Creatives, artists, freelancers – stop what you are doing right now and hear me say this:
Whether it is the written word, graphic design, editing, photography, video, etc., you are providing art. You are providing a skill. You are providing a craft – likely one that has taken years to develop. DO NOT GIVE YOUR STUFF AWAY.
People that pay shitty rates, don’t now, and will never respect your work. Once you have shown them that they can chip away at your rate, why would they honor any of the other parameters of the project? These are not your people.
Every time you give your work away for shit rates you lower your standard, you lower the standard of your industry, and you make it harder for all of us to demand excellent pay for excellent work.
If you want to give your work away, do it for a cause, do it for a non-profit, do it for your own education and development, not for a profiteer trying to suck the life out of you.