Getting payed for freelance services..

by condra
12 replies
Hey guys.

For those of you who sell your writing, design, or programming services, without a third party such as Elance, I would like to ask the question:

What do you do to ensure you get paid?

Do you ask for an upfront payment, followed by full payment on completion?

Thanks for any thoughts on this...
#freelance #payed #services
  • Profile picture of the author Mister Bryan
    Originally Posted by condra View Post

    Hey guys.

    For those of you who sell your writing, design, or programming services, without a third party such as Elance, I would like to ask the question:

    What do you do to ensure you get paid?

    Do you ask for an upfront payment, followed by full payment on completion?

    Thanks for any thoughts on this...
    If you run your services without a website, then it is always better to ask for at least 25-50% upfront and the balance on completion. But if you do have a website, you should garner testimonials from previous clients and place them big on the site. This puts the potential customer at ease and justifies you asking for full payment right at the onset of order.

    Regards
    Lazy Bryan
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  • Profile picture of the author kiopa
    Banned
    I've had that problem a few times when I was down, but not really, and not anymore. I only have three clients right now, but have been working with them for 2 - 5 years each. Finally about to get my own operations going again, hence why I'm active on this forum now.

    But no, it's never really an issue for me. I'm a software guy, and am extremely good at what I do. I usually end up with more power & control over my client's company than they have, so they can't screw me. Not to mention, I make them too much money to screw me, and they know they can't just replace me.

    All in all, no worries. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
    I generally ask for 50% upfront and 50% upon completion. I usually ask for all of the money upfront when I offer special prices. I have a rare couple of clients that I allow to pay me upon completion (because they have standing monthly orders).

    In my 2.5 years of ghostwriting, I have only had 1 person not pay me the second half. I did a little bit of sleuthing and apparently he was deployed suddenly (I gathered this info from one of his friends).

    You'll find that people are good for their word, for the most part
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    • Profile picture of the author Neromancer
      Originally Posted by Jenn Dize View Post

      I generally ask for 50% upfront and 50% upon completion. I usually ask for all of the money upfront when I offer special prices. I have a rare couple of clients that I allow to pay me upon completion (because they have standing monthly orders).

      In my 2.5 years of ghostwriting, I have only had 1 person not pay me the second half. I did a little bit of sleuthing and apparently he was deployed suddenly (I gathered this info from one of his friends).

      You'll find that people are good for their word, for the most part
      Good advice - of course you can put together a report that demonstrates your
      prowess - people love this -then ask for your pay.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    I have them Paypal me 50% upfront unless they are a long-standing qualified client.
    Balance due when I submit the finished project. Even if they need additional changes, 2nd payment must be made before I do them. Otherwise, a client can sometimes drag out payment by asking for all kinds of minor changes.

    Agree with Jenn that most people are honest.
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    • Profile picture of the author condra
      Thanks for all the great replies.

      What I've done was to do a lot of cheap gigs on Fiverr. The pay is lousy, but it's easy to get clients and build a portfolio.

      I'm planning on moving away from Fiverr towards something with higher pay, and I'll definitely be asking some of my previous Fiverr clients for testimonials.

      I think the idea of 50% up front for new clients, and pay on delivery for regulars seems about right.

      You guys rock!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mac Wheeler
    I always ask for 50% up front for smaller projects.

    For larger projects I ask for milestone payments, 25% on commencement, 25% when we reach the quarter way mark, 25% at the half way stage, then the final 25% at the three quarter mark.

    Don't be tempted to let things slip, I have been bitten several times over the years by supposedly "long term" and "trustworthy" clients. Don't get me started on the million word project and the client that went bye bye owing me around $30,000, took me a while to recover from that one A lesson learned but one I will never forget.

    Even if you have known a client for a long time, and trust them, it does not mean that some calamity cannot befall them in between the time you start a project for them and the time it comes to pay, which means they can no longer afford to pay you. Be firm, respectable people will understand.

    More and more I tend to use a third party escrow service for anything over $2000, yes it adds to the overhead, so simply factor this into the price you quote.

    The old adage... Better to be safe than sorry.
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    • Profile picture of the author condra
      I'm looking to stay tax free until I have a reliable revenue stream so I won't be using Elance or Escrow for the time being.

      (unless anyone knows of a good third party freelance place where tax responsibility is left to the users??)
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      • Profile picture of the author Mac Wheeler
        Originally Posted by condra View Post

        I'm looking to stay tax free until I have a reliable revenue stream so I won't be using Elance or Escrow for the time being.

        (unless anyone knows of a good third party freelance place where tax responsibility is left to the users??)
        I don't think escrow.com brings tax position into the equation, I could be wrong though, worth checking.
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        Like my Facebook page, or add me to your Google+ circles, for free writing tips and techniques.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayPeete
    I would go with the consensus and say 50% up front and 50% upon completion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    For small amounts (under $50-$100), I ask for the full amount upfront. For larger projects, I'll divide it into halves or thirds. For example, when a client placed an order for 50 articles, I asked him for a fifth of the total upfront, then delivered ten articles, the second fifth, delivered the next ten, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author areaK
    We require full payment upfront but we do have many testimonials and I had a long-standing VA rep on sites like Guru before I even started Link Vines.

    I did work with a few existing clients on a different basis but was recently screwed on that by one of them (not by the guy directly but by his new partner that was the responsible paying party who decided to abandon the project after much work had been done) so no more of that. I only have one (who I've worked w/for 3 1/2 years) that I now bill after work completed but that's a) because of our long-term relationship and b) because of our different work structure.

    If you're just starting out you may do best to do 1/2 up front and then 1/2 after to help people feel more comfortable in buying services from you without really knowing you or seeing any testimonials/a website, etc.
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