Hello. Hello guys. Welcome to my weekly Facebook live show. Um, I'm Jen Buron, I'm the founder of generation PR and the creator of the profitable PR pros community and our hub of resources for PR professionals from teaching you how to hone your skills all the way to running a profitable agency. And we're going to be coming to you, um, for the next few weeks with topics around running your business. Um, you know, the, the actual, um, running of the business side, the execution of the services, like the, the pitching, the media and all that. We're gonna table that for now. And just talk about things that come up in running your business. Clients ask all kinds of stuff and you gotta like, know how to handle it. Um, hi Nelson, I love my, um, my weekly audience that comes and joins me every week. And I am back last week.
I took the week off and went, uh, outta town for spring break with my boys. And, um, the trip was amazing. We had a really wonderful time, but I wanna be like honest and open about the realities of it. I mean, we had a lot of fighting with my kids. We had some behavioral issues with our son, um, you know, and it kind of puts a damper on things because you're, you know, wondering why their behavior would be so negative and disrespectful and disruptive, not just to us, but to like hotel staff. Hi, Dar let me know who else is here. Um, but it was like a super bummer and my little one, um, usually we have behavior stuff with my older son, but the little one is he's not, I mean, he's 10, but he's starting to make some like pretty bad choices. I think he's testing.
Yeah. Hello, Elaine. Um, so we're trying to be on top of it and you know, it's a bummer. Hi Jane. Hi Seren. And a, it's a bummer when you're on a vacation it's super expensive and it's a very limited time. Like we have canceled this trip and rescheduled it four times since the pandemic and we don't get a lot of vacation, so we wanted to be really great. And I guess maybe my message here to all of us as parents and whatnot, first of all, uh, um, we, uh, you know, I'll never be like, life's amazing and it's perfect. And you know, it's like I have a kid on the spectrum and he makes things very difficult for all of us. Obviously he's a wonderful kid, but, um, and you know, behavioral stuff, I think I had to say to myself, um, you know, it's about unmet expectations that like disappointed feeling.
And that's my thinking on what the trip would be, right. That's me saying this should be X, Y, Z, ABC. It should be fun. We should all get along. My kids should be grateful. You know, I think kind of little kids, you have to teach them to be, you know, sitting in gratitude and appreciative and say, thank you and really understand why they're saying thank you. So I am not, um, looking at any of that as like a disappointment in the trip. I'm looking at it like, you know, maybe I have to lower the bar or the expectations. Um, I know for anyone who's here as a parent, that makes a lot of sense to you. Um, you know, so, uh, we go in with certain expectations and now I realize that, um, you know, we have to like reset a little bit and, um, that factor of disappointment is my expectations not being met.
So I need to maybe, you know, just be open to whatever happens. So that's kind of my takeaway from that and just wanted to share why I wasn't here last week, but I'm back. And it's interesting. We brought up this topic. It's a very common question asked inside of our group, um, inside the profitable PR pros group, a member of our programs, Heather DeSantis asked whether she should let a client pause one who requested a pause. Um, they asked to pause immediately, and her contract says that it requires a 30 day, um, advance written notice to stop service. Um, and this is something that we get a lot, you know, the other thing we'll add in is not just a pause, but like a flat out termination of your agreement. Um, and if, especially with no notice. And I see, I know Nelson's recently experienced this and Ashley who's here said we lost a client last week, the company folded, this happened to me, um, really looking forward to this call.
Great. So we're gonna just dive into it. So for me, it's like an approach and it's an approach to all ways that I, you know, the approach applies to all of the ways that I run my business and what I try to share with others as a really good approach to run your business. So, um, it, in general, it's hard to know whether, you know, you should be strict on your enforcing, your contract, you know, setting your boundaries and not budging, or, you know, kind of approach it with showing your client's grace, giving them a little wiggle room, um, you know, just, or, or with regard to other clauses in your contract that, you know, like for example, um, late fees and stuff like that. I use that as a point of leverage, but I never, if they're late on a contract, I'm never like, okay, well it's the 11th day 11th business day, like interest is starting to accrue.
No, it's more like it's there as a leverage point. Um, if they don't pay and then we can go back and get interest and kind of mention that that's an option. So in general, it's just like, you're all approach to how you look at your contract, how you enforce it. Are you like hard line stickler or are you coming into this relationship with the client as a partnership? So, uh, we wanna talk about what you can do in this situation. And there's a few options and I'm gonna share some good advice from our community, um, and give attribution to the people who said it. So Tony Boylan, who has come in our program, um, and given, uh, a chat about, um, behind the mind of a journalist, like getting inside the mind of a journalist because he was a journalist and now he does PR.
