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Collecting Freelance Writing Payments

Running a one man show of any type means that you have to wear more than one hat. As a freelance writer, my main job is to write pretty much whatever my clients want; and I really love this part of the job. But of course, another hat that I have to wear is that of a collection agency. After all, there is no point in doing work if I am not going to get paid for it. Sure, I love writing, but I need to pay the bills as well.

Collecting freelance writing payments is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult. For instance, the majority of my clients are great about either paying me at the same time each month, or whenever I send them an invoice. But for all the good freelance writing clients, there are those that slack off in this area. I will send them an invoice, and two weeks later the money is still waiting to be collected.

Here are three tips that I follow when collecting payments from clients who like to slack off.

1. Always send an invoice when you send the completed work. This will not only show that the job is done, but hopefully, it will also remind the client that they need to send your money. Your invoice does not have to be complex. I include my contact information and the clients, as well as details on the job and how much money is due. Once you have a sample invoice to use, it will only take you a few minutes to fill in the appropriate fields with the updated information.

2. I usually give a client five business days before I remind them about paying the invoice. Of course, this is based largely on my past experiences with the client. If it is a business client, many of them only cut checks at the first of the month. In a situation like this I simply wait seven to ten days into the month before checking in.

3. Unfortunately, there are going to be clients who never want to pay. The first client that I ever had still owes me $500! Once I began to make more money I told them that I was moving on, but would be glad to complete the current project. Of course, I sent the final work and that was the last I heard from them. The moral of this story is that you should not let one bad seed spoil all your clients. There are some people who are into scamming others. Sure, it is nice to avoid them, but this is not always possible. If you get scammed, figure out what you could have done differently, and then use this information as you move on.

Collecting freelance writing payments can be a pain in the neck. But when the money starts to roll in, it is always nice to watch it add up!   

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4 Comments »Freelance WritingSeptember 25th, 2007

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