I finished worked for a new client (she's new to Upwork) and she put money in escrow for the final payment. However, after sending the final draft to her, I haven't heard back. She had already thanked me for the work, etc. I think that she doesn't realize that she needs to end the contract and release the payment, but she isn't answering my messages addressing that. What else can I do?
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Did you submit it through the contract and hit "Request Payment"? Once you submit the work through the contract, the escrow will be automatically released to you in 14 days even if the client "forgot" to do so. So don't just submit it in the message box.
Lisa is correct. This is very simple.
Clients do NOT need to release payment.
Clients do NOT need to respond.
Clients do NOT need to close the contract.
As a freelancer, I get paid even if clients do none of that.