So he gets both sides. He said, how much do you value having in them as a client? If one of your clients asked to pause their services, you need to consider how much you enjoy working with that client. If it's a client you enjoy having, and they have a legitimate issue, seriously, consider accommodating that pause and service services. You can have a specific pause agreement written into your contracts to cover the 30 day cancellation issue. And if they say, no, they might, um, execute the 30 day. Um, if you say, no, they might execute the 30 day cancellation. Meaning that if you're like, no, you can't pause services, then they'll say, okay, we're giving you 30 days notice, and we're terminating the contract rather than preserving the long-term relationship. And I agree with of that advice. I think that's very solid advice. And then Nelson, who is here.
I, um, am wondering if you remember exactly what you said, but you said, um, uh, you can make them stick to the contract. If they've informed you about a pause or termination after the notice period starts too bad for them, they still pay you. You're allowed to set boundaries and enforce them. It's a personal decision for you. And then Adrian, um, left a comment, kind of reminding someone of a contract that they signed doesn't mean you lack empathy or that you aren't kind, once you start operating as if you aren't a business, customers will treat you accordingly, but with very valid points. Um, and Nelson is saying with my, um, with my experience, the CEO of a tech company, decided to try and pause my services. I very politely told him to reread his contract and that there was no mechanism in it that would enable him to do this.
He then backed off and I got paid last week. Yeah. So that's, um, an option that could work. We're gonna talk about how to approach this, uh, specifically, um, some more advice from our community on this topic. Kristen McAdam said for me, I approach business relationships with empathy and kindness. Treating people well, always comes back tenfold. Um, Desiree Mazan cup said, you never know what they're going through. And I've always found that letting them regroup had way better outcomes than we would have by guilt tripping them, or even enforcing a contract, um, or a contractual provision. Um, you know, Nelson's clients like a tech company, it's a different type of entity than like, uh, where the founder of the company is very involved in like the day to day running. And it's a small team and you, you know, it's a little bit more about like the people versus a tech company where it's pretty, um, large or there's, you know, you know, that there's budgets.
And that's a kind of like, for me, it's a different approach for my clients because they're, they're different. They're founder led typically female owned businesses. Um, we're very close with the teams and yeah. Um, yeah. And this is a tech tech company that just went public in Canada two months ago. Nelson, would you answer this or would you give the same response if you had a founder led company that you really enjoyed working with that you wanted to have a long term relationship with and you know, that they were going through like a bump in the road or some hard times, but they intended to come back, let me know in that scenario, if it's not such a like public tech company, um, Kristen Greco L worthy said, I always allow a pause if needed. It is almost always due to difficult circumstances or say a delay in a product launch.
Um, I have found those clients nearly always returned. So you would treat it differently, right? Yeah. Um, uh, those clients nearly always return and they are great sources of referrals. I will say our contract requires 30 days, but I'm happy to put a pause effective now, so that they're aware that we made an exception. I agree with Kristen on that. Um, you know, I think these were all, all really kind of valid points, but here's some advice I would give just for you to consider the situation and how you feel about the way you wanna proceed. So I think it's important to figure out why they wanna pause or stop services, um, you know, or if they wanna terminate pause or just terminate services, if you've been doing a good job and you feel the results are, you know, great, or like they've been happy with the results, there's usually a reason why, so is it like funding?
Is it a funding issue? Um, typically as, uh, Kristen said for us, it is product launch or a brand launch delay. So supply chain issues are pushing launches back. We have two clients right now launching two new collections. Hi Christine. Um, no problem. We got the replay. We're just chatting here. Um, I have two clients that have had to significantly delay launches and we're still on retainer promoting their other products, but we have like an accelerated retainer fee kicking in when the new products launch. And I keep adding it to the con to the, uh, retainer, um, invoice that every month. And then the client emails me and he's like, is there any way I'm so sorry? And I'm like, yeah, no problem. You know, if, if we're not gonna do the work, I'm not gonna like, hold you to having to pay me to do that piece, that you're not ready for us to start.
Um, but there's always, you know, a reason. And if they want to pause, remember that you're entering into a partnership with them. And I feel like I wanna approach that by being a good partner. So I think about the long term relationship with the client, and I try not to burn any bridges. And this is really similar to Kristen Desiree, um, Kristen McAdam and Kristen L worthy. And then, and Tony had a similar approach. Like that's how I think about it, especially the point that co um, clients go out into the world and sing your praises. And it's like the best, um, testimonial to how you work and the quality of your work. So I want those people to either part ways for good or part ways, temporary with like a really good feeling about us as partners to them. Um, so, uh, okay, good.
