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Re: Writing and Fixed Rate Contracts...

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
1 of 8

Fellow Writers...I have a question.

 

You see, on a fixed rate contract, I write the requisite piece, and then submit. No samples. No "checking" in between (i.e. sending a chapter).

 

If they want a sample or to see the work PRIOR, then, I have them set up milestones. This way, scope creep is avoided. 

 

Do you operate differently? If so, why?

 

 

Ace Contributor
Mirjam K Member Since: Sep 7, 2015
2 of 8

Depends on what I agreed on with them, how much money we are talking about and how they "feel". I once delivered a project for several thousands in small steps over three months before getting paid for the first time.

I am also usually fine with sending anyone a kind of "plan" for their text to make sure I understood correctly what they want.

 

 

I tend to do more for European clients whose name/adress I know because I know the laws that protect me - even if everything is done via upwork.

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Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
3 of 8

@Mirjam K wrote:

Depends on what I agreed on with them, how much money we are talking about and how they "feel". I once delivered a project for several thousands in small steps over three months before getting paid for the first time.

I am also usually fine with sending anyone a kind of "plan" for their text to make sure I understood correctly what they want.

 

 

I tend to do more for European clients whose name/adress I know because I know the laws that protect me - even if everything is done via upwork.


Good point Mirjam.

 

The almost (there are some clients who have a presence to verify in addition to their Upwork history) anonymity of the clients on Upwork makes me ever so cautious. I tend NOT to send work before submitting the whole completed project. I've had an increasing number of clients, as of late, extend a contract, I accept, and then they turn around and want me to send a sample to them. If they set up a milestone for it, I will do so. 

 

Otherwise, what I've noticed is scope creep begins to happen. Indeed, I had to end a contract with a client for whom I wrote several books prior to accepting a fourth contract. Said client kept demanding I send portions of my work on a weekly basis (which wasn't occurring during our prior contracts--and they'd raved about the other manuscripts!). When I explained that they were essentially asking for free work, although polite, their reaction was to say we couldn't finish the contract. 

 

Ultimately, that was ok with me. But, lesson learned!

 

 

Ace Contributor
Mirjam K Member Since: Sep 7, 2015
BEST ANSWER
4 of 8

Kat C wrote

 

I've had an increasing number of clients, as of late, extend a contract, I accept, and then they turn around and want me to send a sample to them. If they set up a milestone for it, I will do so. 

 

Otherwise, what I've noticed is scope creep begins to happen. Indeed, I had to end a contract with a client for whom I wrote several books prior to accepting a fourth contract. Said client kept demanding I send portions of my work on a weekly basis (which wasn't occurring during our prior contracts--and they'd raved about the other manuscripts!). When I explained that they were essentially asking for free work, although polite, their reaction was to say we couldn't finish the contract. 

 

Ultimately, that was ok with me. But, lesson learned!

 

 


 

I have often been told that I am a typical German and very direct, I think that helps very much in sorting through people. I am polite (or at least as polite as you can be when you don't know the "correct" phrases to be indirect and polite in a given situation) but I save a lot of time and annoyance, I think, by just letting people know what that additional work would cost them. Or in your case, that I'll be happy to change the way of delivering the work, if they just change the way of payment. As in "always say yes".

"I'd be happy to do that and as I think it will take me xx hours, I would need you to just fund $yy/set up a milestone/accept xx hours more. As soon as that's done/you told me it's alright, I will start working. Would you like me to send this per email as usually or in any other form?"

 

If there's something incredibly impolite about it please let me know! Smiley Wink

 

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
5 of 8

@Mirjam K wrote:

Kat C wrote

 

I've had an increasing number of clients, as of late, extend a contract, I accept, and then they turn around and want me to send a sample to them. If they set up a milestone for it, I will do so. 

 

Otherwise, what I've noticed is scope creep begins to happen. Indeed, I had to end a contract with a client for whom I wrote several books prior to accepting a fourth contract. Said client kept demanding I send portions of my work on a weekly basis (which wasn't occurring during our prior contracts--and they'd raved about the other manuscripts!). When I explained that they were essentially asking for free work, although polite, their reaction was to say we couldn't finish the contract. 

 

Ultimately, that was ok with me. But, lesson learned!

 

 


 

I have often been told that I am a typical German and very direct,

 

I, personally, LOVE this...

 

I think that helps very much in sorting through people. I am polite (or at least as polite as you can be when you don't know the "correct" phrases to be indirect and polite in a given situation) but I save a lot of time and annoyance, I think, by just letting people know what that additional work would cost them. Or in your case, that I'll be happy to change the way of delivering the work, if they just change the way of payment. As in "always say yes".

"I'd be happy to do that and as I think it will take me xx hours, I would need you to just fund $yy/set up a milestone/accept xx hours more. As soon as that's done/you told me it's alright, I will start working. Would you like me to send this per email as usually or in any other form?"

