In the industry we sometimes find ourselves faced with a situation where in we have difficulty getting paid for the work we do. The scenario is something like this:
You get a gig, a remix for example, and while you are excited to do it and are happy at the prospect of being paid, the agreement is perhaps not cemented and dates are not given for final payment etc.
You finish your work in a timely manner, and you are happy with it, the client is happy, but the funds are still outstanding even though you have dropped the files and invoice, the client has mysteriously forgotten that the balance is outstanding, and their phones are suddenly going to voice mail and they cannot be contacted…
That tentative moment when you have to exchange the work is often a tough situation to maneuver, as no one likes being hawked at for money, but all the same, the work is done and its time to pay for services rendered.
I have come across an existing feature on Macs that can be used to protect your interests when settling an invoice.
Macs have the ability to password protect / encrypt folders so as to protect your files / media from prying eyes. A very simple and clever way to incentivise your client into hurrying along with that bill whilst still showing your work is ready in a flash for them to access is as follows:
- Prepare your session, according to whatever presentation you use.
- Prepare your bounces, both High Quality and Low Quality.
- Create a password protected .dmg file (see below) out of your folder containing everything but either the full, or partial sample of the mp3 bounce. (as a taster)
- Dropbox all the files to your client with a message that a password will be given once the invoice is paid.
Psychologically this is good for both parties. For the client, the work is done, on their computer, and accessible straight away, as the files are most likely downloaded before the bill is settled, so there is no downtime for access once the password is given. Its also is a bit of a carrot and a donkey scenario, as dangling the finished product in front of their eyes by having it on the computer will make them far more likely to settle up and get access.
For the engineer / producer / writer, it is a 2 minute process, and once the file is sent, you just need to email a quick password when those digits in the bank add up, and you are all finished. It also means that it is up to the CLIENT to come to YOU, which mentally is a welcome relief from the usual cat and mouse chasing many of us find ourselves doing. if you find you have forgotten the password, just re-encrypt the original file.
Here is a step by step explanation on how to encrypt your folder into a .dmg
Create a folder and save your stems / session / files etc. in it.
Select the folder you want to encrypt. Set the format to Read Write if you intend on editing or updating the .dmg in the future. (I use this in conjunction with dropbox, so I can edit password protected folders which will automatically update across all my stations. Unbelievably handy for protecting even your own files and keeping everything synced!) Set the encryption to 128-bit AES encryption and click save.
You will be asked to enter a password. Write this down somewhere so you don’t forget, if you are dealing with multiple clients. Enabling the “remember password in my Key chain” will keep the code in YOUR key chain, in case you want quick access yourself and don’t want to be constantly remembering passwords. Press OK.
And there you go, a password protected duplication of your session files. Send this along and wait for your fee!
Don’t ever be afraid to look for compensation when its due. If you’ve worked hard, you are entitled to it.
I hope this helps those of you who are of a shy nature to keep your income rolling.