See Christine says, I have just unpaused a client. We had a pause due to COVID restrictions now that things are opening up, you're back in business with the client. And, and that's great. I mean, if you stuck it out and said, no, I have a contract. I mean, obviously there's extenuating circumstances in the last two years, there's a lot of stuff that's happened, but if you were gonna be a stickler and enforce it, that relationship is over, you know, um, you know, unlike Nelson, who did it in a very tact way to a large company, that they don't wanna get sued for them in it's, it's about not having problems they have to deal with and saying, you're right. You know, we're a company, we signed a contract and we're gonna look at that clause and, and interpret it to the letter. And that's different than these kind of like my clients are, you know, they're, they're not tiny, but they're smaller.
We have an intimate relationship with the teams. They're usually founder led it's a little bit more are intimate and personal. Um, the big piece is that you must get paid for what you've done and make sure you have a reasonable amount of notice so that you can plan for the pause or loss of clients in your business. Um, yeah. Dar thank you. Excellent insight, Jen. Um, yeah, I like, honestly, I try to go with what feels right to me. And to me it feels right to just work with them. Um, so, uh, if, uh, they're requesting a pause, um, you wanna make sure that you get paid. So if you've already done the work and there's an outstanding invoice for that month, you wanna get paid on that month. You wanna ensure that the work you've already done for that month, no matter how many days plus the fact that you sent an invoice and you're bringing your team into work on that, um, account, you're counting on that revenue.
You've already, it's like money. You've already kind of allocated right. Resources you've allocated. Um, this is what we try to do. And all of us PR pros probably have said this at one point or another, but I think it's a really good to active here. Um, if they're requesting to pause, we like to discourage those stops and starts. You know, we say like process cumulative and we're building on the efforts that we're making and we're starting to get traction. And when there's stops and starts, it completely freezes the momentum and we lose opportunities. We're turning down leads that we have already generated and press is cumulative and it's ongoing and it snowballs and so stops and starts are worse for you because it's like ramping back up and then dropping off a and then trying to ramp back up again. Um, you know, so I think that that tactic is important to let them know really how press works and that them pausing is to their detriment.
Yeah. They may save money, but they're gonna see results a lot later. And they're gonna miss opportunities that you've already started, you know, cooking up for them. Um, gimme a thumbs up or a heart, if that resonates. If you have said that to a client, or if you feel comfortable, like you could say that to them in a discussion on the topic. I think it's a really good, like, it shows you, you know, you know, how PR works, you're guiding and counseling them. Um, okay, cool. How long do you pause service before revisiting the project? Well, I'll find out from them how long it is, you know, if it's like three months because of a project or I, well, so first of all, I don't do projects. Um, I don't do projects. We do retainers, so I would revisit the monthly retainer and pick back up.
I would extend the date out. So if we were gonna end in November, but I have, um, three months, I'll go back out to like the end of March or whatever, November, December, January. So end of January, sorry. Um, just add those, tack it on to the end of the agreement and maybe, uh, pull up an addendum. You don't have to redo your whole contract, but can just, um, or not an addendum part of me, I'm a lawyer. I shouldn't know these words, an amendment. So it's a simple, like supplemental amendment that you all agree on. What's gonna happen. And when, so that's fair, but, um, discourage those stops and starts. Sally's saying what happens if a huge story hits during that pause time? Um, so it depends what kind of huge story. So if it's a seed that you planted, I try to look at the results that we generate for our clients also as our results.
And if I drummed up a huge story, I'm gonna wanna convert that to a feature because it only makes us look good and it only makes our, um, agency experience more. Um, yeah, so you've seated a story and it converts. So if you can pass it off to the client, um, without too much time on your hands to get it to come to fruition, I would try that approach. If you can do it in a way where you're not actually maybe sharing the contact, maybe you do wanna share the contact. If it's one story and they want an interview, or there's a lot of back and forth, what I would try to do is secure the feature because it shows Goodwill. And it's also your result. It's your credibility. Those are things you earned, you know, a huge story that you placed. You earned that.
Like, I want that every time I get a hit, it's a hit for my firm showing what we can do. And it only makes us better and bring in better clients. So I also think it shows Goodwill and partnership and they're like, wow, that was really cool of you. So yeah, that's how I would approach it. I would never be like, no, I am not even answering email because they're on pause. Um, the other thing that you can consider and maybe bring up is see if you can consult to them, um, in some way for a reduced fee or in lieu of regular services at the same rate. Um, you know, see if there's something like, for example, let me see if I said this here. Um, sometimes they sign a contract and you get a little started and then, then you're looking over their assets and you're like, your images suck.
And your website is atrocious . And I can't, I can't work. I can't work like this. Um, but you, they say, oh, well, we're, um, actually going to be redoing our website in the next three months. Well, you don't wanna be on retainer to do PR outreach, but what if you are on a, a, um, a contract for consulting so that they have access to you, you can give input and insight from the PR perspective so that you're guiding their efforts in a way where the outcomes they produce are going to make your job easier. Once they're ready to go, and you are working, um, as their PR representative. So if you can get a consulting contract and say, Hey, like I wanna be accessible to you. This is how much it is per month. We'll do three month minimum, and it's gonna get you this many hours and it talk we'll box, whatever, you know, however you wanna do it.
