|Visibility: The New Currency.|
Not even little money, but sheer visibility.
Yes my friend, as you are reading it: Visibility is been offered as a payment form. I write and publish those posts on my blog promoting company's products and services, and in return my blog’s posts will be made visible through their digital profiles, obviously with the added value of having thousands of fans and followers. I even have been offered to be interviewed in exchange of my post, and the rest of the story might be familiar to all of us.
And if it’s not familiar to you, please be aware of it.
For me it's flattering that this little corner on the cyberspace, which began almost three years ago (isn’t it great? next month it’ll be three years old) and has served me as a personal space to share my thoughts, opinions and ways of seeing things with so many interesting people like yourself, and with business owners who have found what I write useful and somehow enlightening for managing their business, has reached such a good visibility.
And I’m also happy to see that such visibility has generated enough interest out there for companies to decide and get in contact with me to review their business proposals. It’s very flattering.
But what is truly a pity is that what is being offered in exchange on such proposals is simply visibility. Not even a small amount of money but sheer visibility.
You cannot use visibility to pay for your bills.
I would like you to read this extract from an article published in latinmusicwire.com some time ago:
Just the other day I was told by someone who owned a wine bar that they really liked our music and would love for us to play at their place. She then told me the gig paid $75 for a trio. Now $75 used to be bad money per person, let alone $75 for the whole band. It had to be a joke, right? No she was serious.
But it didn’t end there. She then informed us we had to bring 25 people minimum. Didn’t even offer us extra money if we brought 25 people. I would have laughed other than it’s not the first time I’ve gotten this proposal from club owners.
But are there musicians really doing this? Yes. They are so desperate to play, they will do anything.
But lets think about this for a second and turn this around a little bit.What if I told the wine bar owner that I have a great band and we are going to play at my house. I need someone to provide and pour wine while we play. I can’t pay much, just $75 and you must bring at least 25 people who are willing to pay a $10 cover charge at the door.
Now wouldn’t they look at you like you are crazy?
And I would be considered totally nuts if, when I go to Mercadona to do my groceries shopping and at the cashier I’m told that I have to pay 150 euros, I simply reply, "Hey, I'll pay you guys writing a post on my blog about how good is all the people here at Mercadona", or maybe something like "Hey, I have no money to pay you, but I will bring three friends of mine who are going to buy a lot."
What do you think would happen? What would you do if a customer bought your most expensive product and, when you asked for payment you were told: "I have no money to pay you, but instead I'm going to invite all my friends to come by your store and buy"? What would your response be?
Let’s name each thing the way it was meant to be named and put everything back on its holy place.
First of all time and knowledge do have a value, and if you want to make us of someone else’s time and knowledge, you’ve to pay for it, and you have to pay it on your local currency, whatever that is.
If you want a musician to play at your party, you’ve to pay for it. If you want a gardener to fix your house’s patio, you’ve to pay for it. And so on, so forth, and for everything.
If you truly want to take advantage of something you find valuable, you have to pay it’s price.
I do know there is a lot of highly valuable professionals working for free out there in exchange for gaining some experience within their industry, which is completely justifiable, and some others are doing it to gain some professional exposure hoping this will allow them to bring in more customers.
From my personal point of view, this “working-for-free-to-gain-exposure” situation is not good neither for your business nor for the person who accepts the offer. Why?
First of all, it clearly conveys the message that your company doesn’t have money to pay for the services it requires. And that’s not good. For the person who accepts working under these conditions, how will that person will be able to increase its value if it started out working for free?
It is my own personal reflection which I wanted to share with you. What do you think about the “being paid with visibility” thing?
Photo Credits: angelp / 123RF Stock Photo
You would like to read this post
Why LA club owners are totally lost and some advice for them from a professional musician written by Dave Goldberg
And other related articles on this blog
"The Hammerblow is Free": The Real Value of Knowledge
Working for Free: When? why? and for how long?