Full terms and conditions for working with The Thrifty Issue
When you book The Thrifty Issue and pay your deposit, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions outlined here. This is inclusive of sponsored posts, advertising, writing, retainers and all work undertaken by The Thrifty Issue for you.
It’s your responsibility to ensure you are able to meet these terms prior to payment being made.
Terms and Conditions
Thank you for taking the time to review the The Thrifty Issue terms and conditions. Doing business involves trust, clear communication and lots of fun. We will enjoy doing business together better if we both understand our roles, responsibilities and obligations to each other.
PLEASE NOTE: By indicating you want to work with us 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 (you) who book The Thrifty Issue (us) go through a briefing process. This involves discussing your project needs via email, Skype, on the phone or in person (available to Melbourne clients only). We will ask you the particulars of your project and any clarifying questions we need. We may record our briefing session by taking notes and in some cases, audio. This is done to ensure we know from the get-go what you need.
1.2 We 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. We keep all this information confidential. It is used to ensure we can get a feel for your needs and make the appropriate suggestions during the quotation stage.
1.3 You will give us the information we need to review your project needs effectively. If you are a startup, a small business with no online presence and/or in the middle of a rebrand/revamp of your business, we 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. We make a commitment to you to treat your business idea with genuine respect. We have an expectation that this will be reciprocated by you supplying the information we need to create your quotation.
1.4 You understand that our 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. Our role as your marketer and/or copywriter and/or influencer 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 us. This level of understanding and study needs to be completed prior to other services commencing. While you might have it scribbled on paper and want to pick our brains 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 $2,200 incl 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 we 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 our approach to the project is and a quotation based on the elements within that proposal. It includes a breakdown of what we 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. We 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, we need to make that clear. Your proposal acts as the scope of the work and is a living, breathing document we work from. So the time to say “Wait, 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. To ensure your project stays to budget, please ensure you note all changes and ideas prior to paying the invoice so they can be included in your proposal. That way we can keep your budget on target while we do amazing work for you.
2.5 We only accept approval of quotes and proposals in writing. You need to email us back to state the project is approved. We do not accept verbal confirmation on phone or in person under any circumstances.
2.6 We 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. Once you make the decision on the elements in the proposal, we 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, we will look at what we can do to improve your situation that will include choices.
2.7 The prices we quote are done so with both our budgets in mind. Do not ask for discounts. We are helpful, reasonable and open to feedback. Our prices are firm, based on our extensive expertise and success for our clients. We are not in the same category as fresh graduates or overseas workers on various outsourcing websites. We live and breathe copywriting and marketing. We have won awards for what we do.
2.8 Payment is via money only. We will not accept offers of founder status, deferred payments or promises of future work/payment in lieu of actual payment upfront. When you book The Thrifty Issue you pay with money.
3.1 We will supply you an invoice together with appropriate payment details for your project. You’ll review it, be happy and ready to pay.
3.2 For projects over $1,000, a non-refundable deposit of 50% is payable prior to work commencing. This way we can commence work without needing to chase the payments.
3.3 For projects of $1,000 or less, the entire sum needs to be paid prior to work commencing. This is non-negotiable.
3.4 For retainers, we’ll be making a 6 month commitment to each other based on an agreed monthly rate depending on the project. 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 We expect you to be a responsible business with your financials in order. By accepting a quote and engaging our 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.
3.7 Any costs associated to the project (e.g. couriers, other media, travel, purchases you request we make to help support your work, online fees, software etc) are to be paid directly by you. We 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. We don’t buy things on client’s behalf because it becomes problematic at the end of the financial year.
3.8 If at any time you wish to terminate your project with us, we will bill you for work undertaken at that time. Please remember your deposit is non-refundable. We will send what we have to any new supplier you choose. We’ve never faced this situation before but we do recognise that sometimes what looked like a beautiful business partnership may not have worked out.
3.9 In the case of an early cancellation of a retainer, you’ll need to pay us for the work completed plus the 50% of the retainer that remains. This is because we only accept a limited amount of retainers per month and schedule days 6 months in advance. In order to fill that gap, we’ll need to do some work 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. We 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 sinkholes 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, we keep face-to-face meetings to a minimum. To help wean any previous meeting addicts off this often costly, undocumented and fruitless process, we 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. We 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 us the info we 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 etc, we both need to be responsible enough to let the other know.
4.4 We work with you to have a timeline that suits. We know you are probably working on multiple projects and are conscious of both our time and yours. If you are busy and your turnaround on feedback or edits need an extra dash of space, by all means let us know.
4.5 Maintaining a full and complete schedule ensures we continue our business. As such, we schedule work based on who pays first and what timeline suits that customer. If you run late in supplying assets and edits, please drop us an email. We’d much prefer an email that lets us know we have to find someone else to fill your space in an emergency than expect work that does not show. Otherwise, your work may not be completed on schedule. If you let us know we can rearrange our schedule to ensure your work is completed.
