Three Tips for Dealing with Non-Payment
More so than ever, I am receiving emails from writers asking for advice on dealing with non-payment. Why has this become such a problem as of late? Is it the economy? Are there just more “scammers” out there than ever before? Whatever the reason, it is an issue that every freelance writer has to deal with at some point in time.
Before we go any further, let me tell you that you are not alone. I am owed thousands of dollars related to projects that I completed as long as five years ago. While I don’t expect to receive these payments, it is still frustrating to look back and realize that I put so much time and effort into each project.
If non-payment has become an issue in your career, try out these three tips:
1. Don’t jump the gun. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to get paid, your client may have a good reason for being a tad bit slow. Before you begin to pester the client for payment, give them a chance to explain their situation. In many cases, it may be nothing more than an accounting mix-up. This happens more times than you could ever imagine.
2. Start with email, move to the phone next. Although sending an email reminder is the first step in the process, at some point you may need to pick up the phone to inquire as to the whereabouts of your payment. Is this something you want to do? No. Is it something you should have to do? No again. Unfortunately, if you want to get paid this may be the next step in the process.
3. Don’t give up. Although I have had clients stiff me completely, others have paid up several months late. I didn’t want to wait this long for payment, but in the end the money came through and that is what matters most. However, if you stop your collection efforts the client will forget about you.
Dealing with issues of non-payment can be frustrating. Hopefully these three tips can make things easier on you.