How you deal with clients including agreeing work, the price, cancellations and getting the money can be a tricky business, so here are some thoughts based on my 20 plus years working as a freelance.
- Cancellation Charges
What should you do if a client cancels. My terms & conditions say 50% if a client cancels within 1 week of the job, 100% if cancelled within 24 hours of the job. As to whether to impose these terms, it depends on things like, whether it is a regular client, or if the job is postponed or cancelled.
- Money up front
I will usually ask for a deposit from new clients I have no relationship with and definitely if I have had to buy or rent in stuff for the job.
- Pre Job Briefings
Working with clients over the internet and so have never met means that meeting people isn’t always possible as the flight would be more expensive than the job, but yes as a rule, it is best to meet up with folk before hand so you can get a feel of where they are coming from. You can get a much better feel for where they are creatively meeting face to face. Failing that use services like Skype.
- What to do with the ‘tapes’?
This is a golden rule, especially with new clients. Never hand over the media until you have been paid in full. Also make sure that in your terms & conditions, you specify that you own the content of the recordings and that ownership will only transfer to the client when they have paid you in full, so if they try and use some low grade approval version without paying you then you can take them to court for using your content without permission.
- The price
Be clear about the price, discuss it and then confirm details in an email. In my experience, the people who haggle over the price, cause me the biggest grief because they always want something for nothing.
In conclusion, be clear, explain your terms and conditions up front so the client is aware of the way you do business.