But that way you're still in the mix. Like I don't and what if they go through this whole effort and it's terrible. And you're like, this isn't even good. So you can kind of give some input there. That's valuable to them to get the most out of that time and expense. And you get paid as, uh, as a consultant. And you're kind of keeping yourself engaged while also showing flexibility that the retainer fee will kick in when you're actually doing the, um, earned media services. Okay. Give me a thumbs up, if you would be open to that sort of a consulting agreement with very clear, um, hourly commitments that are, you're not to exceed. Okay, good, good, good, good. So if they wanna pause, what can you be doing during the pause and think about that so that you can offer it to them that way.
So find out the reason that they wanna pause or terminate and see how you can make it work for both of you, like a set period for a pause with guidelines, like, you know, okay. We can hold, um, on our services for these reasons for three months, but then we have to, um, you know, reevaluate or, um, you can even say, uh, but at that point, um, services will start again. And maybe there's something that you could be doing in that period to lend your expertise to some other efforts they're making or reasons that they're pausing again, a consulting thing or a set period of time where you're like three months, three months, time out, but then we have to, we have to, you know, kick back in again, you know, if you're really truly pausing, it cannot be indefinite. Okay. Um, how do you prevent this termination request or an unexpected pause when you're working with clients?
So, um, you can add a clause in your contracts, that'll protect your against these terminations or unexpected pauses. So you can work in a certain timeframe that a client must notify you if they need to pause or terminate. So Heather who asks the question has 30 days, we have 30 days and at the end of the contract, it actually just rolls over renews. Um, and, uh, that is usually a time when we'll set up a call and we'll try to like upsell them. This is a new strategy we've been doing and it's been working really, really well. We just upsold a client yesterday on, um, paid media. So it's so interesting cuz I used to be like paid media, no, like earned only like I can't ask my clients for money. They're paying me for earned media, but I think there's a shift and they're getting it now that paid media is part of the overall communication strategy to reach certain target customers.
Um, and there's more control and there's more, um, targeted customer outreach where you choose to partner with a publication. So we were doing paid it's really time consuming cuz a lot of it has to go back to, um, the negotiating, the contracts, what are we actually trying to accomplish? Where do we go? Uh, what publications would be the right fit. And then we negotiate what a package looks like. And then there's the content. You know, we would have to come up with the idea, the angle, like if you could write your dream PR feature and the client's gonna pay for the insertion into that publication, you know, we have to come up with that content and write it and go through the approvals. So we just added it as a, a fee as a project fee. And again, only for retainer clients. So this is not a project I would take on unless it was in addition to our retainer services. And I think we're managing, what did they tell us? The budget was?
I think it's a $10,000 budget and maybe more, um, it's like a $10,000 budget for the quarter. And we're asking for an $8,500 project management fee, which is a lot. And the client was like, add it to my invoice, just add it to my invoice. No problem, totally get it. So that was interesting. And I did it for our other client too. The, um, the company that, um, we love, love, love so much. And they renewed for a full year and they expanded scope. We increased our, um, our monthly with them by 50% of the, the retainer T on and um, two, two project, two big project fees. And they're like, yeah, let's go. This is what we want. This is what it costs. Let's do it. And now we're working with a, a brand partner to do, uh, branding, uh, support them with rebranding.
And um, we're gonna launch a new collection for them when the supply chain issues are of resolved. But anyway, so that period where you're like end of the contract, what happens, that's our moment to come in and say, you know, Hey, we like crushed it for you. Let's add some more services or you're asking for these things. We'd love to support you with that. We think that is the next, that'll kick it up to the next level. Right. And now you're in there and you've got, you're getting paid to do it. And you are like in their business. Right. And there's, you know, we're in there for the foreseeable future. So I love that, but you want to have a clause in place that is going to protect you. So, um, you know, like 30 days or whatever, what is that timeframe? You know, how do they, wouldn't put in a pause I'd put in like 30 days notice and it's usually for certain things like fraud or conduct or whatever.
No one's ever said to me, like I need to find a way to kick in that termination clause. They'll just say, Hey, listen, it's like business owner to business owner. Or like on the level, let's have a conversation. Here's what we're dealing with. Um, this is what we wanna do and we discuss how that looks, but you can have this clause in place, but you don't necessarily need to hold your clients to that clause. So look at every situation on a case by case basis. And that's why I asked Nelson that specific question because he held a big, you know, recent IPO tech company to that contractual, um, clause to the letter. But, and then I said, would that be the same approach? If it were like a founder led business, a little smaller, not public, a you have a really good relationship with the team.
