What is a tactful way to tell someone that they should pay you?

A friend of mine often calls for computer help since I know how to use audio and video converting tools ,Word Document, etc.. I often re-vise and type up her resume, videotape her talking to a camera (she is an actor who does small roles, commercials etc) and I edit and send the video by email , or through "audition websites." I also sometimes fix her laptop when it has mechanical or other problems.

She pays me liberally . For example, maybe $100 after I have done several weeks worth of editing and/or fixing for her. Sometimes calls me in the middle of the night when I am asleep and says she needs me to help her with using the computer to send a resume or video clip before a deadline in a few hours, etc.

Another friend of mine suggested I tell my actor friend that the kind of video-editing and computer assistance I provide basically free, a professional film editor or computer pro would charge no less than $100 an hour (probably) and that I should tell my actor friend that I would like her to keep track of how many hours of work I do for her so that she can pay me by hours worked and also considering the fact that some of what I do is Tech support and computer-specialist work .

I would like to ask all of you this way:

If you have been getting high-level computer assistance from someone because that person is a good friend and is nice to you, what would you consider a tactful way for them to ask you to pay them more ?

4 Answers

  • 3 years ago

    You tell someone the price before you do the work and you do not trust them to count how many hours they owe you for, you put it all down. I very much doubt that this person would bother to come to you if they had to pay properly, they choose you because it is very very cheap, no other reason, they are taking advantage. Either you do it very very cheap or you do not do it, and you need to become a lot smarter and wiser if you are going to run any sort of successful business or get paid to be self employed, people will run rings around you and eat you for breakfast otherwise.

    In my book everyone should get paid what they are worth, no matter what, when working. I am a well known professional, I have been doing my field of work for more than forty years, I am a proper full time professional, yet I get chancers, freeloaders and meanies write to me saying they want this and that and expecting it all free, which is the same as asking me for a lot of money. They should either sort out their own lives or save up till they can afford it. Your "so called friend" should learn how to do her own stuff or pay you to do it or find someone else. She would not dream of doing what she does for free, she is taking the mickey out of you. Wise up.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    I've known a couple of computer savy guys that always, they wound up not getting paid for things they did, where they just put their foot down, and said the charge right up front. They really were abused by their friends for it all, but they did wind up having no friends at all. Smooth tact is what you'll need for it, and yes, print her out a piece of paper for listing charges and all for it. Her reaction would be the decider for keeping her as a friend or not.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    You have to tell her that you re not going to be able to do these quick turnaround jobs for free because this is your livelihood and you have to take paying customers. I would say the going rate is probably more like $135/hour so tell her that you ll be happy to continue to help her out with small/quick fixes as a friend but that if she needs more help, you ll give her a discount rate of maybe $75/hour and YOU keep track of the hours you spend. But you should also be able to be up front and estimate how much time something will take you. So if she asks for a job that you know will take 5 or 6 hours - tell her that you ll charge her only $375 instead of the regular rate of $675. She probably won t take it well but you wouldn t ask a dentist, hairdresser or doctor to give away their work for free (maybe for an immediate family member). A friends & family discount is more than appropriate. If she doesn t like it, then she should feel free to look for lower rates. Sounds like she s taking advantage of your kindness. But sometimes downtime/free time is more important than doing more work for free when it s something that you re normally paid to do. Alternatively you can tell her that you might offer an even bigger discount every time she makes a referral of a new client. It really depends how good a friend she is and only you can determine whether bringing up money after-the-fact might ruin the friendship and how much that might mean to you.

  • 3 years ago

    If payment wasn't discussed in the begging, no matter how you bring it up it's tactless. Since he calls you and you've done it for free in the past, he's already assumed you'd do it again for free. It's a real dick move to start asking for money since you've never did before and she's just paid you randomly. Next time she calls, THAT'S when you discuss payment and tell her, I've been doing a lot of work for you lately, this time I'd like to get paid for my time. Then discuss how much you're asking.

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