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Not getting paid can happen to any freelancer at some point. The client delays, forgets, or outright refuses to pay you for work you've done. It's burning problem especially for the self employed. Whether you're a web developer, graphic designer or copywriter, you're probably here reading this because you have a trouble client that's regrettably drifting to your bad debt and you just can't allow it after having worked so hard.
In this post I'll unveil how the self-employed can ensure they get their just dues, and with ease. Follow my tips so you'll not find yourself in the position of fighting for your own money.
Present a stellar reputation:
As a freelancer be perceived as a professional. Your reputation isn’t just good for attracting and retaining clients, it can actually play an important role in your getting paid on time. If you happen to be rude to clients, disregard project deadlines, deliver sub-par work and have a website that screams amateur, then why would a client make paying your invoice a priority?
Join a union:
Freelancers by definition work alone but there’s still power in numbers when you belong to a professional group. Example includes Freelancer’s Union, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, etc. So research and join and let them protect you against payment issues.
Know and use relevant contacting laws to your advantage:
By simply studying the specific laws in your locale where you operate your freelancing, you'd become empowered, knowing how to gently nudge potential debtors for payment or, if need be, outright scare them. After all, they wouldn’t want to be in violation of the law.
Review your contract. Resend your invoice:
I believe there was a contract agreement both parties signed to. Check your late payment agreement and other fees. Readjust your invoice in the light of this. Then take a deep breath, and resend your updated invoice. If after doing this, you find yourself still not paid repeat this step. Multiple follow up invoices is in order, just don't freak out and start sending multiple daily. Space up the resend by weeks. You can attach a polite note while sending.
Don't back down:
Be persistent. If you relent your whole effort and energy goes to waste. Some defaulters can try to wiggle out of paying you by ignoring your invoices, emails, and calls. When you back down, they'll get away with doing just that. So don't. Wear them thin by making your presence harder to be ignored.
Change your billing practice:
Instead of requesting for payment after a work is done and submitted, insist on a percentage down payment before commencing on a job. This way, if someone aims to stiff you again, you won't be looking at a total loss.