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How To Get Paid When Freelancing

How To Get Paid When Freelancing

Moving your blog from fun hobby to a source of meaningful income can seem incredibly daunting.

With numerous online courses promising the answers and frightening financial claims made by some bloggers, how can you take small but meaningful steps to take your blog from past-time to full-time?

We’ve teamed up with GetMePaid.ie to get their top tips for influencers and bloggers.

For now? Let’s answer some questions we know you’re dying to ask:

A brand sends a blogger some samples to try. How would they go about moving that conversation from freebies to paid work?

This might sound simplistic, but you just need to ask. If you want to transition from blogging as a hobby to making real money for your work, at some point you must put a price on yourself and risk getting rejected.
I completely recognise the value of starting off by doing work for free to build your reputation, then moving on to getting freebies but unfortunately, most bloggers get stuck at this point.
It may seem like a great perk to get lots of cool stuff sent to you for free, but freebies don’t pay the bills. The successful bloggers we represent all broke through the barrier of getting paid cold hard cash for their creative input by starting small, building credibility with key brands and then slowly but surely started to charge based on their increasing level of value to brands.
Like I said, it can be a scary leap of faith but at some point, when a brand contacts you about a project, you need to go back with a reasonable price for completing the work and see what happens.
My top tip is, don’t be apologetic in your correspondence with the brand representative. You are creating something valuable to brands (they wouldn’t be contacting you if you weren’t) and you deserve to be paid for that work.

Should bloggers have a rate card that they share with clients?

Yes, it is always advisable to have a standard rate card and you can use this to negotiate terms with clients if they want a bespoke service offering.
Most bloggers start off with a basic hourly rate and this will differ depending on a whole range of individual metrics and audience factors. When you have built your following to a considerable size, say 20k+ followers, you should be transitioning to a set rate for each assignment.
Top bloggers will typically quote a price for the entire job which is more focused on the engagement they can deliver rather than the hours they put in to completing the project.
Should bloggers charge different prices to different brands for the same sort of work?
While I would advise the use of a rate card, never allow yourself to be completely married to your rates as there are always going to be multiple factors at play.
If you are dealing with a major brand with a large marketing budget you should always push for your rates but when dealing with an emerging brand which has the potential to be a big earner for you down the line it can be prudent to cut them some slack and offer a discount for the first piece of work you complete.
My tip here is to send them your rate card and then offer a discount.
Let’s say you would normally charge €300 for the job but you feel that a 50% discount would be strategically beneficial. Don’t just quote them €150, quote them €300 but apply a 50% discount on the invoice so they feel like they are getting a great deal.
This is how you develop strong brand partnerships and if you manage to get in at the ground floor with a growth brand you can end up riding that wave of growth right along with them.

What are the habits of your most successful influencer clients that enable them to bring in consistent income?

Flexibility, confidence in their ability to deliver value, and straight up hustle.
Even the top bloggers we represent are constantly forging new relationships with brands, industry insiders, photographers, etc. to ensure that they have a strong pipeline of new business every month and to also stay ahead of industry trends.
You must be flexible and adaptable to the needs of your client – don’t box yourself in to a limited position by saying you will only accept certain types of work. You need to align your ability to creating engaging content with the marketing needs of specific brands.
Constantly do your homework on brands in your space – are they seasonal? are they rapidly increasing their influencer marketing spend? are they trying to target a very specific audience that you can provide access to?
Once you have developed strong relationships with several brands, you must then have confidence in your own creative output and recognise that your ability to develop engaging content has real monetary value to the brand.

Bloggers need to be aware that in order to get paid for their work, they need to take some simple steps before completing an assignment for a brand. You must agree with the brand, in writing, the following details:

  1. A detailed description of what you will be expected to produce (develop a recipe, provide a social media endorsement etc.) be as specific as possible to avoid disputes down the line)
  2.  The timeline for completing the assignment.
  3. What you will be paid for delivering the assignment within the agreed timeframe (this can be an hourly rate or pro rata fee)
  4. Your payment terms (typically 30 days from the invoice date) and whether you will be charging VAT.

If you have a solid agreement from the brand on these 4 points you will make your life considerably easier when an invoice becomes due.

What’s the biggest mistake you see bloggers and influencers make when it comes to getting paid?
The main issue we see with bloggers tends to be a lack of organisation when it comes to the consistency and accuracy of their invoicing process.
If you manage your client billing in a haphazard manner, you will receive haphazard payments in return. You can transform your ability to get paid through very simple measures focused around the quality and timing of your invoices, learning how to deal with brands from a relationship management standpoint, and educating yourself on basic contractual agreements to ensure accurate and timely payment.
At GetMePaid we insist that all our bloggers use what’s called a “Letter of Agreement” which is a simple contract signed by the blogger and the brand outlining exactly what an assignment involves, how much the blogger will be paid, and on what date they will be paid.
This typically resolves 90% of late payment issues upfront by avoiding any confusion before work on the project commences.
 A blogger does some work for a brand but the payment isn’t forthcoming after a couple of chasers. What’s your advice?

This is where you need to stay calm and keep things professional. Not getting paid can be extremely frustrating and tensions can run high but always remember that you are representing your personal brand and many instances of late payment are caused by disorganisation rather than an outright unwillingness to pay.

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Calmly state that you have provided services as per your invoice (quote the invoice date, date work was completed, and the amount to be paid) and let them know that you are a freelance operator and that you rely heavily on positive monthly cashflow.

If the reasonable approach fails to work it may be time to engage the services of a professional collections firm who can negotiate on your behalf to resolve the issue.

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