And he said it would be different. So every situation can be a case by case basis. You can fall back on your contract if you need it. But you can also approach these situations as an understanding, empathetic human, which is what, um, Kristen MC Adam said, and Desiree ma and cup said, I agree. Um, you know, we're all people, we're all doing the best we can trying to run our businesses and look if a client leaves, um, it's not like my business goes away. My mindset is always, I can do it again. I can, you know, I did it before I can land another client again. I know how to do it. And um, this is why we wanna teach you how to have a solid foundation of consistent, predictable, recurring retainer revenue. So that if this happens and if a client leaves or pauses, you're not scrambling to figure out how to pay your rent or pay your team or whatever.
Like those, you know, clients can come and go, but you still have a business. And this is just the nature of our business. You know, they leave, it's not personal. So think about that. Um, and see yourself as an agency owner, then thoroughly vet your clients, right? We talk about red flags. You should not be saying yes to every client that knocks on your door. Um, if you only work with high end clients, they are so much less likely to have these billing issues. Although I think Sally, I mean, uh, I think Jane would disagree with me. Um, uh, and I'll tell you why in one second, let me just finish. Um, they're less likely to request an immediate pause or termination in services. Budgets are set so far in advance and they've already allocated the funds. Like in their mind, it's already spent, it's not like they're scrounging to pay you.
Um, and when I say they're much less likely to have a billing issue, a lot of times the challenge with larger clients, especially, um, you know, billion dollar companies that are publicly traded the challenge, Jane, like those are just my clients. Um, the challenge is that they have different terms. So they're gonna want a longer, um, payment window. And these discussions happen up front as you're negotiating a contract and sometimes to work with those big clients, you have to bend a little Jane, what are some of your terms? Is it 90 days? I mean, that's a lot and I've never had 90, but I have had 45. I have a client right now. That's um, billing in arrear, like in arrears instead of in advance, which is like, Ooh. And they have a 30 day. So it's technically like 60 days from when I would normally bill, bill them to the time I get paid, but they pay on time.
They're the ones that we said, $8,500 project fee and they go add it to our contract. They're like my fastest paying clients. So I'm not worried, but these are the challenges with larger clients is that the terms are usually a little bit, um, more favorable to them. And you have to be willing to carry a little longer sometimes 90 days, which is really scary, especially if you're, um, uh, the problem is they never agree up front to 90 days. So we have proper expectations. They just lie. Yeah. That's a little, um, it's frustrating. And maybe some of these red flags would present themselves at the beginning and you'd be like, huh? The fact they sign the contract for the first of the month. And then they say, oh, just kidding. Cuz it says in your contract, what your terms are, right? Like how long they have to pay like 10 business days or whatever.
Right. Um, clients at that moment when we're doing the contract will ask for different terms. And I usually try to get them within 30 days and sometimes I'll agree to 45, if it's a big daddy client and I'm like gotta play, be a team player. But the scary thing is when you're out of pocket on expenses, um, you know, and I know that's happened to you. Like when you have bigger clients and some, sometimes you have a master service agreement or you're like the agency of record and you're doing a lot of like media buying or press kit or paying. I sent an invoice a month before and it's due on the first. Okay. We built on the first for that month. So in advance of service on the first, um, and then I have a client that's like Billis on first for the previous month.
And then the terms that they asked for were 30 days. So it's technically 60 days out from when my other clients are paying for service. Remember I signed them 10 years ago. I know what to look for now. And you know what to look for now because she's in the agency accelerator because we go over this stuff, like, I'm all about getting you guys paid and like figuring out, um, how to, you know, put it all together to best serve you. Um, yeah. And also like sometimes for a client of the caliber that Jane's working with, like a huge global publicly traded beauty brand household name. You have to be a team player, you know, you have to just be like, I can, I can make this work. I gotta do it because we, we want the business. Um, so you can, um, put that, you know, uh, something in there plus how they pay is based on how their stock price is doing.
Oh, Ooh, that's annoying. Cuz it's totally outside of your control. And it has this a major impact on you and your life and your business. Uh, Jane says yes to agency accelerator. Um, yeah. Uh, I'm so glad you joined. I always think like, oh my God, she's been running her business for so long. She's gonna, you know, what can I teach her? But there's always something I, I learn all the time too. But, um, so if this comes up all the time, um, if these situations are like a frequent occurrence in your agency, it might be an indicator. Like I said before, high end clients are not gonna have stops and starts. Um, if you're fee that and it happens a lot, it's usually those smaller clients. It's usually, um, ones where you have that personal connection to the founder. It is an indicator that you probably need 10 niche down even more because that will give you the expertise.
