business series | how to really do a trade
September 21, 2017
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This is the second post in a new business series I’ve started. I’m happy and excited to be sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way of running The Jadeite Shutter. 


 

If you’ve been in the creative industry for a while, even just a few months, most likely you’ve been approached about doing a “trade.” A trade is pretty self-explanatory: services for services or goods for services instead of cash/currency for services.

I probably over think these things, but there are studies that professionals have done that confirm that we truly don’t value what we don’t pay for or what we don’t earn. Welp!

I have learned to love trades, and I do believe they have a time and place in my industry and business. Over the years, I’ve had good experiences and poor ones, and here’s what I’ve learned marks a healthy trade:

  1. Has clear cut boundaries and expectations. All clients I work with sign a simple contract. When I do trades, I am sure to explain the trade in depth and still denote what the actual cash value of the trade is worth. I believe it’s crucial for people to understand the value of what is being exchanged.
  2. Feels right. I know that’s arbitrary, but I know that the Holy Spirit is guiding me in all aspects of my life including my business. Simply put, if it doesn’t feel like I will usually be kicking myself later for agreeing to it.
  3. Is Just. If someone who is farther down in their career than I, or is earning a significantly higher income than I am, it’s simply not appropriate to do a trade. Sadly, people like to take and take and will until you set boundaries. Boundaries are our friends!
  4. Has clear benefits for both parties. Usually for trades I set an expectation that the receiver will take time to promote The Jadeite Shutter on social media.
  5. Once, not often. This goes without saying, but I wouldn’t continue to do a trade repeatedly for someone. Trades are unique and should be treated as such.

Some examples of trades that I’ve done that have been beneficial to me are: business consulting work, graphic design logos, portraits of myself, and professional painting of my studio.

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