Freelancers Learn How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off from Clients

Freelancers learn how to make money as they produce services and work for others.

There are many great things about being a freelancer and working for yourself, earning your own money. However, there are some drawbacks to this too.

One huge concern for new freelancers and established freelancers alike is being ripped off and taken advantage of.  

freelancers learn how to not get ripped off

Of course, this should never be an issue, but the disappointing thing is that it can and does happen. To help you avoid getting ripped off as a freelancer, here are some of the best ways to prevent this from happening to you.  

One huge concern for new freelancers and established freelancers alike is being ripped off and taken advantage of. #freelancing Click To Tweet

Make Sure You Have a Contract 

One of the best ways to protect yourself as a freelancer is to make sure that you have a signed contract with your client. That way, you are protected should anything go wrong.

Worried that you cannot print contracts out and get them physically signed? 

A great alternative is to send out an electronic contract and ask them to include an e signature on the relevant bits. Doing it this way makes life much easier.

Learn How to Trust Your Gut

If you meet a client (in person or virtually) and they don’t feel right in your gut, then there is a good reason for this.

Whilst those instincts and first impressions are not always correct, most of the time, they are.  Actually, they are going to help you to make decisions and protect yourself as much as you can.  

Don’t want to be ripped off as a freelancer? The important thing to remember is that you are in control.

So, do whatever you can to avoid getting ripped off and take care of your money and of your business too.  

The important thing to remember is that you are in control. #freelancing Click To Tweet

Get a Deposit so Freelancers Don’t Get Ripped Off 

Following on from your gut feeling, if you are worried that there is a chance that your new client might not pay you when the time comes, then get a deposit. I do this with new clients I haven’t done work with in the past.

Sure, it might feel uncomfortable asking them for this, but they should know that it is just good business sense.

If they don’t pay their bill for invoicing, you know that you are covered, even if it is not the total amount. 

Sure, it might feel uncomfortable asking them for this, but they should know that it is just good business sense. #freelancing Click To Tweet

Set a Realistic Timescale for Work

Of course, you will want to impress your new client as a freelancer, but the important thing to remember is that you should always be realistic with your timescales.

If it is going to take you three weeks, tell them three weeks. Maybe even four. That way, when it takes less time, you are going to impress them.  

If it takes longer, this can lead to payment disputes. It will never be good news for you or your business. Give yourself that extra time to be sure you can fulfill the workload.

freelancers learn how to set a time

Simply because the work takes time, and it can cause you much more work than you will want to do. 

For example, if my freelancers can’t do the work in time I like it when they give me a warning. The worst thing to happen is to find out the work hasn’t been done.

As a result, I can rearrange my day in advance if I know I have to pick up the slack for a day.  Life happens and we must give some slack but also run a business at the same time.  

The worst thing to happen is to find out the work hasn't been done. #freelancers Click To Tweet

Freelancers Learn How to Earn Quickly

Being ripped off shouldn’t be something you just get used to as a part of running a business. Even if it is more common than you may realize. It is essential to try your best to protect yourself.

However,  make sure that you are not at risk of being ripped off and picking up the pieces afterward. 

Being ripped off shouldn’t be something you just get used to as a part of running a business. #freelancing Click To Tweet 

A Bonus Tip for Freelancers from Brandon:

Your Turn

Have you ever been ripped off as a freelancer? It happened to me once where a client never paid me, luckily it was not for a lot of money. However, the lesson was worth the money in gold! That’s how freelancers learn the most – by experience!

I’d love to hear your freelancing experiences in the comments below.

Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Social Media, Blogging, and SEO. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others? She has 30+ years of experience in marketing/advertising with 10 years of experience in content marketing, social media, blogging, and SEO. You can purchase her ebook about Twitter on Amazon, or take her Instagram class on Udemy.

  • I encourage freelancers to collaborate with others in their niche. Then, when you are considering a new client, ask around privately to find out if they are known bad actors.

    Come clients will be good customers of yours for a year or two. Don’t get comfortable and let them rack up a big debt.

    I can think of at least four people who pay well for a while. Then they ask for extra time and more work. Once they owe for several months of work, they ghost the writer and never pay.

    One red flag is if someone has always worked with you directly and then puts a VA in between you and them just before they bail on what they owe.

    The same players have ripped off many writers. The writers are wise not to complain publicly, but they will tell you privately.

    • Hi Gail, great tip. Most of my clientele is local and referrals but if I do work with others I don’t know I would check like you recommend here. That’s awful not to be paid for the work completed. I like your tip about the VA as a red flag, thank you! Very informative comment here Gail. Thanks and have a great rest of your day.

  • My experience in getting deposits did not work. I write business plans for film. I always give a specific due date for my work. I thought people would feel comfortable with paying a certain amount when the project was done. Unfortunately, one summer five people decided not to pay me. Since then I have gotten all the money upfront. Still to (30 yrs and 8 books later) some newbies don’t know why they should pay for my work. I tell them that business plans don’t raise money, people do. The plan is only a marketing tool.

    • Wow Louise, thanks for sharing your story here with others. And welcome to Inspire To Thrive. Good for you about getting the money upfront ever since. Congratulations on the 8 books. I love your quote that people raise money, not plans. Very wise. Thanks for coming by and have a great day Louise!

    • During the 5.5 years I managed pay-per-click advertising, I charged 100% cash in advance and had all the work I could handle.

      My experience was the only people who complained about having to pay up front were the people who had no intention of paying at all.

      • Very smart Gail. And you make a great point if they don’t want to pay up front they may not pay at all. Thanks for the input here and make it a great rest of the day.

  • Hi Lisa

    Bloggers, online marketers and others who have businesses online often do a lot of freelance work.

    So this is all good advice to keep them on the straight and narrow.

    I find it’s especially important to get the deposit AND set a very realistic time schedule.

    It’s far better to get the work done AHEAD of schedule than to be late.

    Being ahead of schedule is sure to get you repeat assignments, referrals, and great testimonials.

    -Donna

    • Hi Donna, Oh yes, and be careful how you set the expectation. Even with ads, I don’t set the expectation too high otherwise they will be disappointed. I agree getting it done in advance is much better than late by all means 🙂 Thanks for coming by and I hope you are enjoying the summer Donna.

  • Your gut gives you such a loud, clear message when ego chatter subsides that you will avoid getting stiffed. I love that tip Lisa because the few times someone stiffed me I ignored my gut; the inner guide told me to not work with these people. Sure enough, these bloggers bolted and did not pay. No worries though; that’s their deal. One was a high profile blogger many people would know; nice enough individual but I obviously do not associate with ’em anymore. One lesser profile blogger and one unknown individual also did a freelance dine and dash on me LOL. Lesson learned. Now I just sell stuff passively where the only way folks access my eBooks, courses, audio books, paperbacks etc….is by paying me first.

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan, oh yes, you are right about that! I should have listened to myself at the beginning with this particular one. Now, I would not work with them or anyone else like them again. But I’ve been fortunate the rest of my clients always pay me. I love the passive income though, less intense and once the work is done, it is done. But the money keeps on coming in 🙂 Thanks for your input Ryan. Have a great day and hope your flight was A-ok!

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