Community does not equal Free

Why is it that everyone expects me to advise them on how to improve their business and their Web sites for free?  I don’t understand why so many companies, engaged in commercial activities, come to me with requests for support and advice, but balk at the mere mention of paying for my expertise, time and ideas.  I backed off of BrainJams because so many people thought not-for-profit meant not-for-income, but even now, as a social media consultant and web strategist, I still get people expecting me to be excited about improving their product or service, to help them make more money from it.

Maybe it is in my pheronomes or something…

Are you facing the same problem I am?  Would love to hear your thoughts on this dilemma.

  1. #1 by Chris Brogan… - May 30th, 2007 at 02:17

    It should come as no surprise that I was thinking something similar the other day. Why no surprise? Because you and I seem to find the same notes on different days. It’s like we’re unearthing parts of the same larger song, like some modern day Sgt. Pepper’s, only without the LSD.

    For a lot of this community stuff to survive, SOMEONE has to be putting a little bit of money into the environment. Rent isn’t paid by the community, nor is gas money, etc.

    So what brings that kind of stuff? How does one live while creating general goodness?

    That, I suspect, is a question you and I will have to tackle repeatedly.

    But not now, because you’re planning Vegas. ; )

  2. #2 by Chris Heuer - May 30th, 2007 at 03:19

    In so many other ways Chris – clearly separated at birth and bound by more than a common name…

    Maybe we should start a support group for “sustainable community development practices” with the primary intention of learning to say NO to people and make better investments with our time and attention.

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