Articles > Business > WHAT WOULD YOU DO: Comp Services For Free PR?
Last updated: February 05, 2018

WHAT WOULD YOU DO: Comp Services For Free PR?

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A local celeb books you, but there’s a catch: she wants a complimentary blowout in exchange for some free PR…a lucrative deal to get more clients? Or a guaranteed way to miss your next rent payment? One stylist reached out to us with this predicament:


“A potential new client called the salon to book a blowout with me for a themed party. This person is occasionally on local television and has her hair styled for it. When booking the appointment, she stated that she would like to have the service comped as her hair would be seen on TV and acknowledgment of the hairdresser and salon would be in the credits. The salon owners and I agree that the service shouldn’t be comped. What does everyone else think?”


What advice did the BTC Community have to offer? Check out some of the best responses below.


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Why Not? It’s Free Advertisement
“Do it! It’s just a blowout in exchange for a social media shoutout, location check-in and tag along with credits on the news. She could turn into a color client and you will charge her for that. Word-of-mouth is our very best advertisement.” – @v_l_81


“I’m hourly plus commission so I would do it because I get paid either way, but she’s going to speak highly of the salon and you. Word-of-mouth is always a great way to advertise, and a happy client means she will be back. But I would only do it the one time.” – @huerta_jessie


“I might do it for free on a Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. but not a Saturday at noon or anything. Also, it depends on how much time it would use of my day.” – @thevividwiz


“Look for the opportunity in this situation. Have your owners coordinate with whatever entity she’s associated with to have a segment possibly showcasing the salon and you. You’ll feel like you got the exposure you deserve, and it sounds like a fair exchange for free service in my opinion. That could be a solution rather than just a cold blooded, ‘Heck no!'” – @phil4hair


“I would do it for free, but make a big deal out of it on your social media. That’s where you’ll get the interest unless she mentions your name while on TV.” – @tomjonashair


@tomjonashair has a good idea. If it were me, I would agree to do it for free if I could record video, film a Facebook or Instagram live, take lots of pictures, tag her name on posts, share images of her wearing my work to all my social media, etc. That way you get something out of it in lieu of cash.” – @10over10nails


“It’s only a blow-dry that’ll take 15 to 20 minutes. Just do it. When people see that you love what you do and don’t look at them like dollar signs, they become your loyal clients and send referrels your way.” – @roxybeautytouch



Comp Services Don’t Pay The Bills
“Exposure doesn’t pay the bills. You are a professional and deserve to be compensated as such. You should also be credited for the work, as any on-set stylist for a movie or show would be.” – @gina.devine


“Occasionally on local TV? Come on. You provide a service, and people pay—no matter what. Maybe if they become a consistent client then you could give a discount. Never do anything for free. If you don’t go into other businesses asking for freebies, why do people think it’s okay to ask that of hairdressers?” – @gorgeousdish


“She has enough money to pay full price. I hate that people in the entertainment business get anything for free! Great, it’s on the credits that no one even looks at! I’m offended and I’m not the one doing her hair. You didn’t go to beauty school and get where you are by doing hair for free, but on the other hand, will she talk badly about you and the salon because the service wasn’t free? That’s a tough one. Shame on her for asking for a freebie.” – @303nikkinicole


“Ummmm no. She probably gets her hair comped all the time by different stylists, and they’re probably sick of doing it, which is why she’s trying out a new stylist. To even have the nerve to ask shows me the type of client/person she is. I’d pass.” – @noellelucy


“It would have been a different situation had she come in and you were given the opportunity to make the choice whether to charge or comp the service. Starting out with her feeling entitled to this is never a good relationship. It appears that you will have no problem gaining clients if people are seeking your creative work for special occasion!” – @lispedemonte


“I’ve also found that starting a client relationship on this note, even if it leads to retention, sets the tone of her always expecting something for nothing.” – @beautybybrittanymichele


“I have a few clients who do TV segments and appearances, and they regularly hire me for hair and makeup services. Even when I first started working with them they would never ask for a comp because they have respect for me and my work. We’ve built a great professional working relationship, which has led to countless referrals and consistent work. This isn’t a hobby, and we need to stop the ‘freebies’ and ‘trades.’ I love what I do, and I love who I do it for—my supportive clients who appreciate me. It’s not worth the promised “‘exposure.’” – @beautybybrittanymichele


See all the responses!