Two events took place yesterday that give me the sense that far too many creatives still forget what makes them a professional.
The first was a link to story that appeared on my Facebook timeline, it was entitled ‘5 Things All Audio Professionals Should Know.’ It was a good list but seemed to have a huge omission, that was not one mention of money.
The second was that my wife booked a professional consultant visit the house and even on arrival I had to ask ‘how much am I paying you for the service today?’
The consultant went coy and said ‘I hate talking about money.’ I then did a little consultation of my own explaining how she needed to have that discussion before she even left her office to visit us. What if I had not accepted their rate for the job, what if I couldn’t afford to pay? Having the discussion at that point was not appropriate.
The Difference Between Professional And Amateur
So I want to remind all of you what makes you a professional - you get paid for doing what you do, that’s what makes the distinction from amateur to professional.
Too often the word ‘professional’ is unhelpfully used as a status symbol, a badge of expertise or experience. Let’s be clear you might be the most knowledgeable and experienced creative in your town, but if you don’t get paid then you are not a professional.
Show Me The Money
As a professional you should never forget that you are getting paid for offering the service of your skills and expertise so there are a few things you should remember;
- Make sure people know how much your services cost and when you need paying. Be clear about money before you even start the job.
- Never apologize when asking for money, being a professional means getting paid for the service you offer.
- Make sure you stay on top of billing, no one will ask you for the invoice.
- Make sure you chase the money you are owed, few clients pay on time.
You are a creative because you love doing what you do, at least I hope that’s the case. What makes you a professional is that you get paid for the service you offer, don’t confuse the two… love what you do, but if you’re a professional then make sure you get paid for it.