How to turn 'free work' into paid work

There's an old Yorkshire saying: 'If tha ever does owt for nowt, do it for thi sen'. For those who don't speak fluent Tyke, it translates like this: 'If you ever do something for nothing, do it for yourself.' These are words that all creatives should have tattooed on their drawing arm.

Nothing you do as a designer is free. When you do free work, the person who pays for the work is you. You pay with your time, your experience, the money you spent on training, the bills you pay to keep your office running, your software subscriptions, your hardware... It goes on and on. But, still, no matter how strong your design portfolio, there are clients out there who will try to get you to work for free.

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Karl Hodge is a technology journalist who teaches Digital Journalism at Leeds Met and writes books.