How To Make Sure You Get Paid For Your Work

You have just completed your work. What now? Getting paid, of course.

You might be lucky that your clients pay 100% in advance. Some clients would pay at least 50% in advance. However, there are also clients who tend to ‘forget’ about paying when it is due.

Generally, we hate to assume the worst so we need to think positively when a client is not paying on time.

However, you should do your part as well in terms of getting the payment. Payment can be delayed due to your own actions.

How do you make sure they pay up without causing an argument?

1. It is best to have a contract or agreement stating the terms and conditions that both of you agree. You should mention about the payment details and invoicing system in the contract / agreement. If your clients are not following the terms and conditions, you can use the contract / agreement to go against them (rules and regulations according to your location – please check with your local enforcement).

2. Timing is very important. Be sure to send your invoice right after you have completed your work.The soonest you send the invoice, the faster you can receive your payment (assuming that your clients are going to pay you).

3. Don’t forget to follow up once you have sent the invoice. It is important to follow up because some clients might not notice the invoice you have sent to them thus causing a delay in getting payment. As we know emails can go wrong sometimes. Resend the invoice if necessary.

4. If emails don’t work, it is time to give them a call. Talk politely and ask them if they have received your invoice and the payment is ready. Money is a very sensitive issue so be sure to use small words when discussing about the money.

5. If none of the above works, you should be heading towards the experts such as Freelancers Union for help (check whether you are eligible). Different location has different set of rules and regulations. Be sure to check out yours.

If everything else fails, you should consider to place a report on Ripoff Report or Scam Radar.

Is This Project For You?

Anyone would be happy to get a freelance project. At least I was over the moon when I first scored my first writing project.

However, the question to ask yourself is whether the project is the right one for you. Why?

Simple. You wouldn’t want to work on a project that is non educational and non profitable.

Questions you have to ask yourself before you accept any projects.

[Sources from Sitepoint]

1. Will You Learn From This Gig?

Surely you want to learn something when you work on a project. Whether you are writing or doing blog design, you can improve on your skills when you work on more projects. However, sometimes, there are projects that won’t help you in any way. Analyse what can you learn from the projects you apply so that you gain benefit from the projects you work on.

2. Is The Money Good?

The main purpose to work on projects is to earn money. Would you work on a project that pays peanuts and expect more from you? Think about it for a moment.

3. Do You Trust The Client?

Why you need to ask this? It is because you want to know whether you will get paid or not in the end. To be honest you won’t know until you are actually getting paid but your instinct will always tell you the truth. If you are suspicious about your clients, either back off or think of another way to figure out whether they are lying or not. The best way is to request advance payment. If the clients are trying to fool you surely they won’t be willing to pay in advance.

4. Does The Project Fit With Your Moral Code?

Most people ignore this because of the money factor. However, if there are certain things that you won’t do for your clients, make it clear.

5. Will This Gig Help Build Your Contact List?

Networking is important. When you have a large contact list, surely it would be much easier to score your next project.

6. Will This Job Lead to Widespread Exposure of Your Services?

If you are new in your industry (i.e.: writing), by working on projects acknowledged by many people would automatically spread your services across the world. Of course, not all projects are popular but in some way if the projects have a strong influence on the net, surely you will be credited by it.

7. Does This Job Interest You?

Back to the most important question of all, are you interested to work on this project? There is no point doing something that you have no interest. In the end, you will end up doing the job badly and gain even worse reputation.

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Is it time for some thinking? Try this out when you are applying for your next project.

Client Management #1: When Clients Are Upset

However, don’t be disappointed.

Most common situation:

You are required to write an article based on a topic. However, your final work is not up to your client’s expectation.

Solution:

You need to communicate with your clients. Find out these:

  • what is wrong
  • how you can revise your work to meet their requirement

Then, work on your project. You might want to offer extra service as compensation. This is a simple gesture to make sure that your client is satisfied with your service (so that they are likely to hire you again, in the future!).

Have additional tips? Leave a comment.

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Photo credit: Bhernandez

Managing Clients – Focusing on One or Have A Few Clients

Clients – we can never live without them (as a freelance writer). However, getting the right clients can be difficult. If you have got your very first client, I am sure you are jumping up and down, feeling motivated to get even more clients in the future.

Here comes the question:

“Do you focus on one client or handle many clients at a time?”

I am not sure if you have thought about this before you get any clients but this is what you will have to ask yourself once you have a client on hand, since you might be thinking whether you should get more clients so you have more projects to work on at the same time (if you are thinking of earning more – your first job might not be able to cover all your expenses).

The key is to ask yourself, how much time are you willing to spend for your clients. Say, you have a client that has more workload and another that requires just a few hours a week to work on the projects.

What you can do is, divide your time according to the projects and have an overview of how many hours left for yourself to manage your personal life. If you are spending more hours on work and have no time for yourself, perhaps you should limit yourself working on a limited number of projects at a time.

However, when you take up more projects from several clients, you might want to consider this,

  • the quality of your work
  • your productivity

Why?

First of all, you work alone. There is no way you can spend more time on each project. When you have less time on each project, you will have to do things in a hurry, perhaps overlook the quality of your work because the main thing in your mind right now is,

I want to get things done on time

Take some time and reflect on your work quality. Are you satisfy with it? Can you demand a higher fee for your work quality?

The advantages of having many clients at a time:

  1. You earn more money (if you can do a great job).
  2. You earn credibility faster (your clients can spread a word about you and your portfolio grows faster).
  3. You get to learn to manage your clients better since you have to handle a few of them.

The disadvantages of having many clients at a time:

  1. Less time for yourself, more time for work.
  2. If you do not handle your work properly, you might end up doing badly.
  3. You might not complete your work on time since you have so much projects to work on.

So, it is up to you whether you want to take on more responsibilities or drop them according to your capability. After all, not all freelance writers can manage their work properly. It might take some time to get accustomed to working at home but sooner or later, you will be able to overcome it.

Any questions or comments, feel free to express yourself here.

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Photo credit: Cheesepicklescheese on Flickr