DEAR HARRIETTE: I work a full-time job for a startup company, but I do product promotion through social media on the side.
As a freelancer, I get paid hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars for my social media work. When my company learned that I do pretty well with my independent work, they were impressed. My boss asked that I promote the startup on my personal pages. Since he made this request during a meeting, I felt like I was being put on the spot. I didn’t agree to do it, but I didn’t decline.
I’ve decided to pull my boss to the side privately and tell him that if he would like social media promotion, I will have to charge him for it. Some of my other co-workers have promoted the company on their personal social media pages before, but they do not have an audience the way that I do.
I am afraid that this ask will rub my boss the wrong way, but this is my business, and believe I should be paid for it. How should I go about asking this?
DEAR FREE PROMO: This is tricky. You need to create a strategy that makes your boss feel special but that also protects you.
Figure out a discount that you can offer to your boss for your services. Create a presentation for him — as you would for any other client — of exactly what his company will get for the cost of your promotion. Establish clear expectations so that he understands how it works and what the potential return on investment is. Be clear on the value your services will add to his bottom line. Make your work seem invaluable to him.
When you present to your boss, remind him that this is your personal business that you have developed over a period of time, completely independent of his company. Unfortunately, you cannot offer your services for free, but because you work for him, you are happy to offer him a discount that will last for the duration of time that you work for him.
He may not take this well, but it is a risk you will have to take. Many businesses do not like their employees doing anything “on the side.” If this is to be your path, you have to stand strong and face what comes next.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter just started college, and it turns out that a friend from her middle school is going to the same school. The two of them had a big falling-out years ago and had not seen each other for a long time.
The other girl is trying to rekindle their friendship. My daughter is not interested at all.
She asked me what she can say to the girl to get her to back off. I don’t want her to be rude, even if she doesn’t intend to make friends again. What can she say?
No Longer Friends
DEAR NO LONGER FRIENDS: Your daughter doesn’t have to say much. If she just doesn’t engage, eventually the other girl will get the message.
Your daughter should be cordial. She should speak to the ex-friend when they see each other but leave it at that. Don’t ask her about her life. Don’t invite her to hang out. Graciously decline invitations to get together. In time, it should sink in.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.