Terms & 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/first invoice, you are also stating that you’ve 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

1.1 All clients (that’s you) who book Unashamedly Creative (that’s me) go through a briefing process. This involves discussing your project needs via Zoom (preferred), on the phone (second preference) or in person (available to select clients only) for half an hour or more. I’ll ask you the particulars of your project and any clarifying questions I need answered. I may record our briefing session by taking notes and recording the audio. This is done to ensure I know from the get-go what you need.

I can arrange an email brief. However, I’d prefer to speak to you so I know we’re definitely on the same page.

1.2 You will give me access to any of your current online presence and communication assets I deem relevant to do the work required. During the process, you will need to supply your existing social media channels, the URL to your website and/or any other pertinent documentation so I can assemble an informed proposal for your project. I will keep all of this information confidential, and use it 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 start-up, a fledgling business with no online presence and/or in the middle of a rebrand/revamp of your organisation, I will need to see supporting documentation of your idea including (but not limited to) a business plan, product documentation and/or some form of written proof of concept. These details will all be dealt with in the strictest confidence. I make a commitment to treat your business idea with genuine respect. And I expect you to reciprocate this by 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 understand what your project entails before engaging my services. My role as your communications specialist is to distil your business story into an agreeable format. Your idea needs to be in production and moving towards development to qualify for marketing services unless it’s classed as being in the ‘idea development stage’ (see 1.5).

1.5 In the case of idea development (i.e. where your business isn’t 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 before starting any other services. While it sounds cute having your business idea written on a napkin or chatting over coffee and picking my brain about how to turn your dream into a reality, you need a handle on what your business is first. The aim of a marketing foundation plan is to get enough information to create an actionable plan for your project going forward. This is billed at $2,500+GST and is customised to your particular business idea.

1.6 Where the work involves reviewing your workplace to undertake a freelance-friendly workplace culture review, access may be more physical than virtual. This will be done by negotiation and discussion, and may include having physical access to your workplace. Visits and on-site requirements will be charged at an agreed rate depending on the length of time needed and your geographical location from Wollongong. Costs will likely include transport and accommodation for any city outside Wollongong. This will be charged according to market rate at the time of confirmation of booking.

2.1   Quotations are based on the scope of the work given to me at our initial contact during the briefing stage. My quotes are 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 quote based on the elements within that proposal. The quote will include a breakdown of what I will do. The quote 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 with 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. The time to say “Hold on, li’l Missy. I’m 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 rewrites for written assets. As this varies based on the scope of the project, how many rounds of revision you’re entitled to will be noted within the proposal. The standard offering is two revisions per quotation for websites and one revision for marketing, contingency and strategy plans. Additional revisions will be charged per the rate outlined in your proposal. You need to approve these extra charges before the additional work starts. This is another reason why you should read the proposal—to ensure what I deliver in the draft stage matches what you expect.

2.4 In the case of quotations for freelance-friendly workplace culture work, these are determined by scope. How the process will be undertaken is up for negotiation, depending on the scale of the work at hand. Any out-of-pocket expenses such as flights and accommodation will also be listed in the proposal.

2.5   Scope creep and on-the-fly changes cost extra money. As each proposal and its quotation is created after carefully considering your project’s needs, modifications, changes and/or additions to the original scope will cost you extra. Where additions, modifications and changes apply, you will be notified via email of the cost and work needed to support your changes. For the changes to take place, you need to respond to the affirmative in writing. To ensure you stick to your project, try to schedule all your flashes of brilliance before 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.

2.6   I only accept approvals of quotes and proposals in writing. You need to send me an email stating 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.

2.7   I work with you to craft a proposal that suits your project needs. In most instances, this will include a baseline quote that centres on your specific request, along with any additional elements and support that would work for your project. You can choose the elements you think will fit the project based on your budget and needs under what I call my “yum cha” menu. Once you decide on the elements in the proposal, I will send an amended quote and/or deposit invoice. You will always be in control of how much you spend. As such, you can say “No” to elements you don’t think are necessary and ask for them to be removed from your proposal. But like any good professional, I will look at what I can do to improve your situation. And that will include choices.

