Offering Free Help Versus Paid Help

Offering Free Help Versus Paid Help

Today was kind of interesting as I was invited to attend an event where there were a lot of kids that were partaking in some kind of a storytelling contest. When I arrived, I personally knew some of the people who were the judges. Since I was there, they asked if I could help out by taking some photos of the event as it went on. Sure enough, I agreed as I enjoy helping out when I can.

At the end of it, I was thanked and was told that the president of the event may even give me a formal thank you letter. I was kind of surprised honestly as to me this was just one of those things where you are more than happy to do it. I think the initial thought for them was that I would think this is like say some kind of grunt work where I would expect to be paid. That wasn’t even on my mind though.

It then made me think how I met these people initially as in a similar fashion they asked for help and I agreed to do it. Instead of approaching it in a business way such as saying if they want my consultation they would have to pay me for example, I kind of went with the helpful approach since they didn’t seem like they were demanding but were genuinely looking for help.

The main times I wouldn’t do this is if people expect or demand you to do things for them. I usually like to help others though within reason. I know many would say that business wise that is nuts as you have to charge people all the time or go bankrupt. But sometimes you have to learn that it’s about relationship building too by helping people solve problems. In many ways, this can be a less expensive and more effective way in finding the right people to work with in the long run I think.

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