When you book Unashamedly Creative and pay your deposit, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions outlined here.
It’s your responsibility to ensure you are able to meet these terms prior to payment being made.
Terms and Conditions
Thanks for taking the time to whizz past the Unashamedly Creative terms and conditions. We’re about to embark on a business journey together that involves trust, clear communication and a whole bucket of fun. And we can enjoy all three of these wonderful things much better if we both understand our roles, responsibilities and obligations to each other.
PLEASE NOTE: By indicating you want to work with me and paying your deposit, you are also stating that you have taken the time to read and agree to the terms and conditions of our working arrangement. Please make sure you do!
General Agreement Terms and Conditions
1) Briefing Process
1.1 All clients (that’s you) that book Unashamedly Creative (that’s me) go through a briefing process. This involves discussing your project needs via Skype (preferred), on the phone (second preference) or in person (available to Sydney clients only) for half an hour or more. I will ask you the particulars of your project and any clarifying questions I need. I may record our briefing session by taking notes and in some cases, audio. This is done to ensure I know from the get-go what you need.
1.2 I will be given access to your existing online presence. During the process, you will be asked to supply your existing social media channels, the URL to your website and/or any other pertinent documentation so that an informed proposal can be assembled for your project. I keep all this information confidential. It is used to ensure I can get a feel for your needs and make the appropriate suggestions during the quotation stage.
1.3 You will give me the information I need to review your project needs effectively. If you are a startup, a fledgling business with no online presence and/or in the middle of a rebrand/revamp of your business, I will need to see supporting documentation of your idea. This includes but is not limited to a business plan, product documentation and/or some form of written proof of concept. All of these details are dealt with in the strictest confidence. I make a commitment to you to treat your business idea with genuine respect. And I have an expectation that this will be reciprocated by you supplying the information I need to create your quotation.
1.4 You understand that my job is to market and/or write for your project. You as the project owner are required to have an understanding of what your project entails prior to engagement. My role as your marketer and/or copywriter is to distil your business story into a marketable format. Therefore, your idea needs to be in production and moving towards development in order to qualify for marketing services unless it is classed as being in the ‘idea development stage’ (see 1.5).
1.5 In the case of idea development (i.e. where your business is not formed yet and you are unable to produce appropriate proof of concept) you MUST commit to a marketing foundation plan as your first level of engagement with me. This level of understanding and study needs to be completed prior to other services commencing. While it sounds cute to have a napkin with your business idea written on it or to chat over coffee and pick my brain on how to turn your dream into a reality, the fact remains you need a handle on what your business is first. The aim of a marketing foundation plan is to obtain the level of information required to create an actionable plan for your project going forward. This is billed at $1999 ex GST and is customised to your particular business idea.
2) Quotations and Proposals
2.1 Quotations are based on the scope of the work given at the time of our initial contact during the briefing stage. When I give you a quote, it is usually in the form of a proposal that outlines your project’s background, what you need help with, what my approach to the project is and a quotation based on the elements within that proposal. It includes a breakdown of what I will do. Your quotation is valid for 30 days from the date noted on the proposal.
2.2 You need to read the quotation proposal. I know that sounds like a given, but in case you just wanted to skip to the money part and leap in the air from joy, I need to make that clear. Your proposal acts as the scope of the work and is a living, breathing document I work from. So the time to say “hold on lil Missy, I am not sure I need that” or “What does that mean?” is after your proposal review and before you pay the deposit invoice.
2.3 Your quotation includes revisions and re-writes. As this varies based on the scope of the project, how many rounds of revision you are entitled to will be noted within the proposal. The standard offering is 2 revisions per quotation for websites and 1 revision for marketing plans. Additional revisions will be charged per the rate outlined in your proposal. You need to approve these extra charges prior to the additional work commencing. This is another reason why you need to read the proposal to ensure that what I deliver in the draft stage matches what you expect.
2.4 Scope creep and on-the-fly changes cost extra money. As each proposal and its quotation is created after careful consideration of your project’s needs, modifications, changes and/or additions to the original scope will cost you extra. In the instances where additions, modifications and changes apply, you will be notified via email of the cost and work required to support your changes. In order for the changes to take place, you need to respond to the affirmative in writing. So to ensure your project stays to budget, please try to schedule all your flashes of brilliance prior to paying the invoice so they can be included in your proposal. That way we can keep your budget on target while we get giddy about the possibility right from the start.
2.5 I only accept approval of quotes and proposals in writing. You need to email me back to state the project is approved. I do not accept verbal confirmation on phone or in person under any circumstances. Not even if you send singing telegrams.