You need to be a sought after go authority and your space, like clients will only want you because you are the go-to for that industry, which allows you to raise your prices. And that will help you adjust the caliber of your target ideal client. Um, or you can vet clients more like falling off before you accept them. So we, we talk about red flags, um, you know, maybe Jane at this point 10 years later, uh, or, you know, going through our stuff would have a better like, oh, you know, or even like, you might see those red flags, but you talk yourself out of it. Raise your hand, thumbs up hearts. If you've ever talked yourself out of your gut instinct and taken on a client and then later lived to regret it, me thumbs up heart, heart, heart. Um, it's actually thumbs down sucks.
But um, yeah. So yeah, I knew that would be like thumbs because it is just, uh, oh yes, it is a just true fact. Like, you know, uh, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and the clients you, uh, make an exception for are gonna suck the life out of you and make you regret ever saying yes to them. So you may need to pay attention to those red flags, niche down, raise your prices and start to attract. Um, Serena says going through that right now for a client or you're going through that content in our program, cuz Serena just joined the agency accelerator, Sally says pay for it every time. Same here. I'm my God. You know, we're doing you like this huge favor and you suck, like why do you suck? Um, so I'm, I'm more, I'm more hesitant to like stick my neck out lately for that, because I just know that it's not to my advantage. She's going through that with a client right now. Yeah. Um, and it sucks, you know? So, um, yeah, so I love helping people build their business and I know that it doesn't have to be stressful. And if you have a plan and you know what you're trying to accomplish, you know, the kind of business you wanna build, um, you know, that you don't wanna be stressed out every single day. Um,
Jane's gonna say, I'm go, Jane said, I'm going to add, why do you suck to my onboarding questionnaire? yeah. Um, tell me the why you suck so much. Um, yeah. Oh, it's so annoying. But um, I just feel like, you know, the agency model of Y year is a thing of the past. The paradigm has shifted and I wanna help guide as many people as I can can into this new era of, um, being in control of how we set up our businesses, being in control of who we get to work with or who gets to work with us. Um, choosing our clients, doing things that light us up, um, growing and scaling profitable businesses that allow you to have a life. A, like I went, I went to Hawaii for six days and nobody bothered me. My phone did not ring. Not even one time, not even one time, no, no one has my number.
My team didn't text me. They were like, cool, we got it. You know, and I didn't worry. I was more worried about my kids. Like, they're be behavior than I was about work or whatever. Um, things have shifted, you know, the paradigm has shifted when I started my business 17 years ago, there wasn't anything out there to help, you know, it's just trial and error and figuring it out and all of that. And I just want to be part of that change. I think that the, the, you know, days of having to work at an agency, doing all the grunt work, um, one of the members of our agency accelerator, Melissa, she messages me all the time. She's like I have to take a mental health day. She is like UCLA educated, super smart, um, going back into agency, um, and she's like this freaking sucks.
And I think that approach to getting educated on, um, the job, you don't have to do that anymore. And I have also heard that there are a lot of people, a lot of women, particularly women of color that have a very challenging time. I don't know why, but I mean, I, a hundred percent know that this is true. Um, they're having a hard time getting employ whether they have like a journalism degree from a great school or they have a background in PR that they've studied in school and they're like premium top candidates. They're struggling. Like we talked to Lindsay Walker on our podcast and she is super brilliant and amazing at what she does. And she struggled so much to get a job. She's like, forget it. I'm just gonna build my own thing. So inspiring Tiffany is saying, it's true, Jen, that is so effed up.
It's a huge thing, Tiffany. I, I know it, I hear it. Um, I've had conversations with our community about it, highly qualifi fight black women, other women of color. Absolutely. And I don't and Tiffany saying, you know, I, I hope you're okay with me calling attention to that. My purpose here is to empower all of us, right? If you wanna be a mom, if you wanna like, you know, work from wherever, um, you don't wanna sit around waiting someone to be like, okay, come grind away for us. Let us suck the life outta you. And you know, bleed you dry and, and, and need you. You have to take mental health days and we're gonna pay the bare minimum. Um, because these jobs are so coveted. So like you're lucky to be here, forget that at forget that it does not have to be like that.
I promise you it does not have to be like that. And you know what, like their loss and you are gonna just run circles around them, you know, diving into your expertise and running the business that lights you up. Um, so that's part of my purpose is, you know, done a lot of thinking about like, what, what am I doing here? How can I help this community even more? And I wanna have even greater impact. I wanna provide more support. Um, I wanna provide a way for everybody to get more visibility and, um, generate client leads because I know that's a big concern with our community. So just know we are growing. We are, um, we are growing in a way to be able to shift this paradigm because I want you all to be in control of your careers, do things that light you up and not have to sit around and have somebody like Tiffany said, highly qualified black women sitting around underutilized or waiting for somebody to give them an opportunity.
