Quite often, I work with clients who become friends or friends who become clients. I love it, but sometimes things can get a little tricky, especially when it comes to money.
I have been a Freelance Creative Director/Copywriter for the past 12 years and I have always handled myself professionally. I keep good records of my time, I always deliver work on time and I’m very respectful of my clients and their budgets.
Last week, my friend contacted me about a project that needed to be turned around in 24-36 hours. This is not unusual for her company to ask for things like this and this is also not unusual for freelance projects to drop in your lap with little time to spare.
I was working on another big project, but thought I could swing both. Just before I was going to send her my work, I called her with a couple of questions. Our conversation made me wonder if some of my concepts were a little off-base, so I banged out a few more just in case. I was totally in the zone and when I looked up, two hours had passed. That feeling of being in the zone is great when you’re doing creative work, but what wasn’t great was that I went over the number of hours she asked me to work on it.
I had put in an additional hour, which may not seem like a big deal, but since I get paid by the hour, it can add up. Normally on a project if I see that my work is starting to approach the maximum number of hours allotted, I’ll let the client know. However, since this was such a rush job and I truly got carried away, I lost track of time.
Luckily, she’s a fellow creative and she understands how these things go. This is also the first time I’ve ever done this in the five plus years we’ve worked together.
However, I was faced with a little bit of a dilemma. Do I ask if I can get paid for the additional hour being completely honest about what happened or do I suck it up?
Normally, I would just eat the cost and not worry about it, but that never feels good, especially since I work so hard on my projects. I also knew I had done good work (she told me how happy she was), so I figured it was worth asking. The worst she can say is no.
But the bigger thing is that I was saying no to sucking it up and not asking for what I wanted. I know it’s one measly hour, but it was a big deal to me.
I emailed her about it last week and never heard back. I got a little worried, but also knew how busy she was, so I followed up this week and she agreed. It was so not a big deal, but in my head it was.
I’m really glad that I stood up for what I wanted. I know others may not have done thought twice about it, but it felt good not only that I asked, but I got what I wanted.
What would you have done in this situation? Asked for the money or kept your trap shut? Tell me below and if you like what you’ve read, please share it or subscribe below. Thanks!