6 Ways I Use Finders Fees in Business

© Andrea Reynolds Adapted from a newsletter article I wrote in 1984.

Are you turning away opportunities to earn additional income or benefits? Well, stop that.

One way to generate business is to offer finders fees.

If you're a consultant or professional, or own a business, and you have many business contacts, why not let those contacts earn rewards for helping you increase your business income? So long as there are no conflicts of interest and you're not violating your profession's code of ethics, you can generate goodwill by helping others increase their income as they help you increase yours.

For example, I'm looking to return to the world of public speaking again after a long absence. I'm willing to pay anyone 10%, 15% or 20% of my future speaking fees, depending on the degree of your involvement. (Higher fees for greater involvement.) If you're a member of organizations or a corporation and in a position to refer speakers, this could be lucrative for you.

If I'm offered a $2,500 speaking fee as the direct result of your referral (not a lead), and you actively promote me to the hiring committee or chairperson, You could earn $250, $375 or $500. And if I book another speaking engagement or private consultation as a result of that event, you'll receive an additional finders fee. As my fees increase so can yours... all for making one successful referral.

I've had nice people say, "No, I don't need compensation." But I learned something years ago from an expert on how to stop underearning, Jerrold Mundis,
"Don't say no to money." Why work for free? Karma is nice... but it doesn't pay the bills.

Finders fees are a small price to pay to have someone bring you a corporate account, a speaking engagement, or include you on a team for a large project that results in additional in income for you.
Giving finders fees creates goodwill in your community.


1. Here's my first experience with finders fees. Decades ago I gave a colleague a $70 reward for helping me land a short $700 speaking engagement with a prestigious company. He had already successfully negotiated a contract with the company and had the presence of mind to ask if they needed more speakers for their event. When they said yes, he handed them my brochure. That's all, but it got him 10% of my fee.

2. I gave finders fees to clients who brought me new clients.

3. I received a free photography session for bringing the photographer 5 of my clients.

4. I received a free hair cut after referring 4 continuing clients to a hair stylist.

5. I discount my fees to other consultants who invite me onto their client projects. Then they bill me out at full price, making a profit.

6. When I didn't have time to take on a new client or the work was outside my competency, I referred the project to colleagues, and sometimes, even competitors, who agree to pay me a finders fee.

For a free tip sheet on how to structure finders fees arrangements to increase your income,
send me your email address and I'll send you a PDF. It won't be spontaneous.

Copyright 2016, Andrea Reynolds, PO Box 9124, Erie PA 16506. (814) 520-5548, All rights are reserved. Ask about reprints and licensing.
Be my patron for as little as $1 a month. Send your comments and future blog post requests to Andrea Reynolds,

Creative payment options for clients

Copyright 2015-2016 Andrea Reynolds

Have you had potential clients say they can't afford your rates? Have you wondered if you should lower your rates to accommodate those people out of fear they may just walk away? Don't.

I don't. I offer a range of payment options that may appeal to them instead. If none of these will work for them, that tells me they didn't want to pay me in the first place and only wanted free services. We're not in business to provide free services. If we were, we'd be a charity, not a business. Or a fairy godmother.

Canadian bills

Here are the 13 payment options I offer new, current and former clients:

1. US cash

2. Canadian cash

3. Postal money order

4. Check in US funds

5. Check in Canadian funds

6. Paypal in US funds

7. Paypal in Canadian funds

8. Layaway installments

9. Grocery store gift cards: Tops, Wegman's, Giant Eagle, Aldi, Whole Foods.

10. Restaurant gift cards: Cracker Barrel, Chipotle, Panera, Starbucks.

11. Phone cards: TracFone.

12. Other store cards: Lowe's, Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon, Best Buy, Shell Gas, Apple iTunes.

13. S
hares of company stock at that day's valuation if it pays dividends and if it's on NASDAQ, NYSE, TSE (Toronto), VSE (Vancouver). Suggestions: Apple (AAPL), Verizon (VZ), Tim Horton (THI), Panera Bread (PNRA).

I think I've made it pretty easy to pay me. Some people will still walk away, but perhaps fewer people will have an excuse now for not hiring me. Or you!

Want to republish/reprint this blog post? First let's talk about a licensing agreement. I'm a professional writer and I sell my writing.

7 ways to kill a publishing deal

© Copyright Andrea Reynolds 2012-2014 All rights reserved.

You may know that a few years ago I launched the second book publishing company in my career: Bitango Books. After both parents passed away in 2011, my mother’s copyrights to her two successful books passed to me, as did her unpublished manuscript for a “racy” novel, as well as my father’s letters home from the Pacific in World War II. So it made sense for me to create a new publishing vehicle for their works, my own future books, and works of other nonfiction authors.

