I may be the first freelancer you’ve worked with, or perhaps you’re a seasoned veteran. Whatever the case, I work with passion and professionalism, I work with integrity and intelligence, and I work to pay the bills. I’m sure you do too.
Over the years I’ve had the odd awkward intake of breath when my invoices haven’t been paid and there’s tumbleweeds blowing through the bank account while I’m waiting for payment. No freelancer likes that feeling, and really it’s not a smart way to work.
So, forgive me if I’m a little forward in sharing with you how I do work.
I work for money
Sure you can buy me lunch, pour my tea, open a bottle – I’m more than happy to have a chat. Happy to share my knowledge and expertise. Happy to hear what you are up to. But I’ll be honest, I’m on the clock, and I like to be paid.
During business hours I’m pretty focussed on earning a crust, while delivering top notch copy and strategic PR that helps anyone who works with me tick their communications boxes.
My terms and conditions protect me, and protect you
To make sure we are all on the same page, I have quite clear terms and conditions which I communicate to all new clients.
I’m excited about working with you – I really am. I’m probably chomping at the bit to get cracking. But, I’m pretty upfront with communicating that I don’t start work until you pay me. Whether it’s an upfront fee or deposit payment based on our agreement, I can’t start without your financial commitment.
When we first start discussing your project I’ll share my Briefing Process and my Services and Rates. I give you a few options to suit your budget and needs. I’ll also share my terms and conditions which reflect how I operate. You’ll approve the quote, I’ll issue an invoice.
Sometimes things get mislaid, the email inbox is down, the accountant is sick, you’ve been away, or the dog ate your homework. That’s OK, just let me know and I’ll re-send your invoice. Then you pay, and we’re away.
Hey, we all have bills
I get that we’re all flying close to the wind with our budgets. But you don’t stroll into your hairdresser, doctor or mechanic and ask them to cut your hair, mend your wound or fix your tyre right now … but could you just pay them next month?
You just don’t do it. It’s common knowledge that to receive their service it’s money up front before “hello new hair-do”.
So think of me as just another service provider in your busy life, one you need to pay before you can leave the building.
I work for myself, I cover all of my overheads and I’ve got bills to pay too. I won’t bore you with my commitments but let’s just say my kids can do great starving faces impressions on demand.
Every day I’m sitting here waiting for you to pay me is another day I could be sitting here working for someone else who does pay me. It’s not personal, it’s business – my business.
I’d really like to be a part of your business.
But until you “show me the money”, I’m afraid Tom Cruise will keep me locked in his dressing room.
So what are you paying for?
When you pay me to work with you, you’re paying for 27 years of international communications experience and wisdom.
You’re paying for the practical applications from a Degree in Media Relations, a Post Grad in Crisis and Issue Communications and professional development in digital SEO copywriting.
You’re paying for insight from my time working in Australian media, with Australian Government Ministers’, with award-winning international campaigns, and from my contemporary experience in SEO copywriting and as a contributing blogger.
You’re paying for my organised and efficient systems that I’ve refined and polished till they are shiny. You’re paying for on-the-job, on-time and on-task delivery.
I’ve invested considerable time and money over the years in myself. I know what I’m worth, and I don’t work for free. You may think that’s rather presumptuous of me, but hey, a girls gotta eat.
Writer Harlan Ellis agrees too in this little clip.
I’m no debt collector
I’ve had enough challenging experiences over the years so know that If I am not professional and persistent in the way I work, then things can get hairy.
I would rather spend my time writing your copy then collecting your debts.
To be honest, time spent pleading with you to pay me is time better spent working with other clients who are more than happy to pay me upfront.
If we’ve entered into a working arrangement and you haven’t paid, don’t take it personally but I’ll have to stop working until your invoice is paid.
Let’s make Tom Cruise a happy boy.
Yes I pro-bono, but you’ll have to take a number
My volunteer commitments are focussed on one major pro-bono project a year.
Since 2014 it has been the Luke Batty Foundation, the Wellness Pavilion, a select number of regional communications taskforces, and (like a good corporate citizen), my kids school. I’m all full at the Pro-bono Inn at the moment, but feel free to contact me with any ideas.
I’d love to work with you,
I love imparting my communications knowledge and expertise on anyone in earshot. I love helping you achieve your communications goals. But love doesn’t pay the bills. What I do is also my income stream.
I’m sure you’ll understand where I’m coming from, and Tom Cruise and I are looking forward to your payment.
Catch you on the next wave,
The Coast Writer.
The Coast Writer is Andrea Rowe, a content crafter, copywriter and communications specialist. Owner of a boutique PR and copywriting business which helps clients find the right words to tell their story and make connections, Andrea is a sand-between-the-toes kind of gal. Row your dinghy over to www.yourcoastalconnection.com.au or call out Ahoy there on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus or Instagram. Google+