrations that are required to build a successful online presence.
Now what happens if you know someone that does websites? Are you entitled to a free website because it doesn't cost your friend anything to make, after all he builds websites daily and has no problems churning out yet another website. Are you really valuing his / her time and all the effort it takes in building a website?
If you have ever worked in the graphic design field then you will know this story all too well. Once friends realize what you do for work they will expect favors because they think its something relatively small, “it will only take you a few seconds, well because you are so good at what you do” (flattery is always good).
I know all too well how this story and how it will end but yet somehow I always get bamboozled into helping out a friend. Just recently I was contacted about creating a logo for a little side business they were launching. Against my better judgment and my past experiences that I have dealt with, I dreadfully said yes. I designed a few samples ideas and even came up with alternate designs, I put my amazing talent to work and sure enough nothing I had created was good enough... "I need it a little more basic yet Still sorta Elegant" Then the text message after text message of changes started coming. “Add this change that blah blah blah”. When we were finally getting close it was “lets see how it looks in this color with this font” and after hours of going back and forth with tedious changes, something that started out as a simple logo design turned into six or seven hours of wasted time working on a free logo.
To be honest I don't think the project was ever completed. Through all the vague changes and complete redesigns, the favor had gone exactly where I knew it would, and turned into a major pain in the you know what, all for free on top of that. It wasn't worth the aggravation even if they paid triple my going rate for the logo design. Which made me the bad guy when I told them; they were being unrealistic with their expectations and needed to go elsewhere to finish their project. Foolish me thinking reasoning with them would work, because then I got called every name in the book, and selfish for not wanting to help them with their goals, since they do not know how to use Photoshop, nor have the program.
One of nuisances for graphic design artists and small business owners alike is that friends, family, or even random acquaintances may think its ok to ask you for a favor (free work). Often, they assume that if they know you they're entitled to ask for that favor. If you're an accountant, maybe it's reviewing a tax return and giving them free tax advice or if you're a photographer, maybe it's taking photos for them during an engagement shoot or if you're a web designer maybe its building them a website for their hobby business.
Part of the obstacles we deal with in navigating this mind field is many of us can’t say “NO” to them, or even worse feel guilty because we’re afraid our services aren’t worth our going rate. Just because we have perfected our skill sets that the work we do has become easy for us doesn’t take away from the years of schooling or training. If it's fun and simple for us, then how can we charge for it? But just because we have a passion for something that, we also happen to be good at doesn't decrease its value. There's also the fact that we've invested time and energy cultivating our talent. The first step in dealing with others who don't value on our expertise is learning to recognize its fundamental value ourselves. They need to understand and learn that you can say no and ask them to respect your time and value you as a professional because like the old saying goes. "Friends will ask for discount prices. True friends will pay full price, to support you, your time and your work".