How To Say: “No” to Working for Free (In a respectful way)

We know how difficult it can be to say no when it comes down to doing work for free. That is why it is SO important to be able to communicate this well!

In many cases, some of your clients may actually be friends or family members, which just makes it that much harder to put your foot down when the time comes! People may think that because you do this for a living that asking for a “small favour” should be no big deal, right? WRONG! Time is valuable and taking on these odd jobs out of goodness can actually have a very negative effect on your business when you are losing out on potential paying customers.

But don’t fret, we have put together 4 simple ways that you can get your point across without the unnecessary guilt that you may feel from saying no. Feel free to use any of the options below the next time you find yourself in this situation.

1. Check out our services and prices packages!

“Thank you so much for considering me! Please see here for a link to the services and price packages that I offer. Let me know if you have any questions!”

2. Is this a paid opportunity?

“This sounds like a great opportunity, thank you for thinking of me! Are you able to confirm that this is a paid opportunity?”

3. I am unable to take on any unpaid projects right now.

“I appreciate you thinking of me for this opportunity. Unfortunately I am unable to take on any unpaid projects at the moment, but I will circle back to you if that changes.”

4. Book a consultation with me!

“Thank you for reaching out! I typically charge a fee for this kind of advice so I am unable to answer this via messages, but I will drop a link below where you can book a consultation with me.”

There’s nothing wrong with giving your client a freebie. But it becomes an issue when the client starts expecting it. And, if you’re not careful, you may find yourself doing large amounts of unpaid work with no money to show for all of the time you’ve spent on it. It is all about respecting your own time so you can have some work, life balance. Learn to say ‘no’ and not feeling guilty about doing so. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! But we’re here to tell you that enough is enough. 

It is so important to remember to track the time that you have spent working on a project for someone. In doing this, you have actual “proof” of how much time you have invested into them and it will make things a lot easier when explaining that you simply cannot afford to work for free! There are lots of fantastic tools out there to help you stay on top of what you’ve worked on each month. We use Toggl Track for time-tracking, billing & invoicing, project budgeting, reporting and payroll. It is brilliant for helping you to stay on top of everything and spend more time building your business!

If you need any assistance with your logo and branding, your social media management, updating your website, or anything else surrounding your business and how to make it all come together online, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and we can arrange a call to discuss growing your business! 

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