It can be a freelancer’s worst nightmare when a client disappears at the end of a project. Since it means the freelancer doesn’t get their final payment for the project. And it also leaves the conclusion of the project up in the air. Which is why I’m going to show you how to make sure this never happens to you again in this article…
Today, I want to make sure you don’t get shafted if a client disappears at the end of a project.
Because I’ve seen it happen too many times with my coaching students…
My students bust their asses to deliver high-quality work ahead of schedule.
But then the client goes radio silent.
And it leaves my student lying awake at night in a cold sweat.
Because the client has disappeared…
And they’ve taken my student’s final payment for the project with them.
A payment that my student needs to pay their bills and put food on the table.
Which is why I want to make sure this never happens to you again.
And I’m going to share two key examples from my own contract that give me iron-clad protection from disappearing clients.
First, if you split your project fee into two or more payments — like half up front and half later…
Make Sure Additional Payments Are Due Based On A Fixed Date In Time…
Or you can also base them on a milestone you control. For example, when you deliver the first draft of a large project. (Like a sales letter if you write copy.)
Because if the payments are due based on an event the client controls — like their approval — you risk never getting your additional payment(s).
Since if the client “gets busy” — or straight-up disappears — technically they never gave you their approval.
And that means, when it comes to getting your additional payment, you are “technically” shit out of luck.
Because based on your contract, you can’t collect your additional payment until the client formally approves the work.
Which is why you want to be in control of the timing for the additional payments(s). Not your client.
Now I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on the internet. Everything I share is for informational purposes only. But…
Here’s The Language I Use In My Own Contract To Make Sure I’m In Control Of The Payment Schedule
This is what I say when I want the second payment to become due at a fixed date in time…
Contractor will invoice Client for half (50%) of the project to begin this phase of work, and for half (50%) of the project upon Client’s approval of Final Deliverable or [MONTH DAY, YEAR], whichever is sooner.
And this is what I say when I want the second payment to become due when I hit a specific milestone in the project — like delivering a first draft…
Contractor will invoice Client for half (50%) of the project to begin this phase of work, and for half (50%) of the project when Contractor [submits an initial draft of the Final Deliverable].
Yay! Now you don’t have to worry about getting the shaft financially if a client disappears or drags out a project…
But There’s Still Another Huge Problem That Can Pop Up With Your Time If A Client Disappears At The End Of A Project
Let’s say you turn in your work to a client, but they don’t respond.
So after you follow up with them for a few months, you move on and book other projects.
To the point where you’re at full capacity now.
But then out of the blue, the disappearing client returns. And they want you to make a bunch of edits to the original project.
Now you probably want to tell this client to go away again. Since you’re already at full capacity and don’t have time to deal with them.
There’s just one problem…
You’re still legally obligated to finish the project.
Because in most contracts, the project is only finished when the client gives their approval.
So it doesn’t matter that the client disappeared for six months.
Unless you have specific language to automatically terminate the project after a set amount of inactive time…
You legally have to keep working until the client gives you their approval. No matter how many delays they cause.
Which is why I also have the following language in my contract.
It Gives The Client A 14-Day Window To Request Revisions To My Work Each Time I Submit Something To Them…
And if they don’t reply within 14 days, the project is automatically approved.
If, after fourteen (14) days, Client has not requested revisions from Contractor, Final Deliverable will be considered accepted and approved by Client. For each round of revisions Contractor completes for Client, after Contractor submits their revisions, Client will have an additional period of fourteen (14) days to request subsequent revisions before Final Deliverable will be considered accepted and approved by Client.
This way, if a client disappears, they can’t come back to me six months later asking for revisions.
At that point, the project is automatically finished based on this clause in the contract. So if they still want revisions, it would be subject to a new contract.
And with these two contract templates, you can make sure you don’t get shafted if a client disappears at the end of a project.
So I suggest you take two minutes right now to add them to your own agreement. (After checking with your lawyer, of course. 😉)
Now Let Me Show You How To Make Freelance Clients Come To You — Like Clockwork — Using A Simple, 30-Second Conversation…
All the details are inside my free business blueprint 30-Second Referrals.
With this free PDF, you’ll discover how to use a simple, 30-second conversation to get two referrals from every single client you sign. (I’ll even show you exactly what to say during this conversation with my word-for-word script on page 13.)
That way, you can make clients come to you like clockwork. And you can fill your pipeline with more new business than you can handle.
But there is a small catch…
30-Second Referrals is only available to members The Freelance Like A Pro email list.
So enter your best real email below to join us and claim your free copy of 30-Second Referrals now. (And you’ll get my members-only emails to help you run a more profitable and stress-free freelance business, too.)
Enter your first name & best real email (no aliases)
Thanks for the freelancing guide and the emails that you've been sending out — the 30-second referral method is so stupidly simple, that it's genius!Connor Inch, Freelance Copywriter