Getting that last 50% without being ripped off?

by roley
18 replies
Ok so most folks ask for 50% upfront when working clients.

How do you get that last 50% without being ripped off?

Most clients want to see the work, have you do editing before they payout that 50%

But then there are those sneaky freaks who just want to use your work and won't pay the last 50%.

So do you folks invoice them and then tell them you will send the work once you get the last payment?

Do you show a video of the work so they can see it but can't actually use it?

Do you lock it up? ( though most cheeky gits will get around that if they want to )

What's the best approach or the approach you take?
#50% #ripped
  • Profile picture of the author bad golfer
    Try the Shawn LeBrun approach here:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...ont-100-a.html
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    • Profile picture of the author roley
      Originally Posted by bad golfer View Post

      Try the Shawn LeBrun approach here:

      http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...ont-100-a.html
      No the reason I'm not taking that approach is because I've tried it and most clients say that doesn't tell them enough to determine if the work is done.

      They want to see it all.

      There must be a way to do this without getting shafted
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      • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
        Originally Posted by roley View Post

        There must be a way to do this without getting shafted
        The vast majority of people have zero intention of ripping you off.

        Stop wasting your time and energy worrying about it.
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        Andrew Gould

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        • Profile picture of the author roley
          Originally Posted by Andrew Gould View Post

          The vast majority of people have zero intention of ripping you off.

          Stop wasting your time and energy worrying about it.
          Yes maybe.

          But that doesn't mean I should bend over and give them the lube.

          It's smart to be savvy.
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          • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
            Originally Posted by roley View Post

            It's smart to be savvy.
            Indeed, and the savvy thing to do when someone keeps going on about getting ripped off, is to back away from the deal...
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            Andrew Gould

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        • Profile picture of the author Xiqual
          I do agree with Andrew Gould, there is not so many full-time rippers specialized in copywriters...

          Trust your guts: if some prospect seems dubious,
          you could have a "special" payment structure for these cases:
          * 50% first agreement
          * 25% non-edited/finished copy
          * 25% Deal closed & paid in full.

          Just my 2 cents,
          Adrian
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      • Profile picture of the author Chriswrighto
        Originally Posted by roley View Post

        No the reason I'm not taking that approach is because I've tried it and most clients say that doesn't tell them enough to determine if the work is done.

        They want to see it all.

        There must be a way to do this without getting shafted
        That's the best way, in my opinion.

        If you have a reputation, you can draw attention to that.

        As a copywriter you work on your terms.

        Ben Settle sent out a good email this week advising people to not put their customers on the pedestal.

        YES make them happy.

        YES complete the work.

        But you don't live to play by their rules.

        You could even make up a story about how you got shafted before...

        Chris
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        Wealthcopywriter.com :)

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        • Profile picture of the author roley
          Originally Posted by Chriswrighto View Post

          That's the best way, in my opinion.

          If you have a reputation, you can draw attention to that.

          As a copywriter you work on your terms.

          Ben Settle sent out a good email this week advising people to not put their customers on the pedestal.

          YES make them happy.

          YES complete the work.

          But you don't live to play by their rules.

          You could even make up a story about how you got shafted before...

          Chris
          I agree Chris, well said!
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          • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
            If you feel like someone might try to rip you off then just don't work with them.

            You can't just jump into bed with every client who comes by waving a few dollars in your face. It's important to get to know them just a bit, to ask about their business and their product. Skype with them, talk on the phone, get a good feeling about them.

            I've spent hours on the phone with some people just talking about business, movies, women, and all sorts of things.

            There's always some element of trust in a new relationship. That's why you take 50% up front. They need to trust that you won't just skip town once you get it. In turn, you have to trust them to give you the rest.

            I don't think it's as big a problem as you're making it out to be. If you're really worried, then make a structured payment plan.

            25% to start
            25% after outline/rough draft
            25% after completion
            25% after edits

            But seriously, don't worry about it so much.
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            • Profile picture of the author BrianDavid
              Ditto. If you don't feel comfortable, it may be that it's that certain client. It's hard to pre-screen, you don't know what people are capable of on the surface. See how this one goes, then move on.

