Tip #22: Take Your Biz Up A Notch With Barter + Trade

Rachael Kay Albers Awesomepreneur Founder

A key element in my last RKA ink redesign was my photo. Numerous people commented that the last RKA ink photo was a little creepy. I got a lot of You look kind of, um, submissive. Is that what you’re going for? or Wait–that’s you?! and What’s with all that weird makeup? Truth is, I was skating by with an acting headshot from college, hoping that no one noticed. They did.

The RKA Before Picture

the before shot: creepy, twenty year old RKA

I spend most of the year working from southern Mexico–though I’m currently on workcation in Germany–so I never meet the vast majority of my clients face to face. My photo is my hello and my handshake. It’s important that my photo reflect my warmth and invite people to work with me.

But I didn’t exactly have a fah-fah-fah photo shoot in my budget.

Then I met Mauricio. Mauricio is an Argentinean photographer living and working in Germany. (He’s also the goalie on Roberto’s soccer team–Los Libertadores de America–and he lets me play/document with his fanc-a-licious camera at games.) Mauricio was looking to step up his photo game–I was looking for photos. Boom. Barter/trade. Website for portrait session. Deal.

Mauricio and I met for the first part of our trade–photos for my two websites, RKA ink and RKA in LA–in August. We headed to a park outside the center of Bielefeld where Mauricio set up shop–he really brought the whole kit & kaboodle…passersby squinted to see if they recognized me. They didn’t. But Mauricio helped to calm my nerves and took a fantastic batch of shots for both my sites. (Check out the end of this post for more peeks of the results.)

The RKA ink after shot - Rachael Kay Albers

the after shot: nice to meet you. i’m RKA 2.0.

This is the second part of our trade–Mauricio’s new website.

Web designer barter/trade by RKA ink for Mauricio Eschoyez


I saved the best for last! Mauricio is hoping to expand his niche to engagement and wedding photography so Roberto and I will be helping him out by posing as his pre-engagement models. Win/win. Mauricio expands his portfolio and Roberto and I get our own collection of cheesy couple shots just like the cool kids. (Yes. I admit it. I like that shit.)

Barter/trades are an effective way to build partnerships and add value to your business/heartwork when you’re just getting started or counting your pennies. In fact, I have a few more covert trades in the works right now.

I love swapping services because it’s a much more intimate exchange than the typical client/service provider relationship. When money is minimized, this places the emphasis on how both parties can serve each other best. Because of this intimacy, it’s important to trust and respect the people you’re trading with before coming to an agreement. I recommend matching your offer to your partner’s in terms of time, energy, and value to avoid one person feeling nicked by the bargain. The Awesome Sauce infographic describes an awesomepreneur as seeking more soul, less sell–the best barter/trades come from a place of mutuality not simply profitability.

What about you? I want to hear your barter/trade experiences. How has swapping services lifted your heartwork?

Tip #22 for working with heart – take your biz up a notch with barter + trade.

Check out a few more fruits of my trade with Mauricio.

RKA ink

Rachael Kay Albers - Awesomepreneur at RKA ink

Rachael Kay Albers - Awesomepreneur at RKA ink

Rachael Kay Albers - Awesomepreneur at RKA ink


Rachael Kay Albers - Artist and Activist at RKA in LA

Rachael Kay Albers - Artist and Activist at RKA in LARachael Kay Albers - Artist and Activist at RKA in LA

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  1. Introducing the Silent R in RKA ink | RKA ink - Web Design With Heart - November 1, 2012

    [...] now you can meet him. Remember when I told you about awesomepreneur photographer Mauricio Eschoyez and our plans to help him build his portfolio? Mauricio dropped off the photos last night–the [...]

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