Friday, January 29, 2010

...the milk for free.

At Beauty School there are a few themes the faculty try to drum into our heads. Principles of cosmetology that are so important to our future careers that if one doesn't practice them religiously they will fail. Things like sanitation, through client consultation, and most important off all DO NOT WORK FOR FREE. An exception can be made for immediate family as long as you live in the same house. Or for a close friend and/or family member who does things for you that would otherwise cost money (like making your kid elaborate Halloween costumes or watching your dog) Again and again we are told of the dangers of doing hair for free. "If you do it for free, they'll expect it forever, there is no going back. When you get a job they will not come to you as a client....If you compromise on money, you compromise yourself. You'll die in poverty." We're told that the friends and acquaintances who let us "practice" on them now should at least cover the cost of product. And even then, we really should charge them AT LEAST SOMETHING beyond our cost of materials.

Why don't advertising agencies do this? If this message had been drilled into us advertising professionals throughout our careers (and from the very beginning), how different the business would be today. If getting paid a fair wage for our work was the widely accepted way of doing business, marketers might be embarrassed to ask for reduced fees, or no fees. There'd be no "tuck ins" We wouldn't even think to offer reduced commission rates; it would humiliate us in front of our peers. It would peg us as an inferior shop. Unfortunately, like I'm being told a couple of times a week THERE IS NO GOING BACK.

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