Like you, you make your own opportunity. You can, and you'll, you know, get there really fast when you have a, a game plan that works, you know, um, Sally's knows our approach. She's saying it has shifted. Jane knows our approach. Serena's, you know, diving into our content. Um, and it's, you know, it's, uh, it, it does not have to be the way it's been. I am growing and would gladly hire them. Yeah. I mean, saying like we have, you know, when there's opportunities, it's like, we want the most qualified candidate. We want someone hungry, someone creative. We want someone who's a great writer. Someone who's independent. Like that is our community. That is who we attract Tiffany and other. Tiffany, I got two Tiffany's on here, Sally Jane, like you, this is who we attract. You know, these are not just like tire kickers that are like, ah, what's this all about?
Or like PRS, cute. I wanna be like on a runway, blah, blah, blah. No, we have CEOs driven, highly driven PR professionals who wanna be in control of their careers. So that's what I'm trying to help. You do like a T yes. So that's what I have for you today. Um, it does not have to be stressful. You can have a plan and here's what I've put together for you guys a little, um, grab it, download. This has been probably one of our most popular freebies that we have put together. It is this game plan. It is the PR agency action plan so that you can learn how to build a profitable PR agency, less time, less stress. Do it on your terms. Sally says like attracts like Jen. Well, thank you. I am just honestly so honored that anyone finds us, especially like all over the world.
I'm like, how do you, how did you find us? Um, I know our ads are in your face. I know it. I know. And I promise you, it is not because we're like trying to sell, sell, sell, sell. Um, it's really hard to find you guys. It's really hard to target someone very specific, like a PR marketing professional. So, um, if you happen to visit our site or whatever you're copied, and Facebook is gonna show you our ads, you know, but, um, I just think of it like the right ad will land in the right person's feed just when they need to see it, you know? And if you don't like it, then tune me out. I have no problem with that. I I'm here for the people who, you know, want to elevate their businesses to the next level. So let me know if you guys have any questions, um, we're gonna be talking all about agency ownership, agency lay.
You should see my pets. I wonder if I can show you so Lola's right there. And then we can see all my stuff on the ground. There's her bestie Harley. They're like frenemies. They leave each other alone. Um, Nelson is saying, I also recently had a problem with another tech company that was late four weeks in paying me my contract. No, LA my contract is for a year, was six months to go and I didn't stop working because I didn't want to jeopardize the rest of the contract or possibly a renewal. I gave him the leeway he needed and I got paid last week. Love that. I honestly I'm like, love that for you. That is how I approach it too. The thought is not, I have to get paid right now. Right now. It is. How do we approach this with the client's best interest in mind to salvage or to maintain the long term relationship, knowing this is a year long contract and you have half a year to go.
Um, if it goes longer than four weeks, you're pushing six because now you're next. Um, invoice goes out and now they're like not paying two voices. That's where I start to get a little like, eh, and I'll have a conversation with them. Like we love working with you. We wanna support you. Great minds, think alike Nelson. And I approach our businesses in a very similar way. Um, but I would get a little nervous. Um, yes, Sally, it's in the comments on the Facebook page. I can also just email it to you. Um, but two, two invoices and paying my team, basically three payment cycles without any money coming in. I get a little nervous. So I will say, you know, love working with you so much and we're generating all this great momentum. And for other clients, we would've stopped services by now, but we don't wanna, we value our partnership and we don't wanna learn, uh, pardon of me lose that, um, momentum we've generated.
But, um, it, you know, would it be possible for us to get paid by this date so that we don't have to stop work cuz otherwise, um, that's our typical, I'm already extending it another, you know, four weeks beyond what I typically would or you know, two weeks, um, would this state be agreeable to you or whatever. Um, and then stick, you know, hold them to it because I've had people where I'm like, yeah, they're like no checks in the mail checks in the mail. Ugh. And then they declare bankruptcy and it was a, you know, female owned, um, female, you know, like owner led business and I just wanted to be helpful, but she was lying and she declared bankruptcy and she's the only client I've ever, um, taken to court because I let it go four months, like an idiot. And cuz I was trying to be compassionate.
