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Billing for "brainstorming" with a client's team

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Michael C Member Since: Feb 17, 2020
11 of 19

Thanks for the info about billing and refunds. I already issued a refund for all but three hours, even though the client was billed today for the hours that I had put in the work diary. That's okay, though, because I am hoping that we can all get on the same page from now on about how I will be paid and then we can both decide about whether to continue the contract or not.  

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Michael C Member Since: Feb 17, 2020
12 of 19

I don't mind putting in some comp time to get a contract, but once the contract is initiated and I am working on what the client has requested, I assumed that I could bill for these hours. Perhaps since this is a marketing gig and we are "throwing spaghetti at the wall," as they say, the compensation works differently?

 

But it does take resources to buy the noodles, sauce and meatballs, fuel to heat up the stove, pots and pans, a wall to throw the spaghetti at, etc.

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
13 of 19

Michael C wrote:

 

But it does take resources to buy the noodles, sauce and meatballs, fuel to heat up the stove, pots and pans, a wall to throw the spaghetti at, etc.


You're so not invited to dinner in my kitchen....

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Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
14 of 19

Michael C wrote:

Thanks for the info about billing and refunds. I already issued a refund for all but three hours, even though the client was billed today for the hours that I had put in the work diary. That's okay, though, because I am hoping that we can all get on the same page from now on about how I will be paid and then we can both decide about whether to continue the contract or not.  


ok, so hopefully this works out well but with manual time, you could actually be *paying* the client if you do this. With manual time, you should wait until the money is available and then refund.

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
15 of 19

Jennifer M wrote:


ok, so hopefully this works out well but with manual time, you could actually be *paying* the client if you do this. With manual time, you should wait until the money is available and then refund.


How?

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Michael C Member Since: Feb 17, 2020
16 of 19

So far, today on Thursday, there are no funds available to me or due the client. There is my initial invoice from the time tracker, the fees to upwork, my refund issued on the invoice, and upwork refunding the appropriate amount of the fees they charged due to my refund. 

 

 

 

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Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
17 of 19

Michael,

 

First, you're working in an area that UW does not understand. You're developing intellectual content, done by perhaps 0.1% of freelancers. The bulk of the value is created in the kind of activity you described. Your process needs to be described to the client in the response to the job posting, pointing out where in the process value is created. No amount of time tracking, disputing, what have you, substitutes. If prospective clients don't want to pay for the part that creates value, you don't want the clients. Unfortunately, UW doesn't understand your domain and can't explain that to them. You're likely to get fewer clients that way. On the other hand, the clients you do get will understand your value and pay you for it.

 

Secondly, you selected a response as the "solution" before the issue was ever resolved. The "solution" is no solution at all. There's no way to recover with this client. I feel your pain. After an hour on the phone with a prospective client who had no understanding of his target customers nor of what they valued, he closed it with "Thanks for the conversation." You can't fix a lack of imagination.

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Michael C Member Since: Feb 17, 2020
18 of 19

Thanks, Bill. That's a good summary of the situation, and I've come to many of the same conclusions. 

 

It looks like I hit the ground running and then found a wall right away. I'll definitely have more conversations about projects in the future and how they are compensated for creative content.

 

As for the "solved" button, I hit it by accident but still got some great responses afterwards.

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Michael C Member Since: Feb 17, 2020
19 of 19

The client paid me for the remaining 3 hours (after I refunded 6.5 hours of work), and they cancelled the contract. Not the best outcome, but there was no effect on my review so I'll take this as a learning experience on keep at it.

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