Melanie Shanahan

The Friends and Family Discount Dilemma

Melanie Shanahan

Account Manager

Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners already have a difficult time charging what their time and talents are worth. Stepping out on your own to work independently or even just starting a side hustle is a financial rollercoaster! However, your friends and family will usually be the first “customers” to show their support, build your portfolio and model their best photos for marketing and social media. Enter the “friends and family discount dilemma.” 

Should a discount be offered to friends and family? If they are your family and friends, wouldn’t they be the first ones to pay full price to really support your business? But if you choose not to give a discount, how will that be received? Undoubtedly, each individual will have an opinion on how much that discount should be. So many questions and outcomes! A discount is a personal decision for you and your business, but before you decide, take time to identify your rules and be clear with your boundaries. 

I do offer a family a discount for my small side business. At first, I did not think through the crucial details of how to offer the discount. For example, I should have said, “this is a discount for just you,” because soon, a third cousin twice removed came along and wanted the “family discount” too. I learned a valuable lesson and have since been very clear with my discount messaging. Offering the “hook up” to those close to you or family members is a wonderful way to grow your business; however, taking the time to think through the potential outcomes and challenges is important. 

As you grow and expand your business, you will become more confident in flexing your talents and knowing your worth while making what you create affordable. 


Read more about the friends and family discount dilemma here.