What To Do When a Customer Won’t Pay For Your Social Media Services

You have to accept that you’ll come across bad people when you’re running a social media business. While the vast majority of people that you interact with will be nothing other than a positive force, there’ll be some that seem to take, take, take.

This is the case with those pesky non-paying customers. It happens to everyone at some point. You provide a service, and then when it comes to payment, the customer is nowhere to be found.

What To Do When a Customer Won’t Pay

Or at least slow to get out of their wallet. So what should you do in that situation?

I’ve had this happen here once over the 2+ years in business. It’s frustrating because you spend a lot of time planning out your social media posts and creating graphics. Remember, time=money.

I’ll take a look at a few key tips below for what to do when a customer won’t pay you.

You provide a service, and then when it comes to payment, the customer is nowhere to be found. #InspireToThrive Click To Tweet

Avoid Anger

Yes, anger would be a justified feeling to experience when it feels like someone is ripping you off. And actually, a moment of anger is useful.  You’ve got to let your frustration out somehow.

But anything more than a moment of anger will be problematic, both for your peace of mind and your ability to get money back from your customer.

If you get angry, then you’ll be inviting them to get angry in return and to use it as an excuse not to give you your money. Don’t give them that window: stay cool, calm, and collected.

Stay calm

If you get angry, then you’ll be inviting them to get angry in return and to use it as an excuse not to give you your money. #businesstips Click To Tweet

What To Do When a Customer Won’t Pay – Get in Contact Quickly

If you’re going to get the money that you’re owed from the customer, then you’ll need to get in touch with them. Ideally, you’ll already have their contact information, and they answer you when you send reminders periodically.

If you don’t have their details, or they don’t reply, then you’ll need to step things up. Using skip trace software can help you to identify where they might be. Once you have their information, you’ll want to get in contact tactfully.

Fifty phone calls a day won’t help, but a weekly check-in would be appropriate. I’ve given clients 30 days to pay so if they go over that amount, I begin the check-in.

Next, I put a note on the invoices that there is a 15% charge for late fees and mention it in the phone calls.

Fifty phone calls a day won’t help, but a weekly check-in would be appropriate. #collectinginvoices Click To Tweet

Outsource the Debt

You don’t have to go through the process of getting your money back all on your own. There are companies that can help you. If it’s a sizable sum, then you could hire a debt collection agency to reclaim the debt for you.

They’ll take a fee, of course, but you’ll get a decent share of your money back. If you want to wash your hands of the debt altogether, then you could sell the debt, though it’s unlikely that you’ll get all that much money through that approach.

If you don’t reclaim any of the cash, then remember that you can write it off your tax bill.

The Negotiation Approach

If you are in contact with the customer but have a sense that they won’t pay the full amount that they owe you, then you could enter into negotiation.

Ultimately, if you know that you’re not going to get the full amount, then it’s better to get something at least. How you proceed with this process will depend on various factors, such as how much you’re willing to accept.

Hopefully, you’ll get your money, but whether you do or don’t, be sure to never work with them again!

This method has worked well for me over the years as I’ve had one client that stretches out paying me but always comes through. I know ahead the payments will be late and run the social media business accordingly.

If you are in contact with the customer but have a sense that they won’t pay the full amount that they owe you, then you could enter into negotiation. #socialmediabusiness Click To Tweet

Finally, What To Do When a Customer Won’t Pay – Get The Money UpFront in the Future

Another way to protect yourself is to get at least 50% of the money upfront from new clients. If you don’t know the client well, be sure to collect at least 50% upfront from them before you begin the social media services.

Have you encountered clients that did not pay for your services? I’d love to know more in the comments below! (Or if you have another tip to add!) 

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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.

  • Good advice Lisa! This happened twice during my 12 years online. In one case, a well known blogger did not pay me for my freelance writing services. I wrote one helpful draft. He picked it apart. I wrote a 2nd draft going above and beyond, spending precious time to drill down and add all the details he requested, and he said it was not good enough and refused to pay. I wished him the best but immediately released him forever. Nothing worse than a cheapy who’s got the dough to pay LOL.

    As for the other person, they refused to pay me for a sponsored post. I simply gave them a little time, then deleted the sponsored post from my blog.

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan, Wow, twice? Glad you released him forever after that fiasco. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. But like we always say, lessons learned to help us to grow and move ahead. I love working with folks I’ve known for a long time and with referrals. When you take on new clients it can always pose a risk. Something to be aware of out there. Thanks for your insights on this one Ryan and make it a great Friday 🙂

  • Everybody that has been in the web business, has had a situation like this. It happened to me several years ago, twice in the same month. From that point on, every contract that I sign, always states that 30% should be paid in advance. The most difficult part of the freelancers that offer web services is to get paid. Many complete a project in a few days, then await months to get the payment.

    • Hi David, that’s sad that many have to wait months. Have you tried to get 50% upfront instead of 30%? I’ve been very fortunate to get 90% of my clients to pay within 3 weeks of the invoice. The last 10% within 5 weeks. I think it’s because I’ve known most of them a long time and they know the work I do for them. Thanks for your input on this one David and have a good day!

  • I really find it hard to believe that people would not pay another for their hard working services. However, we are living in a different world nowadays. That is just unbelievably rude for someone not to pay. I mean, I do understand at times that the services requested may not have been rendered. I agree with non payment for that. However, if the services provided were that requested, pay up. It’s that simple. Great read, Lisa! We’re halfway to the weekend!

    • Hi Bren, Oh yes, there are some out there that just don’t care. And I still see them from time to time. They are at an office I go to 🙁 Now I know, don’t do any work they ever request again. Thankfully it was not a lot of hours that I was not paid for. A great lesson though! I had saved emails with the work completed too. I hope others can learn from this as well. Thanks for coming by and have a good day Bren!

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