Know Your Worth - A Lesson from "The Secrets of the Beauty World" with Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star
Shane Dawson has released four installments of his second YouTube series with Jeffree Star, documenting the creation of their new makeup collaboration. The final two installments are scheduled for release today and tomorrow.
For those who aren't familiar, Shane is known as one of the first YouTube Stars while Jeffree is an electropop musician, made famous on MySpace, turned makeup mogul and YouTube personality. While viewers disagree on their support of Jeffree based on his potentially questionable past, there is no denying that Jeffree has taken his experience and become impressively wealthy from a combination of makeup ventures, fulfillment services, merchandise distribution deals, and real estate investments.
The series focuses on exactly that - taking advantage of opportunities to create success. Without giving any spoilers, you learn very interesting details of how makeup companies create and market their products. While some viewers have called the episodes hour-long ads, the videos are unexpectedly inspiring. You have to give credit to the editors and their creative decisions in videography and music, but you can't help but feel such joy for Shane as he's given the validation and support he deserves in working towards his goals.
In the second installment of the series, "The Secrets of the Beauty World," Jeffree shares an important lesson in knowing your worth as a creator. In this episode, Jeffree explains to Shane that he usually offers makeup collaborators 20% of product sales, but he wants to offer Shane 25-30% because he expects the collaboration to be extremely popular.
Jeffree then tells Shane a (horror) story of how makeup brand Too Faced underpaid Nikkie Tutorials, one of the most famous YouTube beauty gurus, during their "The Power of Makeup" collection. Nikkie received a $50,000 flat fee for this collaboration, regardless of how many sales Too Faced made. Ultimately, Too Faced sold over $10 million of product and, as a result of her fee arrangement, Nikkie took home less than 1% of sales. That less than 1% stands in stark contrast to the 25-30% Jeffree offered Shane.
Nikkie's decision to accept the $50,000 flat fee was likely a combination of her inexperience, desire to work with a major brand, and lack of strong legal representation. Creators can learn from Nikkie and Shane and be proactive in negotiating contracts to accurately reflect what they bring to the deal.
Ultimately, know your worth and surround yourself with experts and support so you can earn, as Jeffree put it, what you deserve. Here are some steps you can take to negotiate fair business deals.
Research the Market
Do your research! If possible, find out what this and other companies have paid creators to work with them. This way you'll know if you're getting a fair deal.
Calculate Your Costs
When determining your price, consider the different factors that together create your value. Some factors are experience, expertise, the demands on your time, and how long the project will take. Whether you consider past project fees, an estimated hourly rate, or some other metric, make sure the proposed compensation is fair compared to what you've been paid before and what you expect to be paid.
Make Sure You Make a Profit
You have supplies to purchase and bills to pay. Make sure your rate allows you to cover these costs while also leaving you with a profit to invest in yourself and your business. Through your market research you can determine the right profit margin for your type of business.
Be Your Own Biggest Cheerleader
Surround yourself with people you trust, but remember that you are your own biggest cheerleader. In "The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star," Shane is amazed by the amount of money he may make through his Jeffree Star Cosmetics collaboration. But, Shane's star power is what allows him to demand such strong rates. He is the perfect example of the lesson to not get in your own way of getting the compensation you deserve. Know your value and feel confident setting a price and supporting that price with your knowledge, skill, and experience.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
It is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney to negotiate business deals and write your contracts. An experienced arts and entrepreneurship attorney can guide you about what provisions are important to include and how much flexibility you should have when negotiating your deal. This way you'll be valued appropriately and you won't find yourself committed to obligations you didn't know you had.
Remember: It's Okay to Say No
Not all business relationships are meant to be. Even though you may love the brand you're looking to work with, don't devalue what you bring to the table if the fee or terms of the deal are unfair or don't reflect your worth.