PR freelancers have a lot on their plate – juggling servicing existing clients with the constant need to hunt for new customers.
Helping PR freelancers find more clients is what we are all about so here are some tips to make the most of your efforts and not back slide into giving value away.
It’s tempting when you’ve just won a new client or you are trying to hang on to one that is wobbly to give too much ground too easily. It’s a slippery slope which erodes your income and bargaining position.
Here are my top five things to stop doing today.
Stop Ignoring Laws That Protect You
The Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act exists to help you avoid being your client’s bank.
The law says interest can accrue from the latest of
- 30 days after the goods are supplied or the service is completed,
- 30 days after receipt of invoice (or the customer is told the amount due is payable).
- the agreed date for payment.
The "statutory interest" rate chargeable, which is simple and not compound, is the Bank of England base rate plus 8%.
Stick that on your invoices and get familiar with what the Act says.
Stop Sharing Risk But Not Reward
All business boils down to risk. Is it worth risking something to get the reward?
But if a client decides something isn’t worth the risk half way through why should you take a hit for the work completed to date?
If you include a ‘Kill Fee’ pricing option in your contract you are covered. One lower price where there is no risk to you and payment gets made for all the work done up to the point the project was killed, or a higher price where you share the risk but a higher reward for the project running to completion.
Stop Being ‘Always On’
You need to protect your down time and your schedule. Late or rush fees are the norm in every type of business, because there’s a value in having that facility on tap. If you don’t have a schedule of rush fees then you are a 24/7 business. Don’t be. Our other blog on PR freelancers and work life balance explains more
Stop Having Your Brain Picked
How many hours have you given away this month to people wanting your years of experience for nothing?
Not always easy to say no and trust your gut, but set expectations. Tell people you have 15 or 30 minutes open for discussion and ask what they want to get out of the conversation before accepting.
Stop Blowing in the Wind
Weathervane clients, we've all had them.
They change direction every time they speak to someone new or read some new piece of information.
Make it clear at the start how you will agree when a piece of work is approved and how you will deal with changes to work after it has been approved.
A client who thinks asking for this is unreasonable is trouble in the post.
What’s your Number Six on this list?