The Entrepreneurial Mothership has landed and released hordes of world changers among the masses. Armed with hyper-motivational messages for the fearless, the dreamers, the risk-takers to break the chains of day jobs to live a life of purpose and profit. A lifestyle by this design is untraditional by societal norms, unpopular by most, yet offers the most personal satisfaction by the small percentage of those who choose this lifestyle.
For newbies in the entrepreneurial space, getting one’s foot in coveted doors owned by well-known influencers across social media platforms can be challenging. Securing paid gigs can be the unicorn to ‘treps trying to catch that first break.
Enter the ‘free exposure’ payment offer.
New ‘treps face this conflict Daily — is free exposure better than nothing?
The right answer is, yes, exposure is beneficial to your brand. However, there is no such thing as free exposure resulting in scalable results for your business. True free exposure is a mutually beneficial agreement designed to contribute to an intended desired outcome of both parties. There is an art to negotiating an exchange of expertise for exposure that delivers valuable free compensation:
Be clear on the what comes with the free exposure offer. What’s in it for you besides sharing your message? Don’t be shy to ask for clarity before accepting the offer.
Use strategic exposure to get the most out of a non-cash paying job. Your expertise is valuable. What you do, the service you provide, the message you deliver deserves proper compensation. The offer should allow one (if not all) of the following stipulations as payment to free exposure:
- In exchange for providing free service, ask that links to your website be included in all live event email blasts and social media marketing posts.
- If you’re an author and your service is directly related to a recent book launch, it is beneficial to make copies of your book available—ask.
- Business card exchange or collecting email addresses at the event is a critical perk to cultivate relationships and grow your email. Again, there is power in the ask. Be specific about how you plan to utilize this information.
- Get it in writing! The day of the honorable handshake is over.
Relationships with influencers are golden tickets to credibility. Be very intentional when attaching your brand to certain platforms. If the free exposure offer is coming from a business that doesn’t align with your brand, has a questionable reputation, etc., as good as the offer sounds, it is best to decline.
Free Exposure equals Moral Contribution. Non-profit organizations often reach out to up and coming ‘treps to make free appearances at charitable events. Giving back to society plays a huge role in entrepreneurship and most ‘treps participate in this capacity without hesitation.
Happiness with self is a thing. If an opportunity that pays with free exposure brings butterflies of excitement to your belly perhaps accepting the offer is in order.
At the end of the day, recognize the value of your time and expertise. Compensation by free exposure is advantageous when properly finessed. Do your homework. Customize your compensation agreement to ultimately lead to paid benefits for your business.