When you’re just getting your business started, you still need to gain experience and confidence. Styling friends, family, and acquaintances for free or at a discounted rate is a great way to perfect your craft and become a better stylist. But even after you’re business is up and running and you’re booking clients at a steady rate, friends and family will ask to work with you for free or a discount
We get it.
Asking for money from friends and family can feel incredibly uncomfortable. But working for free, or at a substantial discount, can consume valuable time that you could be spending with paying clients. Read on to learn three ways to handle this delicate station so it’s a win-win for everyone.
Set Aside Specific Time
Once a quarter, set aside time to work on helping friends and family for free or at a discounted rate. Schedule these appointments during the stretches that you know will be slower so you’re not booking free appointments during times that are in high demand for your paying clients.
In certain circumstances it might make sense to suggest that if a friend or family member wants to work with you at a reduced rate or for free, that you do a trade for services they can provide that are of equal value. Examples of trades that might be mutually beneficial are a session with a photographer to update your website photos, having a graphic designer help you update your newsletter or logo, a session with a hair stylist or makeup artist, or someone who can provide childcare during times that are challenging to find a sitter.
Explain How They Can Hire You Gracefully
Whether the two options above resonate with you or not, it’s always a good idea to get comfortable letting people know how much your services cost or telling people how they can hire you without breaking out into a sweat. Once you’re business is up and running, tell your friends and family that you’d be happy to help them out but you’re no longer able to do styling consultations for free or at a discount. It won’t be easy at first time but it will get easier with time.
A great resource, complete with a script you can use and adapt as needed, to have these conversations with friends and family can be found here.