For freelancers, the struggle to be taken seriously and be paid properly is real. Bloggers and influencers in particular seem to face issues with being compensated fairly and receiving payment on time.
The thing is, if you have a blog or other social media based presence and you get paid to produce content, you are running a business (go you!) and deserve to be treated as such.
So, with that said, I wanted to share some tips for bloggers to be taken more seriously as legitimate business owners.
Know the basics of business
There's no need to resit your business studies GCSE exam, but you should know the basics of client contracts and invoicing.
So, here's the quick version: if you're working with a brand or client, discuss the work you'll be carrying out and your fee, and make sure you use a contract to confirm what's been agreed. This protects you if the client doesn't pay and your client if you don't complete your work as promised.
When you've completed your work, make sure you invoice the brand/client promptly. Here's a guide to creating invoices and what to include in them.
You may have a casual blogging "voice" which makes up part of your brand, but when it comes to dealing with potential clients, it's always a good idea to speak professionally (depending on the kind of relationship you have with the person you're in contact with).
So check your spelling, use appropriate language and um, don't put kisses on the end of your emails or address the person you're speaking to as "hun", "babe" or "mate".
This extends to social media to a point - don't complain about brands you work with or call them out for not paying you - it makes you look like a brat and will also put potential collaborators off working with you.
Respond to emails promptly, don't go AWOL and make sure any sponsored posts or work you've agreed to are completed by the agreed date.
If someone is paying you to do something, you need to respect both them and yourself by doing what you say you'd do, when you say you'll do it. Do your business justice and represent it well.
After all, if you can't be relied on, you're basically screaming, "I don't take my business seriously", so why should your client?
Make your blog brand and PR-friendly
People who want to work for you are busy and don't want to spend 10 minutes of their time trying to find out how to contact you.
So make it easy for them! Make sure your email address is clearly displayed on your blog (I suggest including it in your sidebar as well as on a contact/work with me page) and social media.
You may also want to include details of any brands you've worked with, any articles you've been featured in and any publications you've written for.
You should have a media kit prepared to send to potential collaborators which includes some information about your blog, your blog and social media stats and your prices, and update it regularly. Here's a great guide to making a media kit.
If you want to turn your blog into a business but don't know where to start with things like invoicing, keeping track of your blog income and tax, join my course, Easy Numbers.
Easy Numbers makes the behind the scenes of running a business easy to understand and manage.
It's made up of four modules of quick video lessons which you can complete in any order you want to, and you'll also get loads of resources to help you run your blogging business.
I'm a financial coach and mentor helping female business owners to gain the knowledge and confidence they need to manage their finances successfully and have a positive relationship with money. If you're ready to take control of your finances, click below to find out how I can help you.
I also have a range of amazing resources which you can use to help improve your business finances.