As a creative freelancer, the talk of money is very sensitive. Creative folks are always discussing our need for money, but very few work toward establishing a set scale that will keep the bills paid. Consider your favorite creative person, and please understand, we don’t do this for free! From filmmakers, to writers & bloggers, to style gurus, creative freelancers, like myself, are the MOST underpaid employees in the workforce. (source). Guys, we need to ask for what we are worth and don’t be afraid to stand our ground.
I’ll be the first to say that I don’t ask for what I’m worth. That’s a BIG problem for me. You can reflect on last week’s MOTIVATION post – not asking for enough money is ANOTHER reason why I’m not as successful. Our society makes it difficult to ask for what your worth because we are so used to getting paid less. Even when I had my corporate job, I was always afraid to ask for a raise, when I KNEW I deserved it. However, if I don’t think I’m worth it, how can I make YOU a believer. Stop letting people book two-hour ‘pick my brain’ sessions for the price of a $5 coffee! You are worth more!
As a blogger and personal stylist, the info I provide isn’t necessary for daily living. You can go about your life NOT knowing the name of Beyonce’s latest bag of choice (It’s a custom Louis Vuitton), what to wear for your 20th Class Reunion (click here) or understand why using proper lighting for your selfies is a big deal. But when you do need that info, from a trusted source, you come to me or one of my stylish peers. You expect that I’ll know exactly what to say. I’m your Google. You need the 10 YEARS of info stored in my brain in order to guide you on your stylish way.
Please, stop thinking a creative’s job is easy or we do this JUST because it’s a hobby. Those who are transitioning from hobby to lifestyle need MONEY to do so. Your stylist friend who helps you dress your family for your Christmas photoshoot deserves to be paid. The photographer that has to carry his gear around town in order to get the best photo deserves to be paid. The friend who is ‘helping’ you plan your wedding, deserves to be paid. The intern who is teaching how to use ‘the Instagram’ deserves to be paid. Even your homegirl, who does hair out of her kitchen, but can slang an amazing weave, deserves to be paid. And, if you don’t feel like that individual deserves to be paid, then you don’t deserve the luxury of their skills.
Since I’m about solutions, and you are about to be a better person, I’ll give you FOUR ways to compensate your favorite creative – in addition to giving them money.
- Don’t Ask for the HOOK-UP! – Ask them their established rate before booking. Stop looking for a hook-up all the time. If the person chooses to give you the hook-up, that’s their choice. And even then, give them a tip (15%-20%).
- FOLLOW them on Social Media – Most creatives don’t have big budgets for marketing campaigns. Most of the time, we use social media to share our work, new ideas, and sales. We need your follows, likes, and shares! It take 2.7 seconds to click that share/like button and you’ve done a lot more for people you don’t even know.
- Spread the Word – Now that you’ve worked with your favorite creative, read her blog & it inspired you, or received the amazing photos from your shoot, it’s time to spread the word. Word of Mouth is the BEST way to support your creative friends. Don’t let those photos in your phone go to waste – show your co-workers & church members. Be the PR that we can’t yet afford.
- Donate to the Cause – Feel weary about giving someone cash? Then ask your independent freelance friend what they need to move their business forward. Ask them if they need a finance session with an accountant. Could she need a new lens for her camera? Or something simple, like ink and paper for her printer. Oh, think outside the box . . . FREE babysitting so she can finish that song or edit that video. Think about it.
For my fellow creative freelancers – let’s start knowing our worth and charging extra. For the supporters – thanks in advance for adjusting to our new rates. In the end, we just want to share our passions with you and give you amazing services, from a creative standpoint. Support us and your local creative community!
Thanks for reading!