A couple of weeks back I had a meeting with a potential client on Skype. Well, it wasn’t just a meeting, it was a Nordic PR proposal that we’ve used a lot of time to put together, me and a Swedish + a Norwegian agency. Henriette Weber Inc. was leading agency, and I and the awesome Elizabeth Rankich had used around 20 hours crafting this and we were totally ready to land this project. However, halfway through the meeting they started questioning our credentials and our media relationships in Scandinavia. They wanted us to come up with some “examples” of people we knew and who they could contact.
Instantly all the agency side participants felt like they were asked to give away their gold for free. And none of us agency side participants would. The conversation turned awkward, especially since this was a big project. Afterwards, we haven’t heard from them. So what are we going to do next time?
We’re probably going to have the same approach as always, refusing to give away our intellectual property for free. It’s hard though and it’s a fine line between helping people out a bit for nothing and having them leeching on our network. It’s a hard knock life out there, especially in the business world and you could end up working for free for weeks every month. Remember, your intellectual property is your intellectual property, and if you have a notion going on inside your head that what people want from you for free, isn’t cool, then it probably isn’t.