When I see the posts in forums and groups, they often start out the same way.
I’m starting a new business.
I know I need to have a contract.
I don’t have a lot of money to spend right now.
Then the big question… “Does anyone have a contract they can share with me?”
Often followed by a second comment, “I don’t want my contract to have a lot of legal speak in it. I don’t want to scare clients away.”
If you ever want to see me respond to a post with fists of fury, speed typing as fast as I can? Post a version of this post. I’ll try to film what happens, but no guarantee that a modern-day camera could even document it. It is THAT fast.
Get Your Contract from a Lawyer, Not Your Peers
Let’s say you’re a wedding cake baker, and you’re asking another cake baker to share their contract with you. Did they go to law school? Did they write their own contract? Where did it come from? How do you know it is even legally binding?
You don’t. You know that she makes a bad-ass buttercream frosting, but you do not know that she knows the law. Stick to recipes here, ok?
Lawyers go through a number of classes to help them learn the exact words to use in a contract. Every. Word. Matters. Words in contracts have nuances that you and I have no clue about. (Unless you are reading this and you went to law school.) Changing those words up has an impact on you if you should ever find yourself in court with a client.
An important thing to remember – your contract doesn’t just protect you, it also protects your client. So if the wording is unclear, and a client takes you to court, it could end up protecting them MORE than it protects you, and you could lose everything. All over the spoiled buttercream frosting – you really should have stuck to getting a good recipe from that other baker.
Think I’m crazy? You can read here all about the comma that cost a company almost a million dollars: New York Times: The Comma That Costs 1 Million Dollars (Canadian).
You need to know WHERE your contract came from, and that it is a trusted source that could support you in the court of law.
You don’t want clients getting out of payments because of a loophole. Or really, any other number of things that might happen to your business. Just don’t do it. Do not ask your peers for a contract.
I know you think that you can’t afford to do it — but you also can’t afford NOT to do it and to lose it all!Feel like you can't afford a business contract from a lawyer? This thinking could cost you MORE! Click To Tweet
Starting with a contract from a lawyer? So much safer than trying to do it yourself and ending up in legal trouble! Rachel is a lawyer who also has her MBA and is an entrepreneur. Want to know more about her? She was a guest on the very first Business, Brilliantly podcast.
About the Legal Speak Thing in Contracts
Adding another layer to the possible mess of this whole contract situation is if you take a well worded contract and decide that it needs to not be so scary.
After all, you don’t want someone to be intimidated by all of those legal terms and not sign it, right?
I’ve already covered above the initial problem with thinking like this – it could land you in hot water and cost you a fortune if something happens and things go wrong.
There is a secondary problem here as well, looming in the background. When was the last time you purchased something that had a long contract attached and you said, “Nope! Too many legal terms. Forget it!”
Most people buy a car or a home while barely reading what the contract even says. Once you have made the decision to purchase something? The legal wording isn’t of much consequence. You might ask for explanations of paragraphs, but beyond that you just sign your name so many times your hand cramps up.Legal speak in contracts protects you & your clients. Don't edit it in fear they won't sign. Click To Tweet
If you believe in what you are selling, you know that it is accurately priced, and that you will provide the service requested? You have nothing to fear when it comes to presenting that contract. They have already agreed to work with you, the contract is simply a formality.
I get it. Putting yourself out there is scary. Never apologize for it though, and do not fear that your contract will turn them away. Want to talk more about your business? Let me know!
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to climb on my soapbox here.
It is an epidemic in the business world. Especially for those of us online.
We worry about if we are going to make $37,000 in the next 4 days. We compare how much traffic our website receives compared to a mega-site like Huffington Post. Every day I see more and more posts online that are driving us to feel this way, and it is crushing our morale. Not only that – it is keeping you so hyper-focused on getting everything right that it is paralyzing you from just getting going.
Here is what I have to say about it all. (The post below is not a transcript of the episode itself. I have a lot to say on this topic!)
Stop comparing yourself to someone months or years ahead of you in your business.
Stop letting someone else’s version of success define what your success looks like. You are allowed to declare what your success looks like. It will not look like anyone else’s.
Stop focusing on the money, and instead focus on the STORY. What inspires you? Why did you get in to this business in the first place?
Stop trying to hide behind all of the rules that you feel your business, your blog posts, your social media accounts must abide by, and get out there and start to CREATE CONTENT.
More than anything, this all applies to you if you are building something new. Whether it is your first business or your tenth, when you start a new business endeavor, it takes time to shake out your voice so that it rings true to YOU.
All of the rules that we have around how to write the perfect headline that will be clicked 1700 times, or the most Pinterest-worthy pin that will be shared 324 times an hour do not matter if they are stopping you from getting your story out there in to the world. At the heart of it all, your story matters.