2.6 I work with you to craft a proposal that suits your project needs. In most instances, this will include a baseline quotation that centres on your specific ask as well as any additional marketing, copywriting, content and/or social media support that would work for your project. You can choose the elements you see fit the project based on your budget and needs under what I call my “yum cha” menu. Once you make the decision on the elements in the proposal, I will send an amended quote and/or deposit invoice. You are always in control of what you will be spending. As such, you can decline elements you think are not necessary and request their removal from your proposal. But like any good professional, I will look at what I can do to improve your situation that will include choices.
2.7 The prices I quote are done so with both our budgets in mind. So please don’t offend me by asking for discounts and I won’t offend you by treating you like some kind of cash piñata. I’m helpful, reasonable and open to feedback. But I can’t and will not compete with the dude down the road who is fresh out of uni who will do it for a wink and a handshake or someone overseas who has moved from sewing athletic wear into writing copy.
2.8 My dog has a really hard time digesting equity instead of kibble, so it’s best for all concerned if I decline any offer of founder status, deferred payment and/or promises of future gold yachts in lieu of actual payment for work completed in this little clause right here. When you book Unashamedly Creative and pay with money, not vague dreams of the future.
3.1 I will supply you an invoice together with appropriate payment details for your project. You’ll look at that, be happy and ready to pay.
3.2 For projects over $500, a non-refundable deposit of 50% is payable prior to work commencing. That way, I am not distracted by hunger and the potential of eviction and can focus on your project.
3.3 For projects of $500 or less, the entire sum needs to be paid prior to work commencing. My accountant has been pretty strict on this. He’s a nice guy otherwise, but he really, really hates it when I bring fun-sized invoices in.
3.4 For retainers, we’ll be making a 3 month commitment to each other based on an agreed monthly rate depending on how many days you need. These are billed monthly and payable within 7 days.
3.5 Once you make the payment, I require proof of payment and/or clearance in my bank account prior to providing you with a scheduled work date. This is so work can be scheduled accordingly. Once work is complete, the balance of your invoice is due within 7 days of issue.
3.6 I expect you to be a responsible business person with your financials in order. By accepting a quote and engaging my services, you accept responsibility for any invoice that remains unpaid for more than 8 days. This responsibility includes paying 10% interest on your overdue account from the 8th day through to the 20th day. For accounts more than 21 days in arrears, a 20% invoice late fee will be charged and debt collectors will be engaged. You will be responsible for paying for the debt collectors, too. Bottom line- pay on time and we’ll have a great relationship. Make my accountant have to chase you, and we both get pretty sad and stressed pretty damn quickly.
3.7 Any costs associated to the project (e.g. couriers, other media, travel, purchases you request I make to help support your work, online fees, software etc) are to be paid directly by you. I will send through the costs and invoices to you to make payment. That way, you can keep track of what you spend on outside costs and have the appropriate records for your tax. I don’t buy things on client’s behalf because it becomes a right royal arse-ache come EOFY.
3.8 If at any time you wish to terminate your project with me, I will bill you for work undertaken at that time. Please remember your deposit is non-refundable and that your seat needs to be returned to the upright position. I will send what I have to any new supplier you choose. I’ve never faced this situation before but I do recognise that sometimes what looked like a beautiful business partnership may have been only worthy of a brief flirtation. So as long as you don’t leave me to pick up the tab or go psycho on my arse, I promise we will part as friends.
3.9 In the case of an early cancellation of a retainer, you’ll need to pay me for the work completed plus the 50% of the retainer that remains. This is because I only accept a limited amount of retainers per month and schedule days 3 months in advance. In order to fill that gap, I’ll need to do some pretty dandy footwork so there needs to be a little compensation in those cases. Plus it also prohibits the occasional business that thinks a retainer is a great way to get a cheaper rate. I can only offer that discount for ongoing work, so having the cancellation clause helps deter that sneaky temptation.
4) Work processes
4.1 Meetings are often big sink holes of time that neither of us really need to work on your project effectively. In order to keep things as lean and efficient as possible, I keep face-to-face meetings to a minimum. To help wean any previous meeting addicts off this often costly, undocumented and fruitless process, I charge travel time and booking fees. You will always stay informed, but you’ll discover the joy of efficiency without meeting reliance is quite delightful.
4.2 Timelines are transparent. I make a commitment to schedule your project in and let you know when the work will begin, when you should expect drafts, and based on draft feedback, when your finished project will be completed. You in turn need to make a commitment to provide me the info I need to start your project, turn around your feedback and give approval in a timely manner.
4.3 Life is messy and things happen. So if either of us finds that the timeline is unachievable due to equipment and power failure, personal injury, death in the family, political unrest, force majeure and/or attack of flying monkeys, we both need to be responsible enough to let the other know.
4.4 I work with you to have a timeline that suits. I know you are probably working on 17 other things while I toil away at your marketing and/or content so I don’t want to seem like a toddler tugging on your very busy apron. So if you are busy and your turnaround on feedback or edits need an extra dash of space, by all means let me know.
