Behind The Blog: You Need To Get Paid For What You’re Doing

Posted October 5, 2021 by Prairie Wife -

You need to get paid for what you are doing.

End of story.

Full stop.

And I see you are nodding in agreement.

After all, you KNOW that you carry a wealth of knowledge in your field, and likely years of experience that can be helpful to others.

But…and maybe I should make this a big BUT…how do you make the transition from working for free (or for things like exposure and connections) to getting paid for what you’re doing?

I’m not sure why it’s so dang hard to ask people to pay us for our work.

From asking for that raise you know you deserve, to letting someone know that yes, you ARE available to speak at their event, but you need to be paid for your time, skills, and wisdom…it’s awkward and uncomfortable.

But, you need to get paid for what you’re doing.

So how do you make that happen?

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to share with you what I do as a Blogger, Brand Consultant, and Public Speaker/Emcee.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to show some love and appreciation to Ginger Johnson who is the woman who told me it was indeed both possible AND necessary to charge for the work I do.

And before we dive in I want to give you some advice.

With any of your work, have a contract and a way to invoice and keep a paper/email trail of your work. It’s protection for both you AND the people you work with.

Step One: Create a list of services or products you offer including pricing.

  • Sit down and figure out what services/products you plan to offer your clients.
  • Figure out on average how much time it takes you to provide the services/products
  • Create a price for each service/product
    • To figure out what to charge for a blog post written by me that this 600-800 words and includes 3 images I had to: Figure out how long it would take me to write the post, include the cost of the images, and add on how much time I would spend creating and posting social media content to direct readers/followers to the image.
    • To decided what to charge for speaking at an event I had to: Figure out the hours it takes to create a custom speech and interactive PowerPoint for the event, charge for time attending meetings to plan out topics as well as physical time at the event (babysitting costs), and travel time (perhaps even hotel cost). I also had to include my clothing for the event as well as social media content and shares.

 

Step Two: Create an email form to send as a response to any standard inquires.

  • Create an email/letter that can be easily sent in response to any and all inquires.
    • Begin by thanking them for their interest and letting them know your mission as a company and that you reserve the right to refuse any work that doesn’t align with who you are as a brand.
    • Even if they ask for only one service send them a price list for everything you do. They may not have seen something you do that would be a great fit for them now or in the future.
  • Follow up on any inquiries within a week of not hearing back.
    • Ask for information if they say they aren’t interested, there may be something that you have missed.
      • One person saying your pricing is too high is no biggie 9/10 responses like that may mean a shift in what you’re offering.

 

Step Three: Be prepared with a few ready-to-go sentences or phrases to open up the conversation about pay.

  • For SpeakingEmceeing: When someone approaches me about speaking/emceeing at an event “Do you have a budget for a speaker/emcee?”
    • If it’s a yes get their contact information immediately.
      • If you know your pricing offhand feel free to have the conversation verbally
        • Follow up with your form email
      • If you don’t know your pricing tell them you will email them ASAP with services and pricing
    • If they say they aren’t able to pay you can do one of two things…
      • Thank them for their interest and move on with your life
      • Ask if they have some other way they can compensate you for your time and knowledge (tickets to the event, room, and board, promotion on their social media, connect you with two other similar organizations that may result in future work)
  • Guest Blog Content: When someone asked me if I accept guest posts “Of course, here is my card why don’t you email me with what you’re thinking.”
    • Send them an email with services and pricing after they reach out to you
  • Brand Consulting: This conversation usually begins innocently enough with a few questions about how I do things. I happily give a bit of helpful advice for free. Then say “It sounds like you’re really interested in doing some great things with your brand. How about you email me and I can send you some links that may be helpful.”
    • Send them some links that are helpful and include information and pricing about consulting at the end

 

Step Four: Be ready to be firm…or flexible depending on the situation and your needs.

  • You know what’s right for you and your business.
    • If you need to work only with cash, then let people know and be firm
    • If your prices are set in stone don’t be afraid to tell that to clients
    • If you have some wiggle room offer a lower cost rate (but remove a few of your services to make it work for you)
    • Let them know if you are happy to trade out services for product
  • The always wise Ginger Johnson suggests leaving yourself a few “Low Bono” spots in your annual budget
    • This means there are a set amount of spots available for people to get your services at a discounted rate.
      • Let them know they are getting a “Low Bono” Deal
      • Stay firm with how many you offer a year
      • If you have filled your “Low Bono” spots for the year offer to put future clients on the waitlist for next year

I’d like to say that this process gets easier over time, and while some parts of it DO definitely get better with practice, there are still going to be some awkward moments for you.

And one more note for you, I want to remind you that it’s perfectly acceptable (and realistic) for you to raise your prices over time.

Not only do you have more experience, knowledge, and skills as the years pass…but you also offer valuable perspective (thanks again to Ginger for that concept) and connections that you didn’t have when you first started out.

Feel free to comment below with any questions or advice you have on this topic.

Keep in mind…I am always ready, willing, and able to be a speaker or emcee at your upcoming event.

Need a brand or social media consultant? I can help with that too!

Also, if you’re interested in learning more about working with professional photographers here is a link that will be helpful.

Lifestyle pics by Krystal Brewer Photography

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