So, if you’ve read my “about me” you probably noticed I really love vegetables. I also really love small, local businesses and buying things that someone put their heart and soul into. I was especially excited when I was approached by Echo Ridge Farm to design a logo and brochure for the 2008 and 2009 seasons of their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. My client was really passionate about serious marketing in the Washington DC area and getting her name out quickly and effectively. She wanted to promote the farm where her produce was grown, the family connection and Virginia agriculture. It was a really fun project to work on, since I support local growers in the Richmond area. My client was happy to trade vegetables for design work since she was still trying to get her business up and running the first year. I even got to photograph beautiful vegetables for the brochure.
What I learned from my experience with Echo Ridge is to be open to alternative payment for design work produced for fledgling businesses. I find that a lot of small and new businesses are thrilled to trade products and services, which can offset some of your cost of living expenses, even if it’s not a monetary payment. I also find that word of mouth from happy customers who may have gotten a really good deal with your work, can pay for itself in the future. Good referrals are worth their weight in gold, as they say. (Whomever “they” are.) And a referral from a happy client can produce another happy client who will pay in actual dollars. In any type of small business, you have the opportunity approach “payment” options with an open mind.