Those rules are based on numbers, statistics, data – not on you connecting with your ideal clients & readers. While lists may be the most amazing things ever for Buzzfeed? Your audience may hate them.
Find your voice, worry about the rules later.
This may seem like strange advice from me, considering that fact that I am a Social Marketing Strategist. The “social” part is very important for me though. If abiding by all the rules is what is paralyzing you from moving forward in your business? I want you to stop. Find what is the correct fit for you. Write your own rules.
Lean in. I want to tell you something. Just between us, ok? You have my permission to not be perfect. To choose the social media platforms that work best for you, or to skip them all together. To write your blog posts in the style that speaks to your heart, or to create podcasts instead. List posts, perfectly crafted headlines, all of those things? Skip them all of they don’t feel right. Try things. Break things. FAIL. Fail fast and course correct. Learn what the options are, but then choose which ones you will embrace that are right for you. Be you. Define YOUR success. Set your own goals that support the life AND the business that you want.
Embrace who you truly are, and know that we are all cheering you on. More than anything, we need you to stand up and raise your voice. Be seen and heard.
I am so glad that the award winning, hysterically funny, and more brilliant than you even know Jessi Sanfilippo agreed to join me on this week’s show! (Her Iris award was in front of her. Next to her rubber chicken. She showed them both to me after we finished recording.)
It seemed only fitting that the first LIVE interview be recorded with someone as comfortable in front of the camera as Jessi! If you’re not familiar with her YouTube channel Shuggilippo, well, you should check that out after you listen to today’s episode!
We discuss the ins & outs of using YouTube both for your business and personally. Plus, Canada. And dancing. Full show notes are below the podcast player.
Want to be a part of the future LIVE audience for my podcast? Make sure you’re on the list (there is a form below!) to be notified of when they next recording is taking place and to sign up, or join the Business Brilliantly Facebook Group!
And the official “final cut” podcast episode! Oh, who am I kidding? I am a “one & done” sort of creator. The podcast version just has the fancy music and is optimized for your easy mobile listening. So it is almost the same … only different. How cool is that? Now you have choices!
VidCon – the paramount YouTube video space conference.
Canon Rebel T6s
Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS
Rode SmartLav+ (I use this for Periscope!)
Editing Software: iMovie – Mac or iOS, Moviemaker, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro (for Mac)
Carbon-based Voice-activated Tripods are not available in stores.
Words of Wisdom from Jessi
None of it is a secret. You & I can both have the same knowledge, the same equipment, the same technical know-how, but you’re you and I’m me. So there are going to be pools of human beings that are going to be more interested in how YOU execute things with all the same tools available to you.
“Will you give me the farm?” SURE! But you’ve got to be the one feeding the chickens, milking the cows & stuff! You can have the farm, but you’ve got to keep it up!
YouTube is like HuluPlus and Netflix. Treat your channel like network television; deliver the content expected on time.
I think it is so important and I’m so insistent that when you start anything – a blog, a YouTube channel, or any kind of digital media experience – that you do it with the mindset of building a community. I don’t want 9 million robots coming to my content; I want 9 million humans, who are living, breathing, dynamic human beings, to be experiencing this. I want them to not be fans, I want them to be friends. I’m creating the Cheers bar on the internet.
The Things We Talked About
– Periscope & YouTube; Periscope videos on YouTube
– Ways to appeal to different communities
– Creating content 3 times a week. HOW???
– Use Content Series! Jessi shares about her three series and how they came to be, including her secret to making everyone feel like they are a part of it!
– How frequently should I post & how long should my videos be?
– Don’t focus on runtime – focus on maintaining captivation for your audience
– Outsource – and don’t be disrespectful about it
– What do you do when you’re not inspired to create content?
– Building community
– The Shuggilippo experience – creating a complete experience for your brand
– Don’t be too hard on yourself – we are human
– Ways to earn money through video content
– You don’t actually have to do it for money! You don’t have to monetize it
– Have FUN doing it – you don’t have to be funny, but you do need to enjoy it
– There is vulnerability in first-person content creation
– Learn to ignore the vocal minority
PS – I have a NEW CAMERA!!! Thanks to how grainy I looked in this video, I had to go shopping. Thanks to Jessi for the tip, I bought the Logitech c920. Matter of fact, if you watched this week’s Tips in 10ish on overcoming blog shame, you have seen it already. So much clearer! I love it!
PS PS – That is an affiliate link to the Logitech c920. I wasn’t paid anything to say I love it, and I paid full price for it when I bought it. Just so we’re clear.