When you exist in the entrepreneur world, there are often a lot of services you may need to purchase: social media management, search engine optimization, branding photos, business coach, marketing assistance, accountants, financial planners, virtual assistants, etc. And I can almost guarantee that if you offer one of these many services, you will be asked to barter. Social media for coaching? Photographs for accounting?
So the question arises: Should I barter my services? And if so, when?
Personally, I take a very minimalistic approach to bartering. I’ll do it very rarely, and am very cautious about it before getting involved.
This stems from a few things: I truly value my services for what they are, and I’m unwilling to discount or offer free sessions. Partly because I know that if my client isn’t paying the full price for my services, they won’t take it as seriously as if they’re handing over their hard-earned cash. They’ll skip homework, show up late to meetings, and simply won’t pour their all into it. I want my clients to get the very best I can offer, and this means includes having them to get on my level of taking them seriously.
I also happen to be a former marketing, writer, and social media manager, so unless it’s something I truly don’t feel qualified to handle or hate tackling on my own, it doesn’t make sense for me to barter my services. I don’t need the social media help, I already have upped my search engine optimization game, and I couldn’t imagine passing writing my blogs off to anyone else.
But I get it: Not everyone has the same background or career that I do. So let’s dig into whether or not you should barter your services.
Every time an opportunity comes up, an offer is made, or the idea pops into your head, run through this list of questions to help you decide if bartering is the right choice for you:
1) Is this a service I would purchase at full price today?
2) Does it add value to my life right now?
3) Does it fit where I (or my business) am right now?
4) Would it make my life significantly happier, or easier?
5) Am I 100% positive I would not feel resentful or put off by providing my service free of charge in exchange for their service?
6) Will their experience with my service be at the same level as if they were paying for it full price?
7) Is their service something I could not do myself or for less work than if we bartered?
8) Do I completely trust that the other party will provide me with the same quality of service that I provide?
What you’re looking for here is to answer “yes” across the board. If even one question raises a “no” from you, it’s time to move on. The goal is to be truly intentional and mindful in what you’re doing with your time, and unnecessary or unhelpful bartering partnerships doesn’t move you toward this goal. In the end, you’ll know if it’s the right choice for you or not. It’s up to you to act accordingly.
Have you ever had issues with bartering services, or do you love it? Share in the comments below, or join the party on my Instagram and share there: https://www.instagram.com/katrina.widener/
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