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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-23-2015, 06:38 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Default Question about private clients

Hi,

How do you know that a potential private client will actually pay you when you provide the finished work? I mean, do you just trust that they will pay you or do you ask for some payment upfront, or ?? I'm starting again with writing after a couple years away, mainly due to being burned on payment from someone. So, any advice about this would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Michelle
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-23-2015, 09:31 AM
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I recommend a 50% deposit up front.

Even from relatives.

(Especially from relatives :P)
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:48 AM
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I require full payment via Paypal before I begin writing, and I've never had any issues with clients accepting this policy.
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Florida
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For a new client, either request payment up front or only do a small amount of work to start.

I try to get clients on the phone; I generally get a good feel for whether I can trust them to pay. Plus, I have their cellphone numbers. They won't want me harassing them for payment (and I have never had to do that!).

For more long-term clients, I don't mind billing them biweekly or monthly. I generally work for marketing agencies, though... so I have access to their project management systems, to their clients' contact info, and the log-in credentials to their clients' websites. It's a position of mutual trust, so I'm not worried that they're not going to pay me.

TL;DR: It depends. But if the client is new, just bill in advance.
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurainFL View Post
I require full payment via Paypal before I begin writing, and I've never had any issues with clients accepting this policy.
This does sound like the best policy, if they won't pay upfront, then they probably won't pay afterwards (unless you have a long-term working relationship).
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:14 PM
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Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:21 AM
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I now require all clients to pay up-front for any work I do.

If they are a new client and have a big project (eg. ghost writing a book), then I split the project into stages, for example stage 1 = chapter 1, and have them pay for each stage in advance before I begin work on that chapter.

The single most important thing I learned from freelancing and now running my own business, is do not do any work until they have paid for it. This was an expensive lesson to learn, and the majority of freelancers have faced this same issue starting out.

The number of clients I had starting out that would change their minds about what they wanted, refuse to pay for work, have long delays approving work or responding to questions, or just avoiding emails/calls/letters asking for payment was ridiculous. Yes, some clients are great and pay on time, but those that don't can quickly add up to several thousand dollars of work that you never end up getting paid for

If you are writing 10 articles, ask for full payment up-front. If they don't want to do that, then have them pay up-front for the first article, then after you deliver it, have them make payment for the rest before you start writing them.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:50 AM
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Thanks--I'll definitely try that.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momchelle View Post
Hi,

How do you know that a potential private client will actually pay you when you provide the finished work? I mean, do you just trust that they will pay you or do you ask for some payment upfront, or ?? I'm starting again with writing after a couple years away, mainly due to being burned on payment from someone. So, any advice about this would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Michelle
Luckily, I haven't had a "non-payment" problem; however, I normally work with large companies instead of individuals. For instance, I was just hired by Trivago and I feel completely comfortable writing for them. Nonetheless, I have written for a few individuals and I mainly let them know what the deal is. If they don't pay, there's no more work until a payment is made. In a way you are in between a "rock and a hard place." You have to let them know that it is important that they pay and you "expect" them to pay without being afraid of losing the client. I've never asked for money upfront though and I've been fine....Good Luck
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:43 AM
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I appreciate everyone's input here. The advice will come in handy when I am able to get some private clients...no luck yet, but I'm working on it.
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