Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash

Dear Freelancers and Clients, let’s talk about Payment in Exposure

No one deserves that payment

Enywaru Pius
5 min readMay 5, 2020


Most freelancers I have interfaced with always feel blessed to be doing what they truly love and to turn their passions into an income-generating venture to achieve a decent livelihood for themselves.

The perks that come with being a freelancer are really desirable; Working from the comfort of your couch, at your own pace, or choosing which client you want to work for and not.

However, what no one really prepares you for is just how boldly people, companies, and organizations expect you to easily work for free or pay you in ‘exposure’.

When I was starting out as a ‘full-time’ freelancer about two years ago, I was met with bold clients who expected me to work for free. I was a budding social media influencer and content creator then and some clients made me believe that my only shot at making it big was accepting to do some work for free in return for exposure to potential clients.

Only 2% of the work did give me returns while the rest was simply a ripoff. I learned the hard way and I always instantly feel irritated when clients reach out and still want to woo me to give them free articles in exchange for ‘exposure’.

The most disgusting comment I ever got from a client was;

“Yeah, you are always on social media posting jokes and your engagement is great so it must be easy for you to push my product on your platforms for free.”

If you don’t have a budget then you probably don’t need it

Let’s be honest, many of you who are now on top of your hustle game and have been in the field for long will strongly agree that you’ve taken on a lot of unpaid work and it’s directly led to nothing. If it has indeed worked for some, they’re not entirely proud of it and many will reckon they didn’t really have a choice.

Under the pretext of ‘we don’t have a budget’, canning clients are out there to guilt-trip and hoodwink freelancers into believing that they can’t make it if they don’t do some free work in return for…



Enywaru Pius

Writer: @PesaCheck I blog for believers, spirited optimists, and ambitious movers. I am writing to build a home that will be filled with Ideas & Inspiration.