(That is truly the question!)
I’m not talking about stock market trading. I’m referring to when you supply an estimate or proposal to a potential client and they say “Can we do some kind of trade or partial trade?” If you haven’t heard this request yet, you certainly will at some point in your creative career.
What I have found over time is usually the trade is not for me. When it’s not for me, I’ve learned to say no with tact and I have my one-liners prepared and close at hand.
On the other hand, the trade may be beneficial. If so, I might say, “Let me review that option with my business partner and I’ll get back to you.” This allows me time to review the entire scope, write the pros and cons and of course review with my business partner.
Sometimes a partial trade or barter can be a good fit. Great case in point: we needed our landscaper to grade our yard, put in irrigation and sod. His price tag was hefty, but he needs a website – ah-ha! Partial payment and part trade work well for both of us. Now we’ll need to draft the agreements and get everything in writing.
The most important details, if you do decide a trade is beneficial for you, is to make sure you can fit it into your schedule, can afford it and get everything in writing. A trade obviously means your income will be in the trade, not dollars, so can you afford it? Can you afford to turn away a paying client while you work on the “trade” project? If you can and the trade looks good, make sure you have everything detailed in an agreement or contract so you are both on the same page as to expectations and scope of all the work to be completed under the trade.
I read a good blog recently by Pam Saxon from a few years ago on The Marketing Mix Blog about trading services. Check it out if you are faced with a trade opportunity and are unsure of what to do. Pam offers tips and examples which are helpful.
I’d love to share your trade secrets, I mean, hear your “trade” stories, so chime in and share your point of view.