2.8   The prices I quote are done so with both our budgets in mind. 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 cannot and will not compete with the dude down the road fresh out of university who’ll do work for a wink and a handshake, or someone overseas who has moved from sewing athletic wear into writing content.

2.9   My dogs have 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 you 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 $1,000, you’ll need to pay a non-refundable deposit of 50% before I start work on your project. It stops be from being distracted by hunger or the potential of foreclosure so I can focus on your project.

3.3 For projects of $1,000 or less, you’ll need to pay the full amount needs to be paid before I start work on your project. My accountant is pretty strict on this. She’s a nice person generally, but she really, really hates it when I bring fun-sized invoices in at quarterly BAS.

3.4 Speaking of BAS, I’m registered for GST, which means you need to pay GST on my invoices. Vive la collecting tax for the government, am I right?

3.5 For retainers, we’ll be making a three-month commitment to each other at an agreed monthly rate depending on how much work you need. These are billed monthly and payable within seven days at the start of each month. Work does not progress without that payment.

3.6 Once you make the payment, I need proof of payment and/or clearance in my bank account before I provide 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 seven days of issue.

3.7 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 eight 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’ll be responsible for paying for the debt collectors, too. Complete inaction will result in me lodging that invoice as bad debt, which may negatively affect your ability to work with select businesses and/or hold government contracts in future. Bottom line: pay on time and we’ll have a great relationship. Make my accountant chase you, and we both get pretty sad and stressed pretty damn quickly.

3.8 Any costs associated with the project (e.g. couriers, other media, travel, purchases you ask me to 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 for 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 a client’s behalf because it becomes a right royal arse-ache come EOFY.

3.9 If at any time you wish to terminate your project with me, I will bill you for all work undertaken at that point in time. Please remember that your deposit is non-refundable, and 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.

3.9b In the case of cancelling a retainer early, you’ll need to pay me for the work completed plus 50% of the retainer that remains. I only accept a limited number of retainers each month, and I schedule your space three months in advance. Filling that gap involves some pretty dandy footwork, and so I need a little compensation. It also stops businesses thinking a retainer is a great way to get a cheaper rate. Having the cancellation clause helps deter that sneaky temptation to ‘try before you buy’.

4.1 Meetings are often big sinkholes of time that neither of us really need to do your project effectively. To keep things as lean and efficient as possible, I only have meetings when they’re absolutely necessary. To help wean any previous meeting addicts off this often costly, undocumented and fruitless process, I may charge travel time and extra fees. Virtual meetings are always an alternative. You will stay informed and get to discover the joy of efficiency without the need for meetings.

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, provide the necessary feedback, and give approval in a timely manner.

4.3 I work with you to a timeline that suits. I know you’re probably working on 17 other things while I toil away at your project. I don’t want to seem like a toddler tugging on your very busy apron. If you’re busy and need a bit more time to provide turnaround on feedback or edits, by all means let me know.

4.4 Life is messy, and things happen. If either of us finds the timeline 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

4.5 Maintaining a full and complete schedule ensures my Labrador, my Great Dane and I have a roof over our heads and food in our tummies. As such, I schedule work based on who pays first and what timeline suits that customer. If you’re running late supplying assets and edits, for the love of little kittens please drop me an email. I’d much rather know I have to find someone else to fill your space in an emergency than expect work that doesn’t show up. A lost workday means I miss out on a day’s income. Let me know. That way we’ll be bestest friends for everest.

4.6 To avoid upsetting clients already cued and playing ball, I rarely take on last-minute jobs. To avoid burnout and maintain personal health, it’s also rare for me to work evenings, weekends and public holidays. If you want a rushed project, the minimum spend is $3,000 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 specific day(s) to complete this work. You will need to send me anything pertinent to completing the day’s work by midday the day before. That way, I have time to ask questions if need be. If something happens that forces you to change it, you need to let me know ASAP. In some cases, I can move your retainer time to a later stage in the month. However, you need to be responsible for your scheduling of work. Your monthly retainer is a set fee for each month. If you choose not to use your allocated days, 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. I have no problem introducing you to people who can help with the journey or taking the lead on communicating what you need with a designer or developer. However, there’s a limit to what’s reasonable. Extra project management with other freelancers, your staff and companies associated with your project’s development will incur an additional cost if they’re outside what I consider a reasonable limit. If I start 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 coaching session or virtual workshop (for a fee).

