I’ve made it known on this site that I work on my college business to pay for tuition, school supplies (very expensive if you’re in Fine Arts!) , and living expenses. Because of this, I haven’t been a “regular” student who can focus as much as she can on her studies. I really love painting, but my need to earn money to pay for schooling prevents me from making the most out of my classes (pretty circular don’t you think?). But all of that is going to change.
In a post last month, I talked about how the school requested a webdesign proposal from me for their official website. In this proposal, the compensation I was asking for was a 75% discount. So I wrote a proposal that was just as professional as the ones I write for my clients. The board of directors did not want to give me the 75% discount. They wanted to write my essay cheap. I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling all day. What made this possible? Were they just nice? Here are my theories:
The proposal itself. Everyone couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful it was. It was actually based on a search engine marketing proposal template I got when I bought the Search Engine Marketing Kit by Dan Thies. Two years later and it’s still paying off.
My good relationship with my teachers. During one of the meetings where they discussed the proposal without me, my teachers backed me up and basically “sold” my services to the board. They know I’m a good student (when I actually show up) and they know the quality of my work (which I always try to deliver). Plus, since they already know that I’m a working student, they know that I’ve had some professional experience in webdesign. What a coincidence – didn’t I just stress in a previous entry why good relations with your teachers is important?
The great thing is I’m not just getting a tuition discount – the dean just told me he wanted me to do his personal website after I work on the school’s. Of course, compensation may come in the form of another tuition discount for another semester or cash (we haven’t discussed it yet). Still, it’s great that one gig led to another. Plus, they’re letting me indicate my web design business at the footer of both websites. It’s a good way to advertise, especially since designing a college website will get the business more credibility.
In sum, if you’ve got big expenses, think of creative ways to pay for them. Also, when people can’t pay in cash, think of other ways in which you can be compensated – just make sure it’s worth your time. Have you ever tried to get creative with the way you charge customers?
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