4.6 To avoid upsetting clients already cued, it is rare I will take last minute jobs. To avoid burnout and to maintain personal health, it’s also rare we will work evenings, weekends and public holidays. While we do have a team of writers, their workloads are planned according to our clients requirements and our staff’s lifestyle needs. If you want a rushed project, the minimum spend is $1000 and you’ll need to pay a 25% levy on the quote. Payment needs to be in full and upfront. As you can see, fitting within the schedule rather than numerous last minute requests is preferable.
4.7 In the case of a retainer, I set aside a day of your choosing as your dedicated day of service. You will need to send us anything pertinent to completing the day’s work by midday the day before so we 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 us know ASAP. In some cases, we 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. If you choose not to use your time/allocated work in a month, you will forgo it.
4.8 Reasonable communication helps the project come to life. We welcome emails and feedback. We like to look after our clients with regular communication and updates, and we 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 we are starting to feel less like your freelancer and more like your Mum, believe me, we’ll let you know. If you need extra support, we can arrange a mentoring situation (fees apply).
4.9 We find phone calls disrupt our 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.
5.1 You can expect a professional, hardworking and honest work experience with us.While we can’t make any guarantees about the success of your marketing (anyone who says they can get you on the first page of Google is lying. We hope you understand that), we do guarantee we will be professional, considerate of your time and budget, and that we will deliver a high quality experience that is geared towards giving you a red-hot go with your project.
5.2 Truth and creativity in marketing. We 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. We will bring fresh, tailored and customised ideas to your project while being ethical, transparent and honest in our advice and approach.
5.3 Our aim is to empower your business. You can expect a coach-like attitude to your project. We want you to have a hassle free and positive experience with me. We also want to future-proof your experience by sharing what we know with you so you can keep making improvements after we leave. You can be assured we won’t make it sound complicated when it isn’t, or that the information we provide is there just to look pretty.
5.4 Gaining consensus from the stakeholders in your business is your responsibility. We 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, that’s up to you (or your nominated contact) to glean and incorporate into your feedback. We cannot and will not revise your project because someone 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 our sole client. To help our relationship remain rewarding and pleasant, you will not in any way harass or constantly badger us. This includes but is not limited to giving reasonable times for responses (do not email us, text us and call all within 20 minutes demanding a response), accepting unforeseen illness/injury can happen and that we may need time to get well again, not taking our refusal to move my booked and paid for annual holiday personally, and not insisting we spend our evenings off with you as a mandatory “team bonding” experience. As our time is scheduled to ensure we complete work for all clients on time, emails and other communication are responded to accordingly.
While this probably all sounds a little over the top to reasonable business people, these examples are based on real-life experiences we have encountered.
6) Copyright and Intellectual Property
6.1 Until you pay your invoices for work completed, the copyright and IP remains with us.This is to protect us from you skipping the final invoice and using our work without paid permission. Once you pay the bill, the work we have given is yours.
6.2 We promise not to share your business intelligence, marketing ideas, keywords or anything prepared and discussed with a competitor. Everything discussed is confidential. Our aim is to provide high-quality work to enable your business to grow.
6.3 We promise not to work with anyone who is your direct competitor while we look after you. We both know that with each client, we 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.
6.4 Cross-promotion is the bomb. This is why we will openly share your business and/or product with our audience via sharing your marketing campaigns, writing case studies for our website and helping you reach eyeballs by leveraging our 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 we won’t share a thing. This also includes pitching articles for syndication if you request it.
6.5 You are responsible for securing your trademarks, IP and making sure you aren’t copying someone else’s idea accidentally or intentionally. We cannot be held responsible if you choose to copy others work. 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 us from all legal fees, claims, costs and expenses. We, in turn promise not to do anything intentionally that could be considered campaign theft or repurposing. All content provided is created new, purely for you. We do not copy, repurpose or otherwise infringe on others work.
6.7 Once you receive your assets from us, you can edit it, change it and even slice it into small tiny pieces if you wish. However, you also accept that changes to our work will remove our responsibility to them. So (for example) if you ask for us to do some SEO copywriting based on approved keywords and then you change the copy and your rankings lower, that’s not our fault. Or if we 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 we 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. We 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. Our copy is typically personable and written with your target audience in mind along with SEO. The copy we provide is not spammy, SEO rubbish.
7.2 We will always advise based on current marketing practices and social media requirements. It’s within our mandate to stay as up to date as possible. It’s in your mandate to accept our advice and also accept that nothing in marketing will succeed 100% of the time all the time. We will ensure that our 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.
7.3 Content isn’t a one-time thing. 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. We 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, your traffic hasn’t quadrupled. 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 Victorian 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.