- “We’d love to have you as part of our event, but we don’t have a budget.”
- “You’ll be in the newspaper and our flier. It will be great exposure!”
- “Submit your work to our contest, we’ll feature the best entry at our upcoming event.”
- “We can’t pay you, but it’s for a great cause!”
Whatever reason they give, the bottom line is the same: they want you to work for free.
They expect you to be excited to see your name in print or on a marquee.
They imagine that you’d love donating your time, effort, and years of training in exchange for a shot at the honor that comes from winning their contest.
Worst case scenario, they want you to market their event in the weeks prior, reserve a big part of your day, drive, park, lug your stuff, pack, unpack, pack and unpack again, and donate the work you’ve poured your heart and soul into for a good part of your life – all for a vague promise of “exposure.”
You might even think it’ll be worth it. Maybe you love the cause. Maybe you think it will increase your standing and visibility in the community.
Besides, there’s always that miniscule chance that some amazing and fantastic opportunity will come out of a random introduction. You can’t really afford to stay home, can you?
Or can you?