article Mar 29 2015 OUR VIDEO SERVICES (Hire us)

(or "Free Work Isnt Free"

I compiled this list as a result of many requests from potential clients asking for free work or "Exposure work" from professionals in the creative industry. I have been in the creative industry for years and spoke to many clients about the pitfalls that clients have got themselves into when trying to cut corners and save money by receiving "free" work from Creative Professionals. Free work isn't free, it ends up costing more the long run, and there are significant financial advantages of paying and investing in professional creative services up front This list here is designed to show the business advantages of investing money in the work or creative pros such as photographers, videographers, musicians, graphic designers etc and avoiding the pitfalls and problems from "free" work..

  1. The quality of the final deliverable (photo, video, design work etc) is a representation of YOU and your business.  If the final product looks or sounds terrible then it doesn’t make you look good. If you are unwilling to invest in it (and yourself) it will show in the final product.

  2. For you to receive quality work we as creative professionals need money to invest in quality equipment and quality media, quality cables, batteries, professional supplies and other HARD COSTS to make sure we do the best job possible for you. we also need to pay for incidental costs like transport and setup to make sure we are on location with the right equipment and ready to go when you need us to be.

  3. To receive quality work in a timely manner you need to invest in quality skilled people. You could potentially lose a lot more money if unskilled labor takes 5 times longer to do something, does it wrong , or eats up your time to redo it. It also reflects poorly on you if the unskilled people produce a poor product. Skilled people save you time, money and headaches.

  4. With unpaid projects there can be a significant impact on the quality of the final deliverable as corners have to be cut and resources originally earmarked for the unpaid project may be diverted and reprioritized to the paid projects of other clients. If you invest in a project you get a higher priority.

  5. Unpaid projects lose priority and are prone to sudden unexpected cancellations or lengthy time delays without notice as paid projects from other clients come in and take priority.  Unpaid projects lack professional accountability on the producers part to finish the project in a timely manner – this means a slower turn around and a failure to meet critical deadlines or final release dates. Paid projects meet your deadlines and have you operational sooner.

  6. Unpaid projects lack professional accountability to have no minimum standard of quality.  There are no refunds, re-edits or re-dos on a project you didn’t pay for.  If you didn't pay for it you cant complain if the quality you want isnt there. But if you pay for a professional you will get professional quality work.

  7. While Creative professionals are motivated to maintain their valuable business reputation by delivering high quality work in a timely manner on paid projects.  Your friends and family lack these same levels of professional accountability.  So while you may save money in the short run by awarding the project through nepotism, your personal relationships will get damaged when your kid brother or girlfriend fails to deliver the work you need in the time and you can’t say anything or bring up the issue without emotional backlash - business loses occured this way drain more than money.

  8. Payment through EXPOSURE has no value to the Creative Pro If the budget impacts the quality of the final product to the point that neither side can be proud of the work - and it won’t get the use or exposure it needs if nobody is motivated to share it. Its even less than worthless if low quality rushed job with cut corners reflects badly on everybody.   

  9. Likewise Promises of future work on future projects have no real cost impact on the resource requirements of the current project so promises of future work have no real value until the current project is wrapped up You dont want to divert quality, time and resources and focus to a potential future project at the expense of the current project.

  10. IMPORTANT - At the end of the day - without compensation there is no legal contract, therefore there is no legal transfer of IP OWNERSHIP of the final work nor license or legal permission for you to use the deliverable and you waive your legal rights to say on how the final product is to be used.   Legally The work belongs 100% to the person who created it until he is compensated for making it- so the creative professional would be free to resell the work to a third party (or your competition) to recoup costs. It doesnt matter if you are involved the final work doesnt belong to you unless you invested capital into it.

  11. Bonus- We creative professionals tend to give larger discounts to existing and repeat paying clients and usually put in the extra effort to keep you.   This saves you more money in the long run

    Ultimately you get what you pay for and investing money into your creative professional is one way of guaranteeing the quality of your deliverables and level of service and professional accountability from your creative pro and protecting the reputation and image of your business.

    ~ Ryan McCann 2015

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