March 21, 2005