4.9 Unscheduled phone calls disrupt my flow and work days. We can schedule regular check-in meetings about your project on Zoom as part of your delivery. You’re welcome to leave a message (who you are, your return phone number and details) on my answering machine. However, email is better for both of us. It’s quicker, and it gives us a reference point. That being said, I’m happy to use Slack channels or other digital devices to aid with timely communication.

5.1 You can expect a professional, hardworking, honest and WYSIWYG work experience with me. I can’t guarantee the success of your comms or marketing. (Anyone who says they can get you on the first page of Google or lunch with Richard Branson to discuss your start-up idea is on crack. I hope you understand that.) What I can guarantee is that I will always:

  • be professional
  • be considerate of your time and budget
  • deliver a high-quality experience that’s geared towards giving you a red-hot go with your project.

5.2 I value truth and creativity. 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. 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. 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 only have one point of contact for your project—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, it’s up to you (or your nominated contact) to glean and incorporate their ideas into your feedback. I cannot and will not revise your project because your wife had a last-minute addition or based on seven 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 me, hijack my clients or turn into the reincarnation 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 unforeseen 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.

5.6 I can identify issues with communication, but you have to play an active role in fixing them, too. If I write a marketing plan or assess your culture based on freelance readiness, the only way the outcomes can be reached is if you implement those recommendations. I cannot be held accountable for:

  • plans that aren’t implemented
  • advice that is ignored
  • vital components of strategy that aren’t properly managed or activated.

Change doesn’t happen by opening the drawer with a document in it and hoping the vapours escape.

While this sounds a bit crackers to reasonable business people, these examples are based on real-life experiences. I feel the need to say that as much as I’m 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.

6.1 Until you pay your invoices for the work completed, the copyright and IP remain 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 created 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 any of your direct competitors while I’m looking 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, it’s knowledge of the industry, not your business specifically, that will be informing those future projects. While we’re together, it’s all about you, baby.

6.4 Cross promotion is the bomb. This is why I’ll openly share your business and/or product with my audience by sharing your marketing campaigns 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 NDAs to be in place, just say the word and I won’t share a thing.

6.5 You are responsible for securing your trademarks and 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. Registering your business and not infringing on someone else’s lawful property is your responsibility.

6.6 If someone does try to sue you for 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 them, change them and even slice them 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. For example, if you ask me to do some SEO copywriting based on approved keywords, and then you change the copy and your rankings drop, that’s not my fault. Or if I improvise a campaign based on tests and metrics, and 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 handover, you need to take responsibility for any negative outcomes.

7.1 Nobody can predict what the next Google algorithm change will be. But I will endeavour to use the best possible SEO practices at the time of undertaking your project to ensure everything has been done from an SEO copywriting perspective. I will base all my SEO decisions on the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

7.2 I will supply you with information related to on-page and off-page SEO to support the project. This includes (but isn’t limited to) recommendations regarding:

  • WordPress plugins
  • backlink acquisition
  • directory submission
  • social proof and social media
  • anything else needed to help your website rank.

You and your developer can turn that into confetti if you want to. But if you decide to bypass my recommendations, I can’t be held responsible for any 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. I will ensure my advice meets the guidelines and codes of each platform. You will agree to understand 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 always pursue opportunities to ensure your content gains exposure with the right audience and support the marketing of your business. You in turn will not freak out if three blogs into the process Scarlett Johansson doesn’t have you on speed dial. You understand that content is a slow burn in the marketing world and needs time to build.

7.5 SEO requires technical knowledge and a functioning website. If your website lacks security via an SSL certificate, is slow, is poorly designed, suffers from code bloat, has previously employed ‘black hat’ techniques and/or isn’t functioning, or its sitemap and/or robots.txt aren’t working properly, this is work for a developer. No amount of SEO work by a communications specialist or copywriter can reduce the impact of a web developer not meeting basic SEO technical requirements. I may be able to advise you on areas where you need to improve but fixing them is up to your web person.

These terms and conditions form the basis of our working relationship moving forward, and 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.