Clients That Don’t Pay

It happens.  Recently it happened to me.  But I got my money. So what did I do?

Oh I sat there for awhile, contemplating small claims court and the hassle that entails.  But like Dylan Thomas raging against the dying of the light, I did not go quietly into that good night.

If the your client is advertising on the Internet that is their Achilles heel.  That’s how they drum up business, and they probably want to keep it that way.  Draw back your pen like a good warrior and get ready to shoot them a letter that will instantly make them cut you a check (plop cash in your paypal)  faster than you can say deadbeat.  This method really works, I received a check in the mail within the week.

What to put in the said letter and/or email?  You are simply and straightforwardly going to scare them into giving you your money.  You don’t have to be nasty about it, just be direct about the consequences. Send them no more than three invoices, because, like baseball, after three strikes you’re out.  If you get no response after say, three weeks after your three invoices have been sent, then get ready for the letter.

Check out Angela Hoy’s Writers Weekly for specific advice on how to craft the letter.

Get everything in writing.  If you do make your way into small claims court, you need evidence, not your word against said client.  Save emails and all other types of written correspondence.

Also check out this post on Writers Weekly concerning the rise of scammers advertising jobs on the Internet.  Expect more of this scamminess in the future due to the crappy economy.


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My Personal Crossroads


Eric Clapton sang about it, and now I’m standing at it. Which way to go? Now that I am sinking into my foundations I believe the road diverges into five major paths:

Online work: I started out hoping to make a little money so I could practice my real passion. So I signed up at a bid site. I signed up at Elance at the wrong time! In December. Those of you who suddenly got caught in this major overhaul know what I’m talking about. Most of the time I feel like I’m doing a dance over at the Elance. Competition is stiff and you are judged by the little tag that follows you everywhere called “feedback.” Unfortunately my little feedback tag won’t be fed until I get paid on Feb 26th. Until then I feel naked. Oh, and the little “new provider” tag follows you everywhere too. For three months.

Blogging: Blogging also fits into the above category. Other people like you to blog for them and at them (interesting content drives traffic to their sites), and, you can even get paid to do it. Blog gigs tend not to pay all that well, so learn to type fast.

Magazine Submissions: This is where you can make some serious money if you find the right magazine to sell your photographs and story ideas. I sat around last night thinking of good ideas I can pitch to editors regarding fishing and Michigan. When you organize your photos think of how you can use them in various stories. I also haven’t finished scanning all of my work and this is a major endeavor. I’m a contributing writer at Suite, so I have to keep up with my commitment there to write ten articles every three months. That doesn’t seem like a lot, and I aim to have posted at least thirty articles in three months.  Suite writers get paid residual income through ads.  It’s a long term monetary flow.

Dirty Little Secret: My novel. I estimate I only have approximately 100 pages left on my second novel. I can’t give up on it.

So that’s my laundry list. I’ll add some links in the near future where I go to look for jobs and get freelancing advice.

Photo Credit: © Ellen Wilson

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