Ask To Quantify 'Exposure' When Working For Free

Ask to Quantify

Not everyone agrees about working for free. But if you're new to an industry, it might help get your foot in the door. Employers know this, so sometimes they will offer exposure in exchange for an unpaid job. If you go this route, at least ask them to quantify what that means.

Picture: sean dreilinger/Flickr

Companies might try to spin this arrangement in a variety of ways. They might outrightly use the word "exposure", or they might call it a "lucrative, non-paying" position. Refinery 29 explains that in these "work for exposure" arrangements, it's important to be clear about what you can expect to get out of it. Exposure is, essentially, advertising, and advertising is quantifiable. Your exposure could be measured in clicks, page views or retweets, for example.

Refinery gives an example of how you can address it:

Thanks for the offer. I might be interested in an in-kind trade of services for exposure. Here is one way that could work:

I see that you have about 6,500 Twitter followers. I estimate that a project like the one you're proposing would take about four weeks. During that time, I'd like two tweets per week linking to @mybusiness and to be tweeted during peak hours of 8-10 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. Done right, this would also help build excitement for the project from your followers.

If you don't have a business, you might just ask to tweet your online portfolio. Or you might not ask for a tweet at all. You might ask for a link back to your website. Either way, if you're going to work for free for exposure, you should probably know exactly what that involves.

Refinery 29 has more tips on this topic too. Be sure to check out the post at the link below.

Is It Ever a Good Idea To Work For Free? [Refinery 29]


    I have 100 Facebook friends and I will be sure to tell them all about you, once you complete my 5 week long website project. Believe me, you will be climbing the corporate ladder TWENTY RUNGS AT A TIME, MY FRIEND

    The only thing working for exposure gets you is a reputation that you will work for exposure.

    This incredible Twitter feed collects quotes from people who want others to work for free/exposure. It will amaze you:

    In my experience, exposure is worth exactly what they've paid for it. Totally squat. Too many companies are doing work for 'exposure' then not following it up with anything. Your work has value, stop doing it for free unless it has value to YOU (not the company asking you to).

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