Part 13. Choose wisely
As simply as I can state this: there is no oversight in this industry. Ethical treatment of yourself is up to you.
What does this mean?
If someone approaches you for a collaboration, find out what is in it for you. My rule is this: if income is being made, I get a cut of that income depending on the value of my participation.
So, when someone asks you to collaborate, determine the motive of the invitation of participation, the cost of your participation (travel, product, time spent marketing), the percentage of your cut if there is income being made, or the equal share of your participation if no income is being made (all parties agree to do all the work in marketing each other, with posts, etc.).
To make this easy for you: "No" is my favorite word!
Here are some ways to say "NO".
"Can you develop marketing and content for my kit and promote it for free?"
"My time is very valuable as you know! I create intellectual property for $125 an hour or $3k a course, your choice. Also, if I am doing any live promoting I'll take a cut of sales while I did that promo. Let's chat!"
"Can you come to my location on vacation and teach at this rate? It will be fun!"
"How sweet of you to think of me. We have already planned our vacation. My rate is $75 per contact hour plus travel for your venue. Let's chat!!"
"May I use images of your flowers to create new content that I sell? I will give you one of the products I make with this collaboration for free!"
"So at the end of the day, you are making continual profit on my intellectual property...I create that for $125 an hour....let's chat!"
"Will you speak at my garden club? We give you lunch."
"How lovely! It is too far away for me to travel, can we do it on Zoom? My rate is $50 an hour for garden clubs. Let's chat!"
"Will you run my community and solve the community problems while I work on my business?"
"I have my own business to run! Let's pay a virtual assistant? Split it?"
All of these are way to direct the conversation towards a gracious "No".
One of the best tips I ever received in a gracious "No" goes like this:
"Speak slowly, say no, and then go."
Do I say "Yes"? Yes! I have had a lot of positive collaborations.
My teachers in my schools receive 80%. I take 20% for establishing the market, paying the platform, and promoting to my list.
My designers in my schools receive 8%. Any time a course is sold they receive a commission.
My affiliates range in commission. If I am listed on someone's website or in an email newsletter, that person receives a cut of sales depending on the size of their list.
(What is a list? It's your customer base, or email list, of people who have purchased products or services for you. I use Teachable to manage my list. Lists convert at 2%, meaning any time I promote something I can expect 2% of the list to buy the promotion. That, my friends, is understanding profit.)
I've worked with artists locally and around the world for flat fees that produced beautiful assets.
And I still say no 95% of the time.