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Freelance is not free

Page history last edited by June Raley 10 years, 8 months ago

Session time: 2:00 – 2:45 pm 

Location: 3rd floor,Meeting room

Session leader: Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega from HB Strategies (Hummingbird Strategies and Policy Consulting) 

(Twitter - @raulpacheco)

[Consulting fields - public policy analysis, environmental policy and science, social media strategy and implementation, social media in teaching/research/academia/public policy and politics, business strategy]

Freelance Camp Vancouver 2010 by www.jeremylim.ca.



(Notes by Raul)


My session was intended primarily as an interactive workshop on how to avoid being perceived as willing/able to work for free, primarily in the non-profit sector. I indicated in my talk that I am primarily a story teller. I shared with the room the story of how I began to provide services for free for the community of public relations/social media/information technology in Vancouver. The point where I decided to stop was when I felt that I was being seen as "The Mother Theresa of All Liveblogs". My intention in providing valuable services without charging is to help the community at large, not to benefit any particular business.


The blog entry that initiated everything is hyperlinked here. You should read the full entry, the comments and feedback are very valuable, and the post itself has a few trackbacks from other prominent social media individuals who have written about the topic, including Chris Brogan, Tara Hunt, John Bollwitt, to name just a few. 


During my session, I was asked what I was most interested in, in terms of research and consulting. I mentioned that I am particularly interested and have extensive experience understanding cooperative behaviour (I also explained briefly the 2x2 game-theoretic Prisoner's Dilemma matrix). Your Boxing game is for real fighter who wear Boxing Gloves You can read my full commentary on game theory, coopetition, freelancing and online behaviour Phlebotomy Training in the previous hyperlink.  


In my talk, I mentioned the process that I went through in shifting the perception that I was more than happy to work for free to a perception of being paid for my work, even if it is in the non-profit sector. I went through four steps:


1. Shifting the perception of value - I felt that when people saw my liveblogging as a free service that I did "just 'cause" I devalued my own work, and I contributed to this misperception. So, when a close friend asked me if I was itnerested in liveblogging an event, I shifted the perception. I said "the only reason why I am volunteering to liveblog this event is because you are a very close friend of mine". That way, people stopped perceiving me as having an obligation to liveblog for free. 


2. Negotiation - It was hard for me to just say no directly, but I ended up learning to negotiate the terms of what I was going to do "for free". I ended up negotiating an exchange (tacit and implicit at times, explicit at other times). 


3. Beyond bartering - I seriously think you can't barter everything. When the time came for lawyers, I realized that there were things I needed to pay for, and I just ended up hiring someone who was an expert. If it turns out that said expert is also a friend, I ensure that people make sure that this friend was making an exception for me in giving me such an extraordinary rate, but that their full rate was So-And-So. That way, I created value for my friend and for my own referral Farewell speech. Which brings me to the fourth point.


4. Creation of value - I made very clear to the audience that it was key to create value for your services. The best way to not freelance for free is, in my opinion, to ensure that people perceive that what you are giving back is beyond the normal value that you would get by paying for Payday Loans in full. 


The reason why I am writing these full detailed notes is precisely that I want to create value, and that I already received benefits in participating in FreelanceCamp Vancouver 2010. I am sharing my knowledge because others in the community (session leaders and attendees, and organizers and sponsors) already contributed. As I mentioned in my workshop, I don't NOT work for free. I don't work for lack of value. If I see value in providing *some* free service, I might probably do it. 


I also shared some of the tips that were shared with me at BarCamp 2009 and over in the comments section of my "Freelance Is Not Free" post. Hope these notes are useful. 



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at 8:22 am on Nov 2, 2016

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at 10:01 pm on Nov 2, 2016

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at 9:16 am on Nov 13, 2016

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at 8:19 pm on Nov 13, 2016

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at 8:41 pm on Nov 14, 2016

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