Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How To Always Get Paid As A Freelancer

How To Always Get Paid As A Freelancer:

I’ve had my fair share of screw-ups and betrayals.

Jeez, I make it sound like a Shakespeare play; but truth be told, people will always be hesitant to hand over their cash. And if they think they can get away without paying you, they’ll be sure to try it (unless they’re moral people).

When I first started copywriting, I offered my services for free. This is just one of the many options open to copywriters looking to make a name for themselves. I saw it as a great opportunity to get in with the bigger names in Internet Marketing and get myself on the radars of some of the top guys and girls in the business.

I worked my way up, starting with little-known Internet Marketers, with small-time info products. I got some great results. from 0 to 5% in a weekend; 10% conversion rates on sales letters in the real-estate niche, 42% and 70% converting sales letters and more. It was GOOD.

But it wasn’t all gravy. There were problems. The few times I made an agreement with some prospects about some form of reimbursement or reward for high-performance copy went unanswered.

I’ve been ignored, blocked, argued with, and more.

I even had one businesswoman ask me for some copy (on the recommendation from a close business friend of mine), with a small fee agreement of $100 (this was awhile ago now—I realize that’s a menial fee now). She paid me $50 up front (a 50% upfront fee), and after having received the copy from me, proceeded to run off into the sunset, without so much as a look of remorse or guilt. 50 bucks; I work my ass off for someone, and they run off for 50 dollars?


It’s pretty unbelievable, I know. Granted, I’m younger than most copywriters. I was naive at the beginning, and you learn a lot from making mistakes. And boy, have I learned this lesson.

Now, you’re going to get screwed over at some point in your career—there's no two ways about that, no matter how many safeguards you use. I still get shafted from time to time, simply because I have too much faith in people. I’m a trusting guy, and I let people get away with murder.

But after having been screwed over again recently, I’ve decided to become a bit more ruthless with my client choice. And along with that, I’ve got some lessons for you from my experience:

Don’t work for someone unless they’re willing to pay you SOMETHING upfront.

It shows a commitment by the client if they’re willing to put some money on the line; if they don’t, they’re not sure they’re going to make money from the product (meaning you won’t get paid). If they’re willing to risk a bit of cash on a product, it shows a solid faith in their business and product(s).

Set up a clear agreement with the client.

Make sure both parties are clear on what the project is, and what's been agreed. The last thing you want is a client who suddenly needs another landing page doing (and expects you to work for no extra money). It protects you primarily, but it also protects your client.

If you can, fill out and sign a contract.

Bob Bly provides a great template in his book “Copywriter’s Toolkit” along with other materials. A contract enforces a legally-binding agreement between both parties. And if your client suddenly up and disappears with your work, you can use the contract to get paid what you deserve.

Note: You may need to have some finances for this, since it may cost you some money to go to court and such.

Keep possession of all property rights until the full payment has been made.

What this means is, everything you write is instantly your property. No one has rights to copy your work unless you have explicitly given them permission to do so.

Only hand over rights to your copy once you’ve been fully paid. You could include this in the contract if you decide to write one up to keep things simple. At the very least, you can threaten troublesome clients with a copyright notice and have them take down your copy until they pay you.

There are other safeguards, but these are my first port of call. Protect yourself, and bear in mind the risks of being a freelancer. Another obvious tip is to choose clients who seem like they'd be loyal and trustworthy clients. Sure, there’s still a risk of them being douchebags and ripping you off, but if you start with judging them by character, and then enforce the safeguards I’ve suggested, you’ll minimize the risk of you not getting your fee.

So go get paid.

If you want to get more interesting and useful tips and resources, head over to http://www.benpalmerwilson.com!

Top image from Imgembed.

This is a cross-post from Ezine Articles.

Ben R Palmer-Wilson is a copywriter from UK.

Can Coworking Accelerate Your Business?

Can Coworking Accelerate Your Business?:
Coworking keeps popping up everywhere you turn. Austin's coworking community is thriving on start-ups while Kenya's coworking scene inspires female techiesAustralia's recently held a conference and the Global Coworking Unconference Conference took place in Austin in March -- just to tie it all together. All told, the Global Coworking Consensus recently found an 87 percent uptick in the practice.
Working within the bounds of a coworking space combined with an unconference, the good folks over at ThreeFortyNine in Guelph, Ontario, believe they know at least one of the reasons behind the movement's momentum: Coworking Desks Accelerate Business.
In a nutshell, coworking spaces take away all of the distractions of a home office or coffee shop while providing at least some of the flexibility of telecommuting within the confines of a collaborative environment.

16 People In Pennsylvania Don't Love Fracking

16 People In Pennsylvania Don't Love Fracking:
There is no question that increased use of natural gas has been good for the atmosphere - energy CO2 emissions are down to early 1990s levels in America and coal is at early 1980s levels of emissions, just like we all said we wanted.

