Not long ago, I responded to a job post on a professional work site (which site is irrelevant, I wont mention it) for someone to help refresh a website design.

A non-profit was in search of help with their website, specifically to increase sales on their eCommerce shop and bring new visual appeal to their site overall. They seriously needed help, including a new logo. Their current logo is 3 pieces of clip art and 2 lines of text.

After starting communications with her, she missed our first phone meeting. The next day she got back to me and we connected again via email. I decided to look at her site and give her a free analysis. Just a simple paragraph with some recommendations.

Finally she asks my rates. I had already did a free website evaluation and ended up giving her a 40% discount on the estimate, since it’s for a non-profit. Her response:

“That all sounds great and we really need it, but we have no money.

Why are you asking for proposals on a professional networking site if you have no budget?

Many professional job websites will allow you to post jobs for volunteers, so I told her she might have better luck taking that route.

This is freelance life.

Have you ever gone to a job interview, but at the end, right before they hire you, they say “it doesn’t pay at all, we just really need someone right now.”?

I doubt it.

Has this happened to you?

Sound off in the comments!