 

This is so much nicer than how I tend to come across! I don't know if it's an Italian thing on my end, but, I have to curb the tendency to be abrupt (when I first met my husband, he'd ask "why are you yelling at me?" and I'd say, "I'm not yelling, I'm being dramatic, I'm Italian."). 

 

If you don't mind, I'll borrow your phrasing. 

 

The only reason I agreed to close the contract with the client I referred to in my prior post was because they were one of the "$1 for 100 words" clients I'd picked up when I first started Upwork (hindsite is 20/20 vision). It was fine for a while because they were an easy going client (it was a decent trade off for the TERRIBLE per word rate). But, after a while, they shifted and became more demanding, as I suppose many cheaper paying clients do? As my mom used to say, they had champagne tastes on a beer budget.

 

 

If there's something incredibly impolite about it please let me know! Smiley Wink

 


 ETA: Self copy-editing.

 

 

Ace Contributor
Mirjam K Member Since: Sep 7, 2015
6 of 8

Kat C wrote

This is so much nicer than how I tend to come across! I don't know if it's an Italian thing on my end, but, I have to curb the tendency to be abrupt (when I first met my husband, he'd ask "why are you yelling at me?" and I'd say, "I'm not yelling, I'm being dramatic, I'm Italian."). 

 

From now on I will tell people that I might be German (direct) but at least I'm not being Italian (yelling) at them Smiley Wink

 

 

If you don't mind, I'll borrow your phrasing. 

 

Please do!

 

The only reason I agreed to close the contract with the client I referred to in my prior post was because they were one of the "$1 for 100 words" clients I'd picked up when I first started Upwork (hindsite is 20/20 vision). It was fine for a while because they were an easy going client (it was a decent trade off for the TERRIBLE per word rate). But, after a while, they shifted and became more demanding, as I suppose many cheaper paying clients do? As my mom used to say, they had champagne tastes on a beer budget.

 

 

I think most clients become more demanding, but good ones raise your payment with their expectations. There is an investment on both sides: You start out working for a bit less than usually, they start out with "just a bit of help". Later you get paid what you're worth for doing the job more or less unsupervised etc.

 

 


 

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
7 of 8

@Mirjam K wrote:

Kat C wrote

This is so much nicer than how I tend to come across! I don't know if it's an Italian thing on my end, but, I have to curb the tendency to be abrupt (when I first met my husband, he'd ask "why are you yelling at me?" and I'd say, "I'm not yelling, I'm being dramatic, I'm Italian."). 

From now on I will tell people that I might be German (direct) but at least I'm not being Italian (yelling) at them Smiley Wink

 

HAHAH! Oh goodness, I'm dying laughing at this...so true. My husband's family is from Germany and he has the cultural directness you referred to in your other post. It is one of the many qualities I love about him (I keep TRYING to get him to rekindle his German fluency...out of all the languages I've studied, German seems the most difficult for me...but, I'll keep trying). 

 

If you don't mind, I'll borrow your phrasing. 

 

Please do!

 

Thank you! I'm always willing to learn different ways of approaching a situation. 

 

The only reason I agreed to close the contract with the client I referred to in my prior post was because they were one of the "$1 for 100 words" clients I'd picked up when I first started Upwork (hindsite is 20/20 vision). It was fine for a while because they were an easy going client (it was a decent trade off for the TERRIBLE per word rate). But, after a while, they shifted and became more demanding, as I suppose many cheaper paying clients do? As my mom used to say, they had champagne tastes on a beer budget.

 

I think most clients become more demanding, but good ones raise your payment with their expectations. There is an investment on both sides: You start out working for a bit less than usually, they start out with "just a bit of help". Later you get paid what you're worth for doing the job more or less unsupervised etc.
True. Good point. That's what I have in my mind when I discuss contractual language with potential clients. Admittedly, I can be overly cautious. The Italian side comes out when the lines become blurry (though I temper it with clients LOL). So, perhaps I need some of the German directness to rub off on me instead of going from calm to "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING THAT'S WRONG DON'T ASK ME FOR FREE WORK!!" -- I'm slightly exaggerating but it's a close replica of my internal response. 


 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
8 of 8

In the roughly ten months that I've been on Upwork, I've only had one client ask me to create a sample. Typically, clients fund milestones unprompted, though sometimes I have to work with them on the best way to break up the project.

 

I frequently submit drafts through messaging prior to making a submission if there are a few open questions on the page and then use the "submit/request payment" button when I've filled in the blanks and sent off the final version. That said, that is NOT an approach I recommend. My client base is a bit unique in that I work almost exclusively for law firms and established offline agencies that work for law firms. I know who they are, and they know that I am also an attorney.

 

Of course, there's still some risk involved, but it hasn't bitten me yet, and I do break projects into relatively small pieces--either I make sure that I get paid every $500 or so (perhaps $1,000 with repeat clients), or I get an advance payment of 1/3 of the project price.

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