“Come on, it’ll help your portfolio”. Beware the freebie-hunter

I work with a lot of freelance creatives; from web designers to fellow copywriter and Journalists, graphic artworkers, 3D specialists. The great thing about Liverpool’s creative community is that there is a lot of get up and go. There’s a sharing of information and ideas, of contacts and specialism. There’s also a great deal of shared rants. You treat a creative badly and chances are the rest of us will know about it before you can say “wordpress blog”. We don’t really have water-cooler moments so when we need advice about something we tend to pick eachother’s experienced brains and get a steer. Call it our union mentality.

So last week I post an angry tweet. I paraphrase but essentially it read it promised a degree of violence to the next person who asks me to do some work for free for them. “Come on, it’ll look great on your CV”. Who do these people think we are, that we rolled out of bed at university and decided, for fun, to setup on our own? My CV looks pretty sparkly as it is, ta. I write a lot. I have to. If I don’t write, well then the bills don’t get paid and the cats, along with the husband, will be homeless or at very least an awful lot thinner. I write because I love it. I love to craft ideas into words, to try to make you picture exactly what I’m picturing, just with a few short lines. Lovely clients, who recognise the importance of the written word and want someone articulate, effective and passionate to work for them on an ad hoc basis are not few and far between, thank the heavens. But there is an increasing number who want you to write several hundred words, you know, to prove you can do the job. Really, my portfolio not enough? The fact that I make a living out of this not enough to convince you to, oh I don’t know, actually pay me for the work I’m doing?

Share your horror stories. If you want to name and shame, go right ahead.




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