Invoice agency for test assignment?

by j77
4 replies
I recently agreed to do a couple of small assignments as a test for an ad agency had reached out to me and was interested in me. I'm familiar with the agency and some people within and even was a colleague of one of their director-level people there a couple of years ago, so all good and this isn't some kind of bait and switch or shady relationship

It may or may not happen that I end up working with them on one of their big global clients, but I unfortunately didn't confirm with them before doing the "test" work (about a day's worth) that I would of course be invoicing for this test assignment, regardless of their decision to bring me in or not to help with their client. The test assignment was of course also real-life content for the client.

I've done these kinds of "test" assignments for creative and ad agencies in the past who had approached me and in both cases, those agencies both said at some point during the initial conversation things to the effect of, "We'll of course pay you" or "Just send us an invoice ..."

Unfortunately with this current ad agency, the invoice or topic of payment never came up. It just naturally didn't and I didn't even think of it for the hour we were chatting to be honest. But I've now done the work and I still plan on invoicing them for my day rate, regardless of if they use me or not.

My question though for people here, is it typical for someone in my case to invoice in such circumstances? To me it is and obviously to the previous two agencies I've done these kinds of test assignments for, it was normal and expected for me to do so.
#agency #assignment #invoice
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  • Profile picture of the author MSutton
    Maybe wait a little before you invoice them to see if you will be working with them long-term, then make your decision from there. If it ends up they don't want you long-term, invoice them and see if they pay.



    But if one of the reasons you are hesitant to bill them is because you are friends with them, then stop doing business with friends. Friends and business are usually a bad mix.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by j77 View Post

    It may or may not happen that I end up working with them on one of their big global clients, but I unfortunately didn't confirm with them before doing the "test" work (about a day's worth) that I would of course be invoicing for this test assignment, regardless of their decision to bring me in or not to help with their client. The test assignment was of course also real-life content for the client.
    You're a professional, and you've put in a day's work. Of course you invoice them. If you don't respect the value of your time, neither will your clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    Why is there a test in the first place. Don't you have a portfolio they can look at.

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    It is true that money can not buy happiness, But it is more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle

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  • Profile picture of the author j77
    All great points, thanks all for justifying my intuition here I'll be invoicing them regardless of if they use me or not, but will wait until my next billing cycle, either way.

    And yes, I should have immediately brought this up when they mentioned the idea of the "test" assignment with something to the effect of, "Of course, that's no problem and is something I've done in the past for other agencies that end up using me. I'll just invoice you afterwards at my day rate afterwards."

    To answer agmccall, yes I of course have a portfolio and they've seen, but I suppose they wanted to get a better sense of how I'd write on the topic, which I'm fine with and have no problems with and am not so fragile as to take that personally. The client is a huge global brand, by far their largest client and probably biggest profit-maker, and this agency is responsible for all of their global content. It's also in a very industrial segement with traditional and old-school mindset. So not something I had a problem doing for them so they can get a feel.
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