How to Barter for Your Business

You know those early childhood memories of swapping lunches at school?

Your mom made you a ham sandwich and Martin’s mom made him a peanut butter sandwich, so you decided to trade (as long as he threw in a bag of Doritos, too).

Can you remember that moment? I can’t. Why, you ask?


I never swapped lunches or traded snacks or even exchanged juice-box drinks. Instead my mom would make oatmeal for lunch and say, “Surprise! We’re having breakfast for lunch!”

These were not the type of surprises a kid enjoyed.

Either way, my first real experience with bartering (an exchange of goods or services without using money) was when I started my photography business. I didn’t have money, but I wanted business cards so much.

Let’s be real: I wanted business cards more than a peanut butter sandwich with a side of Doritos.

A graphic designer offered to design my first logo in exchange for me doing a photo shoot of him riding his motorcycle.

(It ended up raining the day of the shoot, but he insisted we proceed anyway, so I photographed him sitting on his motorcycle in his apartment…in front of his couch. Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly the pinnacle of my career.)

We exchanged his photos for my logo and called it a day. This set off a string of game-changing barters that revolutionized my business.

That was the first time I realized I could build my business on a series of trades. I didn’t have money, but I had skills (photography) and products (photos) I could trade with.

And I believe you can do the same.

Here's a video explaining my entire process…

The barter proposal always started with me reaching out (via email or social media), which was intimidating. It wasn’t until I created a series of templates that emboldened me after receiving tons of positive responses.

And that’s what I’m sharing with you today.

My email templates can be downloaded >>HERE<<, so feel free to copy, amend, add-to to make them your own. I can’t wait to hear about the amazing barters you create soon!