The Friend Discount



Hello, my dear readers!

Today I want to talk about the friends and family discount and how not to mix one’s personal and professional lives in this way. SPOILER ALERT: the FFD is a bad idea!

While my friends and family have not asked me to work for them in a writing capacity (at least not in a major, formal way), I know there are plenty of designers, writers and other freelancers who occasionally face such an issue.

The day may come – if it hasn’t already – when a close friend or family member may approach you about working for them. Provided you have a good relationship with the client-to-be, you might be tempted or asked to give a discount. You’re a nice guy, after all.

Working for friends and family as a freelancer has its benefits, certainly. On one hand, you have a biased “in” on a whole new network of prospective clients. Who knows? Maybe your cousin knows a CEO of a company that has a reputation for being good to its freelancers. Maybe your old friend from elementary school has a whole list of clients they’ll save for you provided you do a good job.

So who knows? Maybe this could work out. However, if they aren’t willing to pay full price, it might not be such a good idea.

However, you don’t want to make them upset, right? You don’t want to inadvertently burn bridges. So what can you do instead?

Stackexchange user Chris Forrence presented two simple solutions for those freelancers dealing with FFD hunters:

  • Change the friend or family member the same price you would anyone else. This solution might come with a social tradeoff, so this might be an option reserved for those on the fringes of your social circls, if you choose to employ this method at all. As for me, I tend to favour the second approach…
  • Make it a policy not to work with people you know in a personal sphere. This particular method isn’t without its consequences. As a result, you might miss out on some lucrative connections or networks.

As I mentioned, I tend to go with the second solution. Though I’m not opposed to my friends or family offering their professional connections (or helping them if they need one from me), I think I can do without their specific business.

If you started out or choose to venture into your own social circles for your business, that’s fine; I’d love to hear how that worked out for you! As for me, I’d like to keep the world separate.

How do YOU feel about getting work from friends or family? Discuss in the comments below! 

Be sure to check out my portfolio and professional site here!  Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to the blog if you like what you see. 

Happy freelancing and we’ll talk again next week!

– Adam


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One thought on “The Friend Discount

  1. […] However, you also don’t want to fall into the trap of getting too close to your clients, which is something I talk about in this post. […]


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