I bring to the table 4 critical skills:

a) The ability to successfully fund publishing projects from angel investors before the book is written (3 times),

b) My 33 years’ experience marketing authors and their books in the national/international press and media,

c) My 12 years of editing books for other authors, and

d) My 21 years’ experience representing and negotiating better contracts for speakers (fees, amenities and terms).

I self-published my first book in 1982 so I think my qualifications speak for themselves.

My new publishing company is somewhat unconventional. (Bitango means rogue or gypsy.) I did offer a small advance against bigger royalties than most traditional publishers and offered contracts that are fair to authors. (I’m a member of the National Writers Union myself.) Not only do I at Bitango Books advocate for you as a paid speaker but I also created a free-standing web site for authors on which to promote their books.

In return I hoped to see authors make an effort. So when they did some of the following, I have to think they were standing in their own way and may have been difficult to work with or “high maintenance.”

Here are some behaviors I saw that will turn off any publisher:

1. Don’t have a body of written and published work that can be easily accessed. Publishers need to see that you can write well consistently and that others have deemed you publishable.

2. Don’t send a copy of the manuscript when a publisher has invited you to send it for consideration. How else can we evaluate your book and offer a contract?

3. Don’t tell us your web site address, Twitter name, or Facebook link. Keep them secret so we can’t follow and friend you.

4. Don’t tell us the size of your manuscript so we know how big or small it is in words or pages.

5. Say, “No thanks, I want to secure an agent first” when we say we’d like to see your manuscript. The point of having an agent is to get publishers to ask to see your manuscript. You got us to do that, why reject the invitation?

6. Don’t have a written marketing plan for your book. If you don’t have an inkling as to how to get your book into reader’s hands how will a publisher know you have written a book that is marketable to your audience?

7. Don’t trust the publisher’s expertise and experience. Some authors have submitted manuscripts for which they have paid dearly for bad editing, ugly cover design, and a messy layout and insist we not change anything prior to publication. And, if a manuscript gets the message across in 50,000 words, why insist on publishing 90,000 words?

These seven behaviors and others seem to be prevalent among new authors. This told me I should seriously think about teaching seminars and offering one-on-one (paid) consultations for new authors to stop them from getting in the way of their book publishing success.

Think like a publisher. Authors, the less you do to provide what a publisher needs to know the smaller the advance and the lower the royalty payment. And the reverse is true: the more you provide to a publisher, the greater the possibility of a signed contract, larger advance, faster publication and larger royalty.


Andrea Reynolds is a blogger and how-to author. She has decided to be the only author. All her titles are found here:

Want to republish/reprint this blog post? First let's talk about a licensing agreement. I'm a professional writer and I sell my writing.

Earn money from your blog with tips booklets

© Andrea Reynolds 2009-2014; From the archives: August 1, 2010

Unless you’re Marcus Frind, creator-owner of the dating site,, you probably won’t receive million dollar checks from Google Adsense, as he does. (Source: Interview, CBC TV’s “The Hour,” 4/8/09.) A better bet would be to write something once and sell it many times to many blog readers for a reasonable price.


Think about a subject you’re passionate about and know a great deal about. Then sit down and write 100 or more tips on that subject. Each tip should be no more than 3 sentences, preferably only one sentence, and should start with a verb.

Here’s an example of a tip from my report, “33 Amenities Speakers Deserve”: Advise your speakers right away of significant program changes and additions: times, audience numbers, location, other speakers who may possibly speak on a similar subject. To arrive at an empty hall or follow another speaker who has just delivered her speech is a speaker’s nightmare!

A simple kitchen tip might be: Turn nearly-empty salad dressing bottles upside- down in the fridge so the contents will be easier to access the next time. Having the bottle neck at the bottom may also allow you to cram one more item into the fridge door shelf.

Brainstorm 100 or so tips on one specific subject, separate them under sub-headings, add an introduction and some wrap-up remarks, include a bio with your qualifications for writing this booklet and your contact information. Get someone to proofread your booklet, and if necessary, have an editor make the copy sing.

Now you’re an author. Price your new information product somewhere between $5 and $12, and post a description of it on your blog’s sidebar. If your readers like your blog they may buy your booklet, too. Later you may want to write a sequel or even a series of booklets on the same subject.


Money blogger Andrea Reynolds has been a professional writer and editor for more than 3.5 decades. The author of numerous tips booklets herself, she has been known to take clients’ handwritten manuscripts and turn them into tips booklets for them… when asked, and paid.

Want to republish/reprint this blog post? First let's talk about a licensing agreement. I'm a professional writer and I sell my writing.