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pathfinderpm
Community Member

Ensuring I get paid!

Hi - I've just been approached by a potential client wanting a phone call with me as part of my consultancy service (no more than 1 hour). Obviously, there's nothing to stop him not paying me for my services afterwards. However, I've heard that payment by milestone (a short one!) would require upfront funding on his part, so at least the money is with Upwork before we speak. Is this something other freelancers use and if not, why?

 

Thanks

Tony

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Tony F wrote:

Hi Robin

It's not been made clear if it's either No.1 or 2, but I am 99.999% certain it is No.2

 

Just so I am clear, (a) is the onus on the client to create the fixed-price project and (b) does this sort of project require the upfront funding that I'm hoping for?

 

Regards,

Tony


If it's not clear to you, then confirm with the client.  You can initiate a contract but let the client do it.  I agree with going the hourly rate route as you would simply continue tracking your hours vs. setting up milestones for projects.  Hourly projects require the freelancer to either track time via Upwork's time tracker app OR manually via the work diary.  Everyone on this platform will recommend you track via the app to ensure payment (manually the client can refuse to pay and even ask for a refund leading to a possible dispute, etc.)

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robin_hyman
Community Member


Tony F wrote:

Hi - I've just been approached by a potential client wanting a phone call with me as part of my consultancy service (no more than 1 hour). Obviously, there's nothing to stop him not paying me for my services afterwards. However, I've heard that payment by milestone (a short one!) would require upfront funding on his part, so at least the money is with Upwork before we speak. Is this something other freelancers use and if not, why?

 

Thanks

Tony


Hi Tony,

 

Would this call be an interview to decide if he wants to hire you (#1) or has he made his choice and this is a discovery call where you are doing a full intake (#2)?

 

If #1, I count this as part of my marketing and do not charge the client.  It's just as much an interview for you as it is for him.  You need to decide if this is something you want to proceed with or just say "sorry this isn't a good fit for me".  If #2, client would start a contract for a fixed-price project or hourly and cap it at 1 hour.  

 

Hope this helps. 

 

If I've understood correctly, and the telephone discussion is a part of the job, then surely an hourly contract for the call would be the better option?

Hi Jamie,

 

From going through the online help, the pay-by-the-hour option leaves open the ability for him not to pay up. Setting up a milestone requires money to go into Escrow first - my preferred option.

 

Regards,

Tony


Tony F wrote:

Hi Jamie,

 

From going through the online help, the pay-by-the-hour option leaves open the ability for him not to pay up. Setting up a milestone requires money to go into Escrow first - my preferred option.

 

Regards,

Tony


Time that has been logged online in hourly contracts is more secure than milestones.

A lot of freelancers prefer hourly contracts for this reason. 


Tony F wrote:

Hi Jamie,

 

From going through the online help, the pay-by-the-hour option leaves open the ability for him not to pay up. Setting up a milestone requires money to go into Escrow first - my preferred option.

 

Regards,

Tony


Not true.  Only if you are tracking hours manually.  Download the desktop app for payment.  But note you will receive payment approximately 2 weeks after the call.  With fixed-price payment, once approved the payment will be held for 5 days before being released.  

As Robin just alluded to --- 

 

There are two ways to charge on an hourly contract. One is to add the time manually yourself. This means to not turn on the tracker and basically just tell the client that you worked for x amount of time. This is arguably the least safe of all methods on Upwork, even less safe than milestones. 

However...

The other option for hourly contracts is to download the tracker. Switch it on when you start working and it will start monitoring your acitivity (with screenshots that the client can see). This is the safest option of all. Safer than both manual time on hourly contracts, and safer than milestones. 




Tony F wrote:

From going through the online help, the pay-by-the-hour option leaves open the ability for him not to pay up. Setting up a milestone requires money to go into Escrow first - my preferred option.


If you are frightened of not getting paid, it is "safer" to work under an hourly contract.

Hourly contracts, if properly tracked with the Upwork tracker, come with protection and (if properly tracked) are just about guaranteed.

 

Fixed rate contracts are "less safe" - Just because money is in Escrow, does not mean you'll easily get your hands on it in the very rare case that the client does not pay it.

 

Hi Robin

It's not been made clear if it's either No.1 or 2, but I am 99.999% certain it is No.2

 

Just so I am clear, (a) is the onus on the client to create the fixed-price project and (b) does this sort of project require the upfront funding that I'm hoping for?

 

Regards,

Tony


Tony F wrote:

Hi Robin

It's not been made clear if it's either No.1 or 2, but I am 99.999% certain it is No.2

 

Just so I am clear, (a) is the onus on the client to create the fixed-price project and (b) does this sort of project require the upfront funding that I'm hoping for?

 

Regards,

Tony


If it's not clear to you, then confirm with the client.  You can initiate a contract but let the client do it.  I agree with going the hourly rate route as you would simply continue tracking your hours vs. setting up milestones for projects.  Hourly projects require the freelancer to either track time via Upwork's time tracker app OR manually via the work diary.  Everyone on this platform will recommend you track via the app to ensure payment (manually the client can refuse to pay and even ask for a refund leading to a possible dispute, etc.)

I do a lot of jobs that are just phone consultations. You set it up as an hourly contract.

 

I usually do the consulting while using the computer, tracking time with desktop time-tracker. I take notes on the computer, or look at what client is shown me using screen sharing.

 

This is all very normal. Getting paid for consulting jobs is not a big deal.

I like your idea of taking notes during phone calls to have activity tracked in the time tracker. I was wondering the best way to do that. 
Thanks!

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