3 Valuable Things to Negotiate for instead of 'Exposure'

I've said it a few times here, but exposure kills. The main problem with exposure is that it isn't offered with any specifics in mine, and so it has no value because it's success or failure can't be measured.

The idea behind exposure is closer to one of bartering. Barting is valuable, but its value comes from an understanding of the value each party is bringing to the table. So as long as you're earning enough in your practice that you can afford to barter, here's three things you can trade for that will be useful to your business.

  • Advertising/Sponsorship in-kind. Many groups who trade for exposure run events. The idea is your work will be seen by those who attend the event. The fairest way to exchange value in this situation is in advertising or sponsorship equivalents. If you're contributing $1000 in work and the event has a $1000 sponsorship level, you should be claiming that. The good news is many groups do this already.
  • Store credit. Even if it's at a reduced amount, this more closely resembles a fair exchange between both parties.
  • Specific messages and promotions to group. If neither of the first two options are available, then you need to make sure that 'exposure' you're getting is specific and a value can be placed on it. Get specifics on the number of people reached, the messages you'll send, and how messages convert to action in a general sense. If you're happy with the value you're getting, then it might be worthwhile.

Often what people find as they work through determining equal value is that cash ultimately makes more sense. And when it doesn't, both parties are clearer about what they're trading.