Writers, photographers, web designers, graphic artists, often get asked to do things as favours, or for “exposure.” Doctors, dentists, lawyers, plumbers, builders, chefs, hair stylists not so much. Why?

There are few recognised I-get-to-charge-now-because-I’m-a-trained-professional-and-free-advertising-is-not-fair-recompense certificates of qualification for the artistic professions. But to draw up a will/take out a tooth or appendix, cook an omelette, or fix that toilet you need a piece of paper.

Everyone, though, knows how to write (fling up a blog, draw a logo, snap a pic with your phone), right? We do it everyday; I mean, children do it. Okay, fine: anyone can do it. So do it yourself.

But no, you want a professional. Any professional writer has probably been writing professionally for ten years. Ditto photographers and designers. We are at least as qualified to do what we do, at least as expert as your lawyer or chef or hair stylist. Ten thousand hours of practise. If we offer you, as a friend, an article/website/photo then say, “Thank you very much!” and don’t get too picky. A real professional will make sure that what you get is a good product. It might not be exactly what you’d hoped for, but it’s free. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

And don’t ask for that favour. Don’t ask us to do it “for exposure.” Ever.