As I’ve said before, I have done this more than once and lost tons of time, energy and cash.
With that said, as with every rule there are a few exceptions:
1. If you are just starting out and want experience and exposure. This is acceptable as long as you can cover all of your costs. Consider this an investment in your future.
2. If you are doing this for a benefit that is dear to you. This is great, but please make sure that, once again, you can cover all of your costs. You are giving your time, energy and talent.
3. If you belong to a church or religious affiliation and you’re doing this event for them. Think of it as collecting heavenly points.
4. If a friend or relative is having an event. However, yes they should cover all your costs and expenses, including your time.
5. If you are promoting your name or your company, and you are asked to do a social event at cost. Make sure your name is included if there are any articles or newspapers talking about the event. (You need to be aggressive about this. It’s easy for you to be forgotten.)
6. I have been very fortunate that all of my celebrities clients pay. However, if you have the opportunity to do a celebrity wedding or event, this could be a fantastic way to get your name out there. Once again, be careful that your name is not ignored in the press.
7. If your client has a low budget, but is realistic with her expectations. Bravo. In my experience, this rarely happens.
These are my seven exceptions to forcing a low budget with high expectations. If a scenario does not fit into one of the above let it go. And just a reminder, never buy into this one: “If you do it cheaper you’ll get all of my friends.”
Most of our dear clients brag about getting a good deal and their friends will probably expect the same.
Maybe you are one of the lucky few who has gotten great clients after giving a deal? What do you consider to be a good deal? I think this question help us understand our clients a bit better.