Um, and we like loved the products and we were just excited to get them out, whatever. Um, and I got a judgment and I was not able to enforce it. You know, it was just kind of like, see I was right, you know, very easy to get breach of contracts. I filed in small claims court. I got like a, I don't know, like a $10,000 judgment or something. The max you could get is a business and small claims court at the time and not enforceable. You know, she was in another state and any collections agency was like, this isn't even worth our time. Like you're at the bottom of the list of all of the, uh, the, um, creditors. So I was like, want, want, um, so the lesson there is, don't let it go four months, you know, one, one payment cycle once the second retain, uh, invoice goes out and I, I still haven't been paid for the one before. That's when I start to get a little nervous. So I'll keep an eye on it for like two weeks and then we're gonna have a whole conversation around this cuz I can't, um, I can't carry for that long with the risk of not getting paid. So that's how I would approach it. And similar I'm I'm so glad you got paid and that you have the bigger vision of the contract and the value of that over time. Very good. Love that. Um, but these animals are so cute. Oh my God. Look at this
Dog. What is happening? What is happening? Hi,
She's so cute. Okay. Um, anybody have any other questions for me? Anything they wanna run, run by me or anything at all? Um, I have kind of a cool announcement coming up. Thank you, Nelson. Thank you for being here. I know you were excited about this chat. What did you think? Um, was it good and meet your expectations? We have kind about an exciting announcement coming up. I'm not gonna like be all annoying and coy, but we're still trying to figure out how we tell. Um, so I'm not trying to like let the cat outta the bag. Sorry, Harley. That's my cat, but um, uh, first week of may in like I loved it. Okay, great. Oh my gosh. I'm so happy. You know, for people on here Nelson's been doing his own thing since the nine, you know, nineties and I always want to add value.
So knowing that somebody who's very seasoned has worked with a lot of large companies, um, gets value out of the content that we develop. It, it means like I'm, it just makes me so happy. So 1999, um, you're like prince party, like it's 1999. Would you advise taking payment upfront every month or just for new clients? First payments, et cetera. Oh, every month upfront. That's an industry standard, Jennifer. Um, yeah. So you get paid in advance of services, street standard. It's in your contract, you pay on the first four that month. This is the kind of stuff that's like discussed and we all agree on it inside the agency accelerator. And you start to know like language, you can say like it's an industry standard, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, always upfront every month, no more paying because also it is not, um, you're not getting paid dependent on services or uh, that's a lie on results.
Results are not guaranteed results. Do not, um, guide your getting paid. So you're putting in the effort the clients agreed to it. I I've, you know, only right now I have one client because the parent company's in Asia and there's like a cash flow, whatever. It's fine. I'm they're, they're great. Um, I never worry about them not paying us they're they're on it. Um, but they're the only one right now that's like in a arrears. Um, but their retainers really good. So I I'll allow it. like I will allow it. So yeah. Um, Jennifer do not hesitate to enforce that or like be confident in what you're, you know, asking for because that's what we're all getting without any argu from clients industry standard. First of the month for that month, you get paid in advance of service, borrow that language, let it flow freely. I'm like I could spit that out like a million times over and be super confident saying it. Um, anyway. All right guys. Well thank you for being here.
Um, I really appreciate all of you and um, thank you. Uh, yeah. Anyway, let us know if there's any topics you want us to cover. Um, is there a polite way to encourage a man to lead his team? I have a client who can't seem to get the website done, perhaps ask for a lane before I take it over. Is it, are you worried because he's a man and you're worried that he won't take advice from you or a directive from you because you're a woman. Is that the concern or is it you are just worried about you calling out a person for not actually their job, um, or, you know, I need to kind of know more context there, Sally, but I think that, um, you know, it depends like the website isn't done that isn't, that is a requirement. Maybe you come in and you do that consulting fee option to help them push it over the deadline and then your retainer fee will kick in.
Um, you know, I never feel like I have to, um, be deferential to a man in any position. I think we all, you know, our equals and, you know, respect is there. Um, he's hired people to do it and they aren't doing it. So maybe you can come in Sally and you could, um, help project manage and drive the ship forward and let them know, you know, I'm E eager, eager to get started on earned media. And in order to do that, we have to have a completed website. Remember we had that whole conversation. I'm not sure if you were on the call about, um, Squarespace and how easy it is to pull together. Like maybe you are driving the ship with the developers or the designers, and you're saying, listen, let me project manage. I see you're very busy with other responsibilities and I'm happy to take over this piece to drive it to a completion. Um,
Oh, awesome. Nelson. So Nelson shared a deck that he's using. It's like a capabilities deck and he updates it all the time. We, um, advocate for this as well. I have like a beautiful capabilities deck that has all of our results and feedback testimonials, case studies, all of that. Um, and so Nelson is sharing the one that he is using and it has great, um, results in terms of converting, but he's also, um, shared it in the community and the feedback's been awesome. So yeah. Um, if you, it is great. So, um, Nelson, if you're interested, go into our profitable PR pros, Facebook community, and then, um, you'll see, Nelson's post, you can search his name and then request it and he will send it to you. And it seems, and this is how our community is sharing. Sharing is caring, sharing resources, so that we're all better and have, you know, a better shot at landing new business. Cause that's the goal. So awesome. Nelson. I'm so glad. Um, all right guys, that's it, as Sally said, um, have a great rest of your week, um, back next week. I don't think any further interruptions. Um, and I'll see you guys soon. Thanks so much for being here. Bye.