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What To Do When Your Clients Don’t Pay

Invoice after invoice. We have all been there in our freelance careers either as a full time freelancer or part time where it seems that none of our invoices are being paid on time. We have even seen this trend spread nationally with Ebony magazine who has been accused of not only making late payments but in many cases totally ghosting on their team of freelancer writers. It’s almost as if some clients have no conscious whatsoever.

Trust me.

I’ve been there.

We’ve all been there and now it’s time to figure out what you should do moving forward when clients don’t pay.

1. Ask For Payment Upfront

One of the greatest pieces of advices I ever received from a fellow freelancer is to ask for your money upfront or at least 50% of it. Asking for your money up front will not only help reassure you that your client won’t ghost on you but it will also save you tons of time that is often wasted on chasing clients with unpaid invoices.

2. Ask for Automatic Billing

A friend of mine recently shared with me that she placed her reoccurring clients on an automatic billing system which means every single month her client was charged a particular sum of money that was automatically deposited into her account. Not only did it help her get paid on time but it also served as a reminder to clients who may have otherwise forgotten to pay her on time.

3. Send Follow Up Emails

Every so often we all forget to pay a bill or two or even three, we’re human. Because of this follow up emails are very critical. Check in with your client to see if perhaps they forgot to pay you. Don’t ever assume a client has disappeared without cause.

4. Pick Up The Phone and Call

While I do recognize that we live in a virtual world it’s important to never be afraid to pick up the phone and ask your client for payment. This should be done only after you have followed up at least twice on your invoice via email.

5. Call Collections

Believe it or not there are freelance collection agencies designed just for people like us to get paid and paid on time. Best of all they have no upfront fee so they don’t get paid until you do.

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