4.5 Maintaining a full and complete schedule ensures me and my Labrador have a roof over our head and food in our tummies. As such, I schedule work based on who pays first and what timeline suits that customer. If you run late in supplying assets and edits, for the love of little kittens, please drop me an email. I’d much prefer an email that lets me know I have to find someone else to fill your space in an emergency than expect work that does not show. A lost work day means I miss out on income for that day. Let me know! That way we’ll be bestest friends for ever-est.
4.6 To avoid upsetting clients already cued and playing ball, it is rare I will take last minute jobs. To avoid burn out and to maintain personal health, it’s also rare I will work evenings, weekends and public holidays. If you want a rushed project, the minimum spend is $1000 and you’ll need to pay a 25% levy on the quote. Payment also needs to be in full and upfront. Yes, you can tell I prefer a normal schedule and reading books at night to wrangling last minute changes.
4.7 In the case of a retainer, I set aside a day of your choosing as your dedicated day of service per week. You will need to send me anything pertinent to completing the day’s work by midday the day before so I get the chance to ask questions if needs be. This is your booked day. So if something happens that you need to change it, you need to let me know ASAP. In some cases, I can roll your retainer day to a later stage in the month. However, you need to be responsible for your scheduling of work, too. Your monthly retainer is a set fee for each month. So if you choose not to use your days in a month, if we can’t roll them over in agreement, you will forgo them.
4.8 Reasonable communication helps the project come to life. I welcome emails and feedback. I like to look after my clients with regular communication and updates, and I have no problem with introducing you to people that can help with the journey or taking the lead on communicating what you need with a designer or developer. However, there is a limit to what is reasonable. Extra project management with other freelancers, your staff and companies associated with your projects development will be at additional cost if outside a reasonable limit. If I am starting to feel less like your freelancer and more like your Mum, believe me, I’ll let you know. If you need extra support, we can arrange a mentoring situation (fees apply).
4.9 I find phone calls disrupt my flow and prefer they are kept to a minimum. We can schedule regular check in meetings on Skype or the phone about your project or retainer as part of your delivery. Due to needing quiet to get writing done during the day, you’ll usually get an answering machine. Email is better for both of us as it is quicker, and it also means we have a reference point. I am also cool with being on Skype for quick questions and answers via IM. Oh, and I hate talking on the phone. No idea why but I don’t even ring for take-out. So if you can accommodate that little eccentricity of mine and keep calls to a minimum, we’ll get on famously.
5.1 You can expect a professional, hard working, honest and WYSWYG work experience with me. While I can’t make any guarantees about the success of your marketing (anyone who says they can get you on the first page of Google or to lunch with Richard Branson to discuss your startup idea is on crack. I hope you understand that), I do guarantee I will be professional, considerate of your time and budget, and that I will deliver a high quality experience that is geared towards giving you a red-hot go with your project.
5.2 My tagline is truth and creativity in marketing. This means I will always market your project in a way that highlights its need in the eye of the consumer and in a way that doesn’t get you into hot water. I will bring fresh, tailored and customised ideas to your project while being ethical, transparent and honest in my advice and approach.
5.3 My aim is to empower your business. So you can expect a coach-like attitude to your project. I want you to have a hassle free and positive experience with me. I also want to future-proof your experience by sharing what I know with you so you can keep making improvements after I leave. So you can be assured I won’t be making it sound complicated when it isn’t, or that the information I provide is there just to look pretty.
5.4 Gaining consensus from the stakeholders in your business is your responsibility. I have one point of contact for your project alone. This is you or a person you nominate within your business/organisation. If revisions, feedback and reviews need to pass by boards, co-founders, business partners, employees, Great Aunt Judy or Marvin the Coffee Guy down the road, that’s up to you (or your nominated contact) to glean and incorporate into your feedback. I cannot and will not revise your project because your wife had a last minute addition or based on 7 different opinions from 23 different people. You need to have a unified and singular response during our feedback cycles to minimise the margin for error and workload.
5.5 You accept that you are not my sole client. To help our relationship remain rewarding and pleasant, you will not in any way harass hi-jack or turn into the re-incarnation of Glenn Close’s Fatal Attraction character. This includes but is not limited to giving reasonable times for responses (so please don’t email me, text me and call within 20 minutes demanding a response), accepting unforseen illness/injury can happen and that I may need time to get well again, not taking my refusal to move my booked and paid for annual holiday personally, and not insisting I spend my evenings off with you as a mandatory “team bonding” experience.
While this probably all sounds a little crackers to reasonable business people, these examples are based on real life experiences I have encountered. So I just wanted to say as much as I am lovable in some weird kind of way, we’re in an open yet respectful relationship with a bunch of safe words and clear boundaries. If you’d like something a little more one-on-one and high touch, let me recommend someone else to you.
