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When Upfront Payment is a Good idea

As a freelance writer you need to protect yourself as much as possible. It is unfortunate, but there are many people “out there” who will try to scam freelance writers as well as many other online professionals. One of the best ways to protect yourself it to request upfront payment. There are times when this is a good idea, times when it may not work, and times when you don’t have to even think about it. Do you know what you are doing in this area?

The best time to request upfront payment is when you are working with a client for the first time. This does not mean that your new client is trying to rip you off, but by requesting payment upfront you can put your mind to ease. Remember, the client may be as apprehensive as you so they may put up a fight if you request 100 percent of the money. To solve this problem you can meet in the middle by asking for 50 percent upfront and the other 50 percent upon completion.

Although it is a good idea to receive upfront payment there are some situations when this is not going to be possible. For instance, most magazines are not going to pay you upfront for your work. In fact, it may take a few months to receive any payment at all. And while this may be a hassle it is not as bad as it seems because most magazines want to uphold their reputation. For this reason they are not going to scam you. It could happen, but it is not common. And since you don’t have a good chance of receiving payment upfront anyway it is a risk you will have to take.

Once a client proves they are reliable you don’t have to continue being paid in advance. Instead, you can get on a schedule in which the client pays when you complete the work. But of course, if they want to continue to pay upfront you shouldn’t argue.

Payment upfront is a good idea when working with a new client. Once you establish a relationship you can forget about this and know that you will get paid for the work you complete. There is nothing better than having clients that you can trust to pay on time. 

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5 Comments »Freelance WritingDecember 16th, 2008

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