              Originally Posted by Shadowflux View Post

              If you feel like someone might try to rip you off then just don't work with them.

              You can't just jump into bed with every client who comes by waving a few dollars in your face. It's important to get to know them just a bit, to ask about their business and their product. Skype with them, talk on the phone, get a good feeling about them.

              I've spent hours on the phone with some people just talking about business, movies, women, and all sorts of things.

              There's always some element of trust in a new relationship. That's why you take 50% up front. They need to trust that you won't just skip town once you get it. In turn, you have to trust them to give you the rest.

              I don't think it's as big a problem as you're making it out to be. If you're really worried, then make a structured payment plan.

              25% to start
              25% after outline/rough draft
              25% after completion
              25% after edits

              But seriously, don't worry about it so much.
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      • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
        Originally Posted by roley View Post

        No the reason I'm not taking that approach is because I've tried it and most clients say that doesn't tell them enough to determine if the work is done.

        They want to see it all.

        There must be a way to do this without getting shafted
        Between freelance and my local marketing company here... I've worked with well over 600 clients in the past 13 years... and I've used this method for almost all of them.

        Maybe 5 or so had a problem with it.

        All they're looking for is proof that the work is done. So give them proof.

        Me, I'll send over the entire letter, with chunks missing throughout, so it proves that it's done.. but yet they don't have the entire letter.

        I only do this because I've been burned by some of the biggest names online... people you'd never expect. So now, I just don't bother.

        Again, every one is different, and everyone works differently. It works for me, but whose to say it works for others.

        Like I said, this approach may not work with someone just starting out, who doesn't have any lengthy time online.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Has this been a practical problem for you, Roley?

    Or are you imagining that it COULD happen to you and therefore needs to be headed off at the pass?
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
    There would be no way I would send the customer the entire letter without getting the balance of the %50.

    If the relationship that you have built with this client between communication and some kind of trust doesn't ad up to them excepting the terms and conditions then there is an obvious problem.

    You talk about some people being ''sneaky freaks'' if you're getting that kind of vibe from them from a brief consultation and they don't want to agree to your terms then go with your gut and I would part ways.


    Bill


    .
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    The way I look at it is if the client trusted me with the 50% down-payment
    then I can trust him with the final 50%.

    Think about it: You could also take the down-payment and run away
    with it, so the client is trusting you not to do this. So why can't you
    trust that he would keep his end of the bargain. In addition to this,
    you should have a signed agreement which covers all contingencies.

    -Ray Edwards
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    Just get 100% upfront and you won't to have worry about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author tehdellguy22
    yup. most people wont rip u off. focus less on those who do and focus on those who make u the money. the 80/20 principle
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I get 100% up front for every job I do. I have bent my rules occasionally for a regular client but NEVER for a first timer. They can check out my 2 websites, ask about me in here and ask me questions if they aren't sure. I simply tell them it is not in my interest to give them bad work because that hurts me more than losing a little money. I always give 100% and that covers minor changes if they're unhappy with work I do. But 100% or the highway. That is my way.
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Website / Blog for more info.

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  • Profile picture of the author JoeStalin
    It's not so much that the majority of people aren't interesting in ripping you off. Many are, and you do have to protect yourself from them. That is exactly what the initial deposit of 50% is for.

    The issue is: is a client who has already paid you the deposit interested in ripping you off? In my opinion and experience: almost never.

    The deposit tests these assertions about the client: do they have the funds available to pay you? Do they have the authority to initiate the project and pay you? And are they willing to pay you for the delivered work?

    All three are necessary. If any of these are missing, the prospect will dance around all day and won't front the deposit. If all are present, the prospect will pay you the deposit. It then becomes an extremely low probability that they will not pay the final amount due once you produce.

    I said that a deposit payer will "almost" never rip you off. It happened to me just once. The client (overseas, with almost no English skills) changed the project terms on me mid stream. I find out that they really wanted a fundamentally different deliverable, after I have started, and they wanted it by an aggressive deadline that wasn't initially stated. They would not accept one or the other. I said "see yah."

    To handle that case - unstated negative conditions of the work - you have to squeeze it out of them and cover every issue of importance up front. I really think this one client used their bad English skills to hide their original intentions.
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