Adivce to Freelancers Part VI

OK, here is my advice of the day. Don’t start any job with a new client without a signed contract. And don’t just sign any contract. If you write it, have it checked out by a lawyer (this will pay for itself later on down the road, believe me). If your client writes it, read it all the way through. Make sure that what you said is in there, and if what you want isn’t in there, see if you can put it in there.

Make sure, if it is a new client, to get payment up front. If you still don’t trust the client after you have done the first job for them, continue to get money up-front. My first loss was from a client that I got money up front at first, and then relaxed, not realizing that he was reeling me in. I lost about 2k from him. It was at the start of boom, and I hadn’t bothered to keep on his tail, and he skipped town, leaving others without money, looking for him as well.

The second time I got ripped off was a similar situation. I got paid up-front for the first job, but didn’t hold out for the second one. He, too, skipped town, and continued, from what I heard through others, to rip-off other designers and writers, as well.

There are so many contingencies to deal with. I have had good clients who have fallen into the “Never Ending Project”, that because it is never ending, the final bill can not be sent. I have one from a year and a half ago, not much money, but I’m holding on to it, just in case the client ever decides to finish his website. sigh. Sometimes, with never ending projects, I just bill the final portion and say when they are ready to finish it to call me


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