I get it. I really do. It’s almost Halloween and ghosts, monsters and witches are Halloween-y, right? You’re a marketing agency or media outlet and you’ve got something to sell, and maybe you’ll sell more of them if you make them ghost-y, monster-y, or witch-y themed. And if you get an expert in to give some ghost-y, monster-y, or witch-y facts and quotes about the thing then maybe you’ll sell even more of the thing! Woohoo profits!
And wait a minute, it gets better – I’m a ghost expert who is also a millenial! I know facts and I even have opinions and quotes that I can give to you which are ghost-y, and because I’m young and a non-believer, my soundbites reach a potentially bigger target audience!
Here’s the deal, though.
I’ve got bills to pay, dudes. I need to eat, pay my rent and bills, and put clothes on my back. That’s why the deluge of emails that begin to arrive in my inbox mid-September and continue to arrive through October annoy me slightly. The people looking for my time, skills and expertise for their Halloween feature rarely want to pay me for my time. I think that’s wrong.
Exposure and Twitter mentions don’t feed my pizza addiction and don’t keep my house warm when it’s cold outside. I also don’t know if I want to gain exposure through the sorts of organisations and companies who don’t have the decency to pay their contributors. That’s pretty old fashioned…
Now, I’m sure some people will scoff at this post and question who I think I am for charging for my time, but I would question the person who doesn’t charge for their time in these matters. I should clarify:
- I’m not talking about the public. I’m talking about for-profit companies and organisations.
- I don’t charge for ghost research or investigations of reported activity (I don’t even ask for my expenses to be covered)
- I don’t charge charitable and non-profit organisations
- I happily negotiate my fee and even will even waive it completely
- I never expect people to actually agree to pay. It’s the principle.
If you’re a ghost researcher, blogger, podcaster or similar, and you get approached in the lead up to Halloween regarding a Q&A for a magazine, quotes for a featured article, interviews for a radio station or similar, then I implore you to consider quoting a fee for negotiation. The knowledge you have didn’t come to you for free, and even if it did, the time you’ve put into it isn’t worth nothing.
I look at my vast array of books on the subject which have guided me over the years, I think of the amount of money I have spent to attend conferences, classes, training, and lectures. I remember the money I’ve spent in order to conduct investigations and acquire the knowledge, opinions and anecdotes so sought after, and I laugh in the faces of the undeserving profiteers who think they’re entitled to them for free.
You should, too. Ghost researchers are for life, not just for Halloween.