Why You Shouldn’t Always Charge to Speak and Write

Why You Shouldn’t Always Charge to Speak and Write

He knows there's no free lunch, and if he's going to buy his own lunch, he can't be giving away free lunches. In other words, exposure is worth something only if there's actual exposure. Don't blame the form of payment; blame the guy who never paid you! Can exposure pay? Those articles have generated more than $5 million in revenue for my marketing agency, landed a book deal, launched a second company and earned me paid speaking and consulting jobs around the world. I don't do any of this writing for free. Regardless, I'll get paid. How short-sighted would it be for me to make my decision based on whether or not the event pays me a speaking fee?

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Why You Shouldn't Always Charge to Speak and Write

Economists like to say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a cost. A high-profile thought leader I recently attempted to recruit for my virtual summit for aspiring thought leaders knows this. When I asked him to speak without any pay his response was:

No pay, no play. I do not participate without payment. All my best.

This speaker wanted $5,000. He knows there’s no free lunch, and if he’s going to buy his own lunch, he can’t be giving away free lunches. He’s not the first to reject my offer. Another potential speaker wanted a $15,000 fee. Yet another asked that I buy 250 copies of his new book. I even have friends who rejected this opportunity.

They’re making a mistake.

At least there’s a good chance they are. You should speak and write for free — under the right circumstances. I don’t blame those who have said no. I blame myself. I haven’t made the case well enough for them to understand that while I’m not paying a speaker fee, they most certainly will get paid. How? Through a currency called “exposure.”

It’s become a dirty word for professionals such as designers, writers and speakers. Many unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of them to get free work and give nothing in return. It’s not that exposure has no value. It’s that professionals feel ripped off when those “exposure bucks” aren’t delivered. In other words, exposure is worth something only if there’s actual exposure. Giving exposure a bad rap because you didn’t get it when you should have is like dissing money when you should have received cash but never got paid. Don’t blame the form of payment; blame the guy who never paid you!

Can exposure pay? Absolutely!

Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube channel has…

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