Finding Your Allies
One of my clients was approached by a not-yet-launched investor-backed media site to provide weekly content as a contributor.
The site—even though no live content was yet visible—was exactly on target with his area of expertise.
It has a clever name, excellent funding and perhaps most importantly, a carefully thought-out business plan with a savvy editor at the helm.
It looked like a no-brainer to say yes.
And yet, he took a considered pause.
Saying yes means a weekly commitment to writing an unpaid thought piece for someone else’s site.
Saying yes means exchanging that time (2-3 hours a week) for a non-guaranteed potential outcome: exposure to a new, perhaps fast-growing audience theoretically right in his sweet-spot.
While he was willing to take a flyer since the potential benefit to his business was quite large, his concern was more about being in alignment with his new allies. As he put it “I’m done spending time with ass*#^&*s”.
So he asked them a question: if this site is wildly successful, will they be open to having a conversation about rewarding the early contributors to their success?
Their answer was a simple “of course” and the deal was struck.
Is it legally binding? Of course not. But it’s a friendly way to show goodwill in helping a start-up while making clear that you are allies in a mutual goal.