There’ll come a time in your business when your friends and family will recognize your skill and want to work with you. When they desire to work with you it’s normally under two conditions:

  • (1) they want the friends and family discount
  • (2) they want you to do the work for free. If you establish guidelines for friends and family, it will be much easier to make the decision on whether or not you will choose to work with them.

Full price or free

I listen to the seanwes podcast on a weekly basis by Sean McCabe and Ben Toalson. I like their perspective on business and their beliefs align with my own in that is if you are going to work with a client who is a friend or family member it needs to be full price or free. In other words, charge your full normal rate or do the work for free for your friend or family member but make sure they understand the value of what you’re giving them.

What I mean by this is if you do work for free don’t simply do the work. At the beginning of the project give them an invoice for the full amount in the show that you’re crediting them for the full amount, so the invoice in total is zero. Though you’re giving them an invoice which doesn’t require payment your friend/family member can look at the invoice and understand the worth of your services.

Don’t leave empty-handed, you know if you go to work with a friend or family member at the least make a case study out of the project and get testimonials from them which speak to your level of professionalism. So if you do choose to work for free, you’re still getting something out of the transaction.

Are you interested?

I value friendships very heavily which is why in the past I felt somewhat obligated to accommodate my friends’ requests when they asked me to do business. In the past, I agreed to projects I wasn’t interested in because I didn’t want to place a strain on our friendship. During the project found it difficult to motivate myself to complete the project because not only was my friend lackadaisical with payment and providing the content I needed to build their website.

If you take a project you don’t have much interest in normally the incentive of payment can motivate you, but when working with a friend who is slow on payment, it’s difficult to find the motivation to continue. When this occurs the reverse happens, you’re bothered by the delay in payment, but you “give them a pass” because they are your friend.

If you commit to a project make sure you at least a bit interested so that you can follow it through to completion.

Say no and recommend another option

There are times in which working with her friend and family member honestly may not be worth the risk. You have the freedom to decline the project. However if you’re concerned that the Klein the project may put a damper on your relationship then decline in a recommend they use another professional who can produce a similar level of quality as you can. At the least your friend or family member will appreciate your professional recommendation.

Set Criteria / Guidelines

I can almost guarantee at some point in your business this is going to happen. A friend or family member is going to ask to work with you. In their mind, they think that they’re offering you support as a friend by choosing you. Rather than wrestling with the difficulty of making this decision anticipate a friend or family member is going to ask you and set clear criteria and guidelines that they must meet before you even say yes. If you take this approach than the burden of making the decision is no longer on you, but it is now dependent upon if your friend or family member is willing to submit to the guidelines and criteria that you set.

Here is a statement you can give to your friends and family:
Thank you for choosing to work with me when it comes to friends and family members I believe in giving them the best effort in treating them as a valued client and show them the most professionalism. Therefore I have some guidelines of my process and what it looks like to work with me and are you willing to work under these guidelines.

If they can agree to those, then you’re all good to go.