You ALWAYS get paid!
I’ve had my fair share of mistakes and betrayals.
God, I make it sound like a Shakespearean play; But truth be told, people will always hesitate to hand over their cash. And if they think they can escape without paying you, they will surely try (unless they are legal persons).
When I started writing copywriting, I offered my services for free. This is just one of the many options available to copywriters looking to make a name for themselves. I saw it as a great opportunity to step in with the biggest names in internet marketing and put myself on the radar of some of the best guys and girls in the business.
I worked my way up, starting with little-known IM’ers, with small-time information products. I got excellent results. from 0 to 5% on a weekend; Conversion rates of 10% on sales letters in the real estate niche, 42% and 70% conversion rates on sales letters and more. It was good.
But not everything was sauce. There were problems. The few times I made an agreement with some prospects about some form of reimbursement or reward for a high-performance copy, there was no response.
I have been ignored, blocked, argued, and more.
I even had a businesswoman ask me for a copy (on the recommendation of a close friend of mine), with a small fee agreement of $ 100 (this was a while ago, I found it is now a low fee). She paid me $ 50 up front (a 50% upfront fee), and having received the copy from me, she proceeded to run off into the sunset, without even a look of remorse or guilt. 50 dollars; Do I strive for someone and they get away for 50 bucks?
It’s pretty amazing, I know. Okay, I’m younger than most copywriters. I was naive at first and you learn a lot by making mistakes. And boy, have I learned this lesson.
Now, they will ruin you at some point in your career; There are no two ways to do it, no matter how many safeguards you use. They still cheat on me from time to time, simply because I have too much faith in people. I’m a confident guy and I let people get away with it.
But after being screwed again recently, I’ve decided to get a little more ruthless with my client’s choice. And along with that, I have some lessons for you from my experience:
1.) Don’t work for someone unless they are willing to pay you SOMETHING up front. It shows a commitment on the part of the client if he is willing to risk some money; if they don’t, they are not sure that they are going to make any money from the product (which means they won’t pay you). If they are willing to risk a little cash for a product, it shows strong faith in their business and product (s).
2.) Establish a clear agreement with the customer. Make sure both parties are clear about what the project is and what has been agreed. The last thing you want is a client who suddenly needs to make another landing page (and expects it to work for no extra money). It protects you primarily, but it also protects your customer.
3.) If you can, complete and sign a contract. Bob Bly provides a great template in his “Copywriter’s Toolkit” book along with other materials. A contract enforces a legally binding agreement between both parties. And if your client suddenly gets up and disappears with his job, you can use the contract to get paid what he deserves.
Note: You may need to have some finances for this as it may cost you some money to go to court and such.
4.) Maintain possession of all property rights until full payment has been made. What this means is that everything you write is instantly your property. No one has the right to copy your work unless you have given them explicit permission to do so.
Only surrender the rights to your copy once you’ve received full payment. You can include this in the contract if you decide to write one to keep things simple. At the very least, you can threaten problem customers with a copyright notice and have them withdraw your copy until they pay you.
There are other safeguards, but this is my first port of call. Protect yourself and be aware of the risks of being autonomous. Another obvious tip is to choose clients who appear to be loyal and trustworthy clients. Sure, there is still the risk of them being jerks and ripping you off, but if you start judging them on character and then enforce the safeguards I suggested, you will minimize the risk that you won’t get your rate.
So go get paid.