Love sharing your culinary creations, artwork, skill, or craft? Do you aspire to secure brand partnerships? Or maybe you don't but you've been approached. I fully recognize the allure of free groceries in exchange for a post, but it's easy to miss the damage that's being done here.
I'm on a mission to empower creatives, preserve the integrity of the creative industry, and keep the massive savings corporations are making off of user-generated content to a minimum. Truth is - you and I need/deserve that cash more than the corporate CEOs stuffing their wallets do and accepting their free product for content is a step in the wrong direction. The truth is nobody prefers freebies over cold hard cash - it's okay to admit we often don't have the confidence to ask for money, think our content is worthy of cash, or know what to say. I just want you to know - you can, it is and I'll tell ya!
I'm dishing up two of my go-to straightforward responses that inspire ownership and underline the importance of safeguarding the creative profession.
1. Secure Your 1st Partnership: Value the Creative Industry
This is where it starts. Be straightforward and unwavering in your commitment to paid opportunities, emphasizing the importance of valuing the creative industry and the potential of user-generated content for marketing:
"I appreciate your interest in collaboration, thank you. I have many unique ideas to offer, I love ______ because ________. I am unable to commit to a trade - I prioritize paid opportunities because I understand the importance of valuing the creative industry. User-generated content plays a significant role in modern marketing, and compensating creatives fairly is not only respectful but also ensures the creation of authentic and impactful content. I believe that securing paid partnerships is not just about my benefit but about preserving the value of creative professions. I would be thrilled to discuss a paid opportunity that works for both of us, please let me know if you're interested."
2. The Value-Driven Response: Protecting Your Craft
When a brand approaches for a collaboration, it's a moment to celebrate. Collaborations are where the magic unfolds, and it's vital to empower creatives and protect their contributions. I express my gratitude for their interest and then communicate my commitment to maintaining the value of creative work:
"Thank you for considering me for this opportunity! I'm genuinely honored and am already brewing a slew of ideas. My favorite thing about "brand name" is ______ and it matters to me because _______. I'm dedicated to delivering excellence and preserving the integrity of my craft. To ensure I can give your brand the attention it deserves while upholding the creative industry, I work within my established rates. I'm open to discussing a partnership that not only honors your brand but also respects my profession and the value I bring to yours. If you'd like to explore a paid opportunity further, please feel free to reach out."
Remember, in the face of requests for free work, you have the power to inspire and protect the creative industry. Be straightforward and unwavering in your commitment to fair compensation. The door is always open to explore paid opportunities.
It's important to recognize that creative work doesn't require professional gear or credentials. Today, much of the demand is for content created on our phones. However, the misconception that creatives should provide their services for free is incredibly damaging.
Major brands reaching out for trades are banking on your insecurity. Corporate photoshoots for just a single advertisement start at a client expense of $75,000. What happens when they don't have to pay for stylists, camera crews, and talent? My guess is they aren't redistributing it at the end of the year to their workforce. Corporate America is pocketing millions in ad budgets while they dish out free snacks and then they trick us into being excited about it.
It's time for creatives to take ownership of our worth and ask for the fair compensation we deserve for our highly in-demand work. After all, isn't it much more empowering when your side skill can fund vacations and experiences rather than just provide a few free snacks? Or is that just me?
Need to level up as a creative? I offer 1:1 coaching for creatives. We can talk licensing, contracts, pricing, partnerships, professional creative tools, marketing and mindset (find another coach with this range of skills I dare you). I'll share all my secrets and offer the inspiring business support and no-bs accountability you need to launch into a new realm. Learn more here. Ready to jump in? Book your clarity call here.