freelance adjective free·lance
: earning money by being hired to work on different jobs for short periods of time rather than by having a permanent job with one employer; also : done or produced by a freelance worker
freelance noun free·lance \ˈfrē-ˌlan(t)s\
1a usually free lance : a mercenary soldier especially of the Middle Ages :
b : a person who acts independently without being affiliated with or authorized by an organization
2: a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer
I share these definition to make a point. That point is that allot of people and businesses seem to think oh we can hire a freelancer and it will be CHEAP or FREE. But that simply isn't true. Nowhere in the webster's definition of Freelance does it say anything about working for FREE!
It is odd to me that a business whether it’s a multi million dollar venture or yesterday's startup for some reason think that “freelance” services should be free. I am guessing they are not giving away their goods and services for free no matter what those goods and services are.
With that said it does seem that a certain group of “freelancers” seem to take it on the chin more than others. I am thinking about the small one, two , or three person small design firms and small photography and video businesses that for some odd reason are often approached to provide free services or service at a greatly reduced rate. Often the approach is one that says this will be great exposure for you and to be honest it rarely is. I have come to find in my years as a freelancer that the ones that take the big hit are those of us that work from small home offices or the like.
Now I will be the first to point out that appearance has allot to do with value maybe as much as tradional overhead does at times. But the thing is even if we create a bigger/better appearance like Incorporating and maybe being part of a business incubator where we have professional offices and access to board rooms etc to look larger or more high end and hey we have a great professional online presence and look our best as we should regardless of our size and office location. But for some reason when people see we are a small business or “freelance” they seem to feel free to ask for a deal or to get it FREE. I will be the first in line to tell you this is not right and should not be the case. As a small business owner I never expect a deal or anything for free. The reason I am this way is not only because I am a small business owner or “freelancer” but because I understand and know that no matter the size of the business there are cost to doing business and that everyone deserves to make a living wage for the lifestyle they want for them and their family.
The real fact of the matter is a freelancer in my view is nothing more than someone that either works solely for themselves instead of a bigger company or corporation or they have started their own small business to employee themselves and others. Fact is no matter if a freelance artist is working solo or as a team they have created the value of the product or service should be decided on the final quality and the quality of the service you receive. So no matter if the work is coming from a freelance artist or from a multi million dollar company if the finished quality is the equal or comparable then there is no reason that the cost for these goods or services should not be of equal price. I know for fact no one is asking a Corporation for a discount or for free work!
Now for the reality of it. Very often Smaller businesses and freelance artist can provide better one on one customer service and superior finished products and can have far more value and be worth more in the long run.