The conclusion of course is whatever it is worth to you. I was faced with an opportunity the other day and it was perfect for me in that there were several creative elements for me to work on.
If any of this readership have followed me over the years then you know that I work best when I have a variety set in front of me. It cannot just be about picking the location of the tradeshow booth. It must be about picking the booth location, designing the booth and the print materials to go with it. It must include curricula development for the training seminar to educate booth staff on how to approach and pitch the show attendees.
When this current opportunity came up I literally jumped at the chance to build models and maquettes, script and design vignettes, while constructing the marketing strategies to grow the audience. This would have been heaven. But again, if you have any feel for the tenor of my MO you will also know that I can’t abide somebody who wants something for nothing, particularly when they know full well the value of the something. What my dad used to call a “get-over”.
An expert to come and dress his front window for the holidays, in a rush. This job needs to be completed quickly; he wrote “This will be an excellent opportunity for a student as I cannot pay but it will be good exposure as the window faces a busy street and I will give you credit.” The offer of “credit” was not credit for store purchase just “credit” for a job well done. Here is a guy that appreciates the value of this job. He knows that it is something beyond his ability, or else he would not have advertised for a specialist to come in and do it. He knows that he needs it now, in a hurry so it must be important to him. And yet he can not ascribe a dollar amount for it. Gimme 20 bucks and a store credit. Something, anything.
This most recent opportunity was funny because I was walking around this place and I see a number of signs: “Looking for Volunteers from the Hobbyist Community.” As if they were some kind of charitable organization, which they are not.
For the marketing position he was willing to offer “ very very low minimum per hour
plus 15-18% commission.”
Now the problem with paying for marketing on a commission structure is that it is not like sales where I sell some widgets and you give me points on the profit. There would be a lot of details to iron out. Would he be paying based on the change in headcount year over year, or would he be paying based on changes in some other performance indicator? Would he be paying only on the groups that were personally brought in by the marketing pro. It is possible he might just pay for those who came in and mentioned a specific ad. Then the designer is at the mercy of the ad spend. Is there really a way to work this out?
Of course there is but it certainly requires agreement and
understanding of all parties. It can’t just be a matter of he will pay you a
minimum wage and maybe throw you a couple of bucks when he has decided business
is good enough.
When it comes right down to it if a business owner knows that there is a need for marketing to grow his business then the question he must ask himself is I am really willing to do what is necessary to see my business thrive?