There was time in my career that I would work for free, I would drastically undercharge and not bill for my time. I thought “oh it just takes me a second to complete this request so no need to charge them.”
Yet, in reality all those seconds turned into minutes and all those minutes turned into countless hours of doing a lot of small tasks for a lot of clients.
This may seem awesome for the client, but what it really means when they don’t see an invoice for their support request is that I’m not building a sustainable business.
My favorite part of my job, and the purpose of why I’m here is to serve people. And in my particular industry I serve small businesses by helping them build a marketing platform and brand image. I work to get to know my clients, understand their brand deeply, get on board with their vision and bring it to life.
That relationship building process is the most gratifying aspects of my job. And for a client, super helpful because they know someone has their back and is completely understands all their ‘crazy’ ideas.
The beauty of small business is that it grows, ideas expand and there is always something new to add-on to the website or brand image. And because I love being apart of the journey and I know their brand like the back of my hand, I am always available to help with little tweeks/additions/edits here and there.
And yep I would do all those “little tweeks” for free because I thought I was doing them a favor. Yet, these favors doesn’t help anyone.
I realize that my clients actually need me, I am part of their business’s growth. So what happens when I don’t charge for those “little tweeks”? It means I am out of business.
If I’m not around they most likely have to start all over again with another designer and re-establish the relationship.
So by charging the rate of ‘free’, I am actually screwing my clients. It means I’ll have to pull the plug on my business and leave my clients in the dust.
I’ve learned to understand the value I add to my client’s business endeavors. When they succeed, I succeed and vice versa. The energy is shared.
Undercharging, skipping invoices doesn’t help anyone. I’ve come to realize we are all connected, and we are here to build each other up. We’re here to support each others gifts and talents so we can continue on the journey of following our dreams.