When you are working as a writer, you will likely encounter some clients who attempt to build their businesses in unethical ways, and many freelance writers get burned by the issue of non-payment. It can be sickening to discover that after your time and hard work creating high quality content that a client disappears or does not respond to your invoices. Unfortunately, this is a common problem in the world of freelance professionals.
Have you heard of the World’s Longest Invoice? It’s a campaign recently launched by the Freelancers Union to highlight the problem of unpaid invoices. Currently, the amount of money freelancers have submitted as unpaid invoices is at more than$15 million! While it may seem unthinkable to you that a client would stiff you on your hard-earned money, it happens far too often.
One way to safeguard yourself is to ask for half of the projected fee upfront. It is also wise to utilize a contract for larger projects. If the client is slow to pay, send formal invoices and late notices promptly. You can also include late fees to motivate the client to pay-up.
Keep good records of all communications you have with the client regarding the project and payment arrangements. If worst comes to worst, and you are not receiving the payment due to you and the payment due is significant, consider hiring a collections agency to handle the issue for you. They will take a percentage of the payment, but it may be worth it if it means you can receive a portion of the money you earned.
Working as a writer is a wonderful experience and an excellent way to build a business from home, but it is important to understand the risks and know how to protect yourself from unethical clients.
Learn more about the right ways to build a business working as a writer – Read: Working Writer, Happy Writer: How to Build a Thriving Writing Business from NOTHING.