In a pickle over giving too much away

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In a pickle over giving too much away

Postby Susanne on Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:07 pm

I hope I'm not alone in this, but as a newbie, I'm sure I don't value my skills enough. I figure if I can do it, anybody can, so it must not be worth too much, right? I'm pretty good at putting up static html websites, using Photoshop, adding Wordpress to a domain, customizing it, writing articles and doing SEO. All that marketing and technical stuff. It comes fairly easily to me, not because I'm so great and intelligent, it's just what I've been gifted to do, I guess.

I believe our gifts are not meant only for ourselves, but to help others. So, I agreed to create a graphic image for an man I don't even know, just to help him get his first website done. Right after that his web guy quit so I agreed to finish up the site by adding the video, the email capture box and a shopping cart link. Well, fast forward a month: he's asking me to put up another site, write articles, do the SEO and marketing and so forth. He's not really asking, he's just assuming, telling me what he needs done next. I've put in a lot of time, so much so my own site is untouched. It's my own fault and was my own choice, I know. But, it's got to stop. I've given him, in my estimation, at least $500 to $1000 worth of work. He's a business man, runs other offline businesses so he knows the need to pay for the services he receives, but I'm not sure he grasps the retail value of what I'm doing for him.

What should I do? I'm not making any money with my own site and I don't have time enough to build up his site and my own. So all my effort is building his business, for free. How can I extricate myself from this? I'm not sure how I can approach the whole topic of charging him now that I've done a bunch of work for free.
I sure could use some words of wisdom and encouragement from seasoned veterans.

Thanks so much, this forum is such a blessing,
Susanne
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Re: In a pickle over giving too much away

Postby Mel on Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:05 pm

I would be up front about it and tell him something like...
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While I was happy to help you finish the first site since you were in a bind, I normally would charge for this type of work. I'd be happy to help you with your other projects, but would have to be compensated for my time since it's taking away from my personal projects. My rate for such services is ___ and I would estimate that it will take ___ amount of time to complete these projects. Please let me know you would like for me to continue.
--------------
.... that is assuming you want to do the work even for pay.

If not, just tell him that you simply don't have time but that he is welcome to come post his needs in our "Outsourcing" section & any VA's here would be happy to contact him with a proposal. Or there are several VA's here that you could give him links to their sites. Off the top of my head, there is Kit, Loretta and myself but I'm sure there are others - just check people's signatures.
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Re: In a pickle over giving too much away

Postby dadeon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:13 am

Sounds like someone is taking advantage of your kindness. I've been there and done that. You will need to "harden up" and I am sorry to say that to you, but you simply have to.

Maybe you can "exchange" your work for some of his experience? That way your not asking him for money and (if he is?) successful business people are usually very keen on sharing their wisdom. It strokes the ego :wink:
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Re: In a pickle over giving too much away

Postby KatrinaManning on Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:28 pm

I would just say, look, I am happy to help you, but I also have my own site to take care of. I would be willing to offer my services moving forward for a fee. If he balks, well, did you still want to work for free anyhow? People will try to get out of you whatever they can get. If he feels you will give him free service, he will try to ask for it. All you can do is prove that you won't offer free services any longer. I'm sure it's a difficult situation otherwise you wouldn't have posted. Hope that helps.

Katrina
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Re: In a pickle over giving too much away

Postby jos635 on Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:46 pm

Everyone here is being too kind. You are being taken advantage of period. Stop working on his site and finish yours. Just explain that you need to focus on your site in order to start your company and earn an income. If he wants something done he can pay you up front X amount per hr. He already knbows your work ethic, but really this is ridiculous.
Ty Joslyn
*not allowed*
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Re: In a pickle over giving too much away

Postby Susanne on Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:39 pm

I thought I would share this update with you: I told my freebie client that I had another big project coming up (which I did) and would not be able to do too much more for him. I did not want to leave him hanging so I asked "what is the most important thing you need done that I can finish up for you in the next week?" I did what he needed and he stopped sending me more work. Now he does call occasionally but only to ask me to explain how to do something he is doing himself. And, get this, I got a check in the mail from him today! We still have a good relationship and who knows what that might lead to in future business? I've learned that I absolutely must stand up for myself and the value of my skills, but also to do it with tact and grace.
Thanks for all of your input. I don't think I would have had the courage to say "no" if it hadn't been for the support I found here.
Sue
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Re: In a pickle over giving too much away

Postby Kit on Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:06 pm

aaaaaaw Sue! I'm so glad things worked out well and you didn't even have to burn any bridges in the process. Tact and honesty are your friend. lol ;)
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Re: In a pickle over giving too much away

Postby Mel on Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:44 pm

Congrats Sue! I'm glad he saw the value of your time and sent a check. Hopefully you two can work together again in the future.
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Re: In a pickle over giving too much away

Postby JeanLA on Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:50 am

You should make a small charge on the service that you do to him. There are lots of freelance project where you can do things like those for hundreds of dollars.
Article writers wanted. Home based. Reliable payment every Friday.
Lots of work.
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