6) Copyright and Intellectual Property
6.1 Until you pay your invoices for work completed, the copyright and IP remains with me. This is to protect me from you skipping the final invoice and using my work without paid permission. Once you pay the bill, the work I have given is yours.
6.2 I promise not to share your business intelligence, marketing ideas, keywords or anything prepared and discussed with a competitor. That’d just make me the biggest jerk in town, and I don’t want to be that guy. When you book Unashamedly Creative, you also get loyalty as part of the bargain.
6.3 I promise not to work with anyone who is your direct competitor while I look after you. We both know that with each client, I acquire experience and knowledge in your industry that may prove useful with other work down the track. However, this will be knowledge of the industry, not specifically of your business, that will be informing future projects. While we’re together, it’s all about you, baby.
6.4 Cross promotion is the bomb. This is why I will openly share your business and/or product with my audience via sharing your marketing campaigns, writing case studies for my website and helping you reach eyeballs by leveraging my following. However, if you need a quieter approach (such as in a ghost-writing situation) or your big guns prefer NDA’s to be in place, just say the word and I won’t share a thing.
6.5 You are responsible for securing your trademarks, IP and making sure you aren’t copying someone else’s idea accidently or intentionally. If you’ve been a naughty scamp and stolen someone else’s idea and that leads to major problems, I cannot be held responsible for this. Your business registration and not infringing on someone else’s lawful property is your responsibility.
6.6 If someone does try to sue you due to breaches of IP or associated problems, you agree to indemnify me from all legal fees, claims, costs and expenses. And to buy me a bottle of very nice whisky for putting me through such a scary ordeal. I in turn promise not to do anything intentionally that could be considered campaign theft or repurposing.
6.7 Once you receive your assets from me, you can edit it, change it and even slice it into small tiny pieces if you wish. However, beyond making me cry because you’ve potentially changed the appearance of one of my wordy little children, you also accept that changes to my work will remove my responsibility to them. So (for example) if you ask for me to do some SEO copywriting based on approved keywords and then you change the copy and your rankings lower, that’s not my fault. Or if I improvise a campaign based on tests and metrics, if you change the basis, parts and/or modify that campaign in any way, any targets set as part of the campaign become null and void. The short story is I create to a brief based on knowledge acquired at the time. If you make changes after hand over, you need to take responsibility for any negative outcomes.
7) SEO and Knowledge Based Performance
7.1 Nobody can predict what the next change to the Google algorithm may be. I will however endeavour to use the best possible SEO practices at the time of your project being undertaken to ensure that everything from an SEO copywriting perspective has been done. All decisions based on SEO will be to Google Webmaster Guidelines.
7.2 I will supply you information related to on-page and off-page SEO to be used to support the project. This includes (but isn’t limited to) recommendations regarding WordPress plug-ins, back-link acquisition, directory submission, social proof and social media, and anything else that is needed to help your website rank. You and your developer can turn that into confetti if you want to, however if you choose to bypass the recommendations, I can’t be held responsible for issues you have in terms of ranking or Google being cranky, penalising or banning you.
7.3 I will always advise based on current marketing practices and social media requirements. It’s within my mandate to stay as up to date as possible. It’s in your mandate to accept my advice and also accept that nothing in marketing will succeed 100% of the time all the time. I will ensure that my advice meets the guidelines and codes of each platform. You will agree to understanding that all things in social media take time to get a community buzzing.
7.4 Content isn’t just for Christmas. While content marketing is a great way to market your business, you accept that it will take time to build a library of articles and to develop an engaged, trusting audience via content. I will at all times pursue opportunities to ensure your content gains exposure with the right audience and will support the marketing of your business. You in turn will not freak out if 3 blogs into the process, Pam Anderson hasn’t got you on speed dial. You understand that content is a slow burn in the marketing world and will require time to build.
8) Entire Agreement
These terms and conditions form the basis of our working relationship moving forward. These terms and conditions supersede any assumptions and/or verbal conversations. Additional terms and conditions and/or agreed modifications will be supplied to you as part of your proposal. Any waiver of breach of specific conditions cannot be construed as a waiver and/or breach of the entire agreement or non-related clauses. These terms and conditions are governed by Australian law and you agree and submit to exclusive jurisdiction in the Australian courts. Any disputes will be held within the New South Wales courts. You agree through payment of monies (deposit or otherwise) and verbal agreement of a working relationship that we will abide this agreement at all times.
You made it to the end. Go get yourself a hearty piece of cake and a nice coffee as reward for being a responsible, engaged and exciting client to work with!
Have your read my terms and conditions and want to book Unashamedly Creative? Head on over to the contact page!