Creative People Have Skills and Deserve to be Paid For Them

Creative people have skill sets that big business wants and needs. That part is clear. What isn’t clear is why they still think they can get away with not paying us for it. And NO, as creative professionals we don’t need your “experience” to make us more marketable. In fact, it’s the other way around frankly. You need ours to make you more marketable.

But why is it that big business has this impression? Is it that we have allowed them to take advantage of us (which is why they have it in the first place)?

Regardless, it’s time to expose those in big business who take advantage of creative individuals. We need to stop this from happening to us. We need to awaken society and help them to understand who we are and what our work is in the 21st century.  The bottom line is: We deserve to be recognized and paid for what we do well- just like anyone else in the world. But first, our skills must be recognized for the value they hold.

As such, I am posting the entire email exchange I had with an online education company about their request to write an article for their blog for the “possibility” of  them re-tweeting what I write, if they like it, and a free online course. And in exchange for this “opportunity” I was to give them an executive summary from my 30+ years of creative entrepreneurship expertise, tailor fit for their learning community, for free, under the guise of an article to help the class of 2014. Seems like a pretty great way to get free intel and marketing spin for a business model that, in my opinion, needs tweaking. That’s what consultants are for. Hire me.

So class of 2014 here is my advice to you. Don’t do marketing work for a company that won’t pay you to do marketing work for them. And by all means, don’t support them or refer business to them.

Email #1

Hi Lisa,

My name is Bob and I am the Community Manager at Webucator. As an online learning company, we’re all about teaching essential skills and finding ways to help people improve themselves and become more successful. With that in mind, we’re asking bloggers like you to write an article to post on your blog about what you consider to be a valuable, marketable skill as part of our “Most Marketable Skill” Campaign in honor of the class of 2014. The job market is a scary place, hopefully this campaign will help it seem less daunting to this year’s graduating class!

What is it that you think is essential for success? We want to read about the skill that you personally feel is the most important, how you acquired or plan to acquire the skill, and why it’s so indispensable for people going into the workforce.

We’re excited about this newest blogging campaign in our Webucator Asks series, and look forward to reading about creative ways to help guarantee success! Please let me know if you’re interested in participating, or if you have any questions. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

I look forward to hearing back from you!



Bob Clary
Community Manager
Webucator Inc.

Email #2- My response

HI Bob,
So you are asking me to write an article for you. What does this pay?

every good wish,


Email #3

Hey Lisa,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!  I was reading this article on your site [ ] and it was quite inspiring and I thought maybe you would be interested in talking about the types of skills this type of success requires or any other fun spin you wanted to put on the topic.

We are not able to provide any monetary compensation, however we will be tweeting out our favorite posts at the end of the month.  Right now we are also offering a free self-paced PowerPoint 2013 course that may be beneficial to you and your readers.

Let me know what you think!


Email #4

Bob, forgive me, but this is pretty insulting. I don’t write for free and I don’t promote businesses I don’t know either.

Your business should be ashamed of itself for taking advantage of writers and creative people in your education space to leverage their expertise for your benefit for “tweets” and a free course. In fact I might just write a blog post about this exchange and link you to it.

Shame on you for your lack of ethics and professionalism.

every good wish,

lisa canning



 1014467_10202833947183293_5964056692173013765_nAbout Lisa Canning

“Vowels are to words what creativity is to the world~ basic and necessary.”

What motivates you to explore your creativity?  Email me and tell me:

For daily inspiration and creative education join me on Facebook:

Need a magic creativity wand? Let’s start with the clarinet and see what it inspires you to dream and do.

Lisa Canning is the founder of Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, IAEOU, the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship (IAE) and Entrepreneur the Arts. And now Learning Flies too.

Creative People Have Skills and Deserve to be Paid For Them

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