Enhanced extraction methods like hydraulic fracturing - fracking - have also been good for the local economies in places like Pennsylvania. But as with any industry, Not In My Backyard (NIMBYism) occurs in residents of Pennsylvania just like it does yacht owners in Massachusetts.

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7 Beverages To Stop Consuming Today

7 Beverages To Stop Consuming Today: Lately I've been focusing on all the foods we should stop consuming, but what about beverages which can account for up to 30 percent of our daily calorie intake? Many of us take for granted all those calorie-laden lattes, soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, however the real problem is not related to calories, but something much worse.

Here are 7 beverages you should avoid consuming at any time, for your health and your waist line:

1. Soft Drinks (soda, pop, carbonated beverages, fizzy drinks, etc.)

There isn't enough bad things to say about soft drinks of any kind. Soft drinks account for more than a quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States. That works out to at least one 12-ounce can per day for every man, woman and child. They are estimated to be at least one-third of the problem related to child obesity. Carbonated soda pop provides more added sugar in a typical 2-year-old toddler's diet than cookies, candies and ice cream combined.

Many sodas and diet soft drinks approach the pH level of battery acid in terms of corrosiveness and erosion of tooth enamel.

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Hemp to the Rescue Again – Cannabinoids Protect the Brain from Oxygen Starvation

Hemp to the Rescue Again – Cannabinoids Protect the Brain from Oxygen Starvation: In a recent study published in the American Journal of Pathology, the active compound cortical cannabiboid type 2 (CB2) and the receptor cannabinoid trans-caryophyllene (TC) helps keep the brain and heart oxygenated instead of suffocating on plaques and congested arteries. Specifically, it was found that these compounds can spark recovery among ischemic brain injury patients.

There are three types of cannabinoid receptors in mammals: one set is contained in the ligands of the human body, cannadinoids such as THC are produced by the Cannabis plant, and synthetically created cannabinoids (like HU-120). The two subtypes of cannabinoids (CB1 and CB2) are of interest to those who have brain ischemia – a condition when high cholesterol and other plaques form on the inner walls of arteries or in cerebral tissue and keep oxygen from reaching the vital organs of the brain and heart.

Without any psychoactive side effects, the TC oil derived from Cannabis Sativa was very effective at protecting the brain from ischemia or oxygen deprivation. Cannabis Satvia oil protects the neurons and also ensures that mitochondria depolarization does not occur.

According to a study in the American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology:

“Mitochondria are central for various cellular processes that include ATP production, intracellular Ca2+ signaling, and generation of reactive oxygen species. Neurons critically depend on mitochondrial function to establish membrane excitability and to execute the complex processes of neurotransmission and plasticity.”
Add yet another beneficial use for hemp – it already has over 25,000 applications! Who can guess why it isn’t legal in more than a few states? Surely, the pharmaceutical companies stand to gain nothing from this plant, but civilization certainly does. Maybe as states legalize industrial and medical hemp, we can start utilizing it in other states to protect the brain from neurodegeneration, cancer, and countless other ailments.

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The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying

The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying: A palliative nurse recorded the most common regrets of the dying and put her findings into a book called ‘The Top Five Regrets of The Dying.’ It’s not surprising to see what made the list as they are all things that touch each of our lives as we struggle to pay attention to and make time for things that we truly love. Below is the list of each regret along with an excerpt from the book. At the bottom is also a link to the book for anyone interested in checking it out.

One thing on regret before we get to the list. It’s important to remember that whatever stage we are at in life, there is no need for regret. The process of regret is one that provides nothing but suffering for ourselves as we begin to allow the past to dictate how we should feel now. Instead, we can use the past as a reference point to understand what adjustments we would like to make moving forward. The adjustments do not have to come out of pain, sorrow, regret or judgment, but simply a choice to do things in a different way. We are learning all the time, we can very quickly slow that learning process down by getting stuck in the idea of regret. When it comes to making changes, be at peace with the past and remember that each moment is a new choice.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

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Government Funded Phone App Tracks “Vaccine Refusers”

Government Funded Phone App Tracks “Vaccine Refusers”: A new phone application called Vaccine Refused developed by the University of Iowa tracks – just as the name implies – vaccine refusals. [1]

The application is intended to be used by health professionals to report the location of the refusal, the vaccine refused, and patient demographics. The output of the data, which is supposedly anonymous and stored securely at the University of Iowa, provides a heat map of the refusals.

I’m going to show you how the government will likely use this information – and it isn’t pretty. Let me tell you more.

Application is Government Funded

To understand the importance of this particular application, we need to know how it is being funded and who is leading the research. This will give us a clue as to how the data will likely be used.

The research for the phone application is led by Dr. Philip Polgreen, Director of Infectious Disease Society of America’s Emerging Infections Network. [2]

Why is this significant?

According to the IDSA’s website, “In 1995, the CDC [Centers for Disease Control] granted a Cooperative Agreement Program award to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) to develop a provider-based emerging infections sentinel network: the Emerging Infections Network (IDSA EIN).” [3]

The project’s main University of Iowa page clearly states the research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and by a contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [4]

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