Being creative about the ways you get paid for the work you do can open up a pile of additional opportunities…
I found an old note I’d written to myself, about Dan Sullivan’s six ways to get paid. And when I reflected on each, I realized that at different points in my career, each had contributed substantially to my success.
So I thought I’d share these with you.
They’re especially important to think about early in your career — although today, every new opportunity that I consider includes a combination of these factors.
Here’s the list — followed by reflections on each…
Get paid through developing new Capability…
One of the reasons, early on in my career, that I loved to work with marketing “gurus” was that it would often lead to me getting a ton of expensive training for free.
Every time I’ve written for an information product that involved selling marketing how-to, I’ve had to learn that how-to first.
Which quickly led to me being able to apply in again and again, in future work.
Without giving away everyone who has given me their training for free, I can tell you that this played at least some role in my learning advanced marketing testing strategies, copywriting for information marketing and publishing, copywriting in general, and a whole lot more.
Some of the world’s best marketing minds have handed me free access to their best programs just so I could help them with their marketing. It’s a nice “perk” of the job.
Get paid in an opportunity to express your Creativity…
Let’s compare two clients. One is bossy and rams their ideas down your throat and makes you write about them. The other gives you more free reign to write about your own ideas and let the market decide their worth.
The first might pay more, but I can guarantee that by the end of the project, you’d be happier with the second.
The drive toward mastery of creative expression and the pride of ownership over your work is actually a stronger motivator than money, especially over the long term.
Get paid through the additional Credibility it gives…
When I agreed to write The Titans of Direct Response promotion for Brian Kurtz, there was no amount of money that would compare to my being able to — for the rest of my life — represent myself as “The Titans Copywriter.”
Opportunities like this abound, and often can form stepping stones into bigger and bigger opportunities.
There’s a good reason that client lists are a staple of marketing of many kinds of products and services. Because if someone looks up to those who’ve chosen to do business with you, you get some of the authority and credibility that comes with it. And that pays off for far longer than the original income from the sale.
Get paid through the Connections an opportunity creates…
Have you ever heard the saying, “Your network is your net worth?” It’s worth thinking about in this regard.
While I’ve done things to actively position and promote myself since 2007, I can look back and see how one connection led to another that led to another that led to another, bringing me forward to today.
The more people who know you, like you, and trust you enough to talk about you with their friends and colleagues, the easier it becomes for you to get future business.
And while “networking” on its own can have some impact here, the best kind of recommendation sounds a lot like, “Oh yeah, I hired her, and she really knocked it out of the park with her work.”
Get paid with Confidence you can apply to your next projects…
Sometimes the most important payoff you get comes from experience, success, and momentum in the right direction.
I’ve written before about Dan Sullivan’s 4 Cs to Unstoppable Confidence. His argument, which I agree with, is that we often want to shortcut straight to confidence. When really, Confidence is the outcome of a process.
That process is: Commit to doing something new that will stretch you. Act with Courage because you don’t know if you’ll succeed. Develop Competence through the experience of doing this new thing. And finally get Confidence as your experience tells you that you can do it.
That requires thrusting yourself forward into the great unknown, time after time, taking on increasingly-bigger challenges. That’s not always the highest-paying thing to do, but in the long run, it will give you the confidence to just keep taking on bigger challenges.
Get paid in cold, hard Cash…
Finally, and importantly, you can get paid in cash. This is last for a reason. Namely, that everybody else thinks of it first.
Yes, it’s important. And if your family can’t eat and needs clothes on their back and a roof over their head, cash is probably the only thing you’re thinking about.
However, in the long run, if you only go after the cash, you won’t earn as much of it (because those other ways of getting paid increase your value), and you probably won’t feel as satisfied.
How to use this…
If you’re selling your services (copywriting or otherwise), consider what clients you can go after that bring some of these other forms of payment to the table. Weigh the value of each compared to your immediate need for cash. If you’re willing to take less cash today to work with a client who can increase your value in the long run, consider it an investment in your future. Frankly, I think if I hadn’t focused beyond cash in my early days, I don’t think I’d justify nearly the fee I earn today when I choose to take on client work.
If you’re hiring others, consider how you can supplement they cash income you can offer with these other forms of value. It’s not an excuse to underpay your service providers. However, a business that pays well AND creates these other forms of value in their service providers or employees lives will be seen as a better client or employer than others who do not.
Done right, everybody wins — which is how I like it!
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,