I can think of lots of things I would rather do than work on spec

I got a call for a potential client the other day. It was an agency that wanted to know if I would like to work with them to bring in clients. I would look at Websites, and tell them what I think they should change on them, how they should be redesigned, and then they would present this to their potential clients. Oh, it would only take about an hour of my time, and just think of all the work it would bring in.

I was a little taken back. "I see, so you asking me to work on spec?" I said.

"Well, it would bring you work. You would get them to use our services, and we would use you."

"And how would I be compensated?" I asked. ‘You get a salary to work on these spec creatives that you aren’t charging your client. How would you compensate me?"

She said she would get back to me, and never did.

I related this story to a colleague and said, "Well, if I wasn’t busy…maybe…" but she cut me off. "Spec creative? Work for free? There are lots of things I would rather do than work on spec. Even around my house, cleaning my office."

And she is right. There is enough work out there that clients will pay me for, that it doesn’t make sense to work for free.  I don’t mind giving advice to my own clients, that is different. It is the value added I offer, but somehow, giving advice to non-clients, that I may never get, that aren’t even mine, for free?

Yes, I guess there is lots more I could be doing, such as all the work that pays the bills.


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