ASK US WEDNESDAY: “Should I offer value-in-kind deals?”

by RL Team
09 May 2018

I’ve got a random question. My fab hairdresser is always talking to me about her social media and how she doesn’t have time to dedicate to it. I do social for clients, so sometimes I will give her tips on scheduling posts or mention a platform I use. But it occurred to me (as I’m at the hairdresser regularly!) that maybe I should offer to do her social in exchange for a cut’n’colour. Would I be mad to suggest this? I think it’d work for both of us but I’m not sure if it’s the done thing. Anon

If your hairdresser’s good at her job, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider striking a value-in-kind arrangement. And when things are slow, it may be the perfect time to see if it’s an offer that works for both of you.

I’ve done this myself, when my local IT guy need a new LinkedIn profile headshot. I did his portrait shoot, and in exchange he tinkered to bring my old 13-inch laptop back to life.

This arrangement was also super handy this past week when the kids threw a ball through the dining room window. I reached out to a woman I knew who’d asked me to quote on shooting marketing material for her business. Would she be be willing to trade a few hours of her uber-handyman husband’s time fixing the window? In exchange, I offered do do the shoot she couldn’t afford – and voila! everybody was happy.

But before you suggest value-in-kind deals, though, you need to consider a few house rules. First, check the ATO‘s standards about service and product bartering.  Secondly, ask yourself if it’s an equitable division of labour that both parties can live with. Thirdly, just as with paid work, get an agreement in writing so that there can be no misunderstanding. This should outline what you’re both offering, to what standard and within what schedule.

And in your hairdresser’s case, you’ll need to know what the going rate is for the social media package you are offering. That way you’ll have a tangible figure to divide by the price of each haircut to know how many you need to agree to in order to make it worthwhile.

Do you ever do VIK deals – trading your creative services for another service or good you need?

RL Team

RL Team

Rachel, Leo and Claire are the gang behind the jobs board and blog, bringing you posts on everything from being a better writer to running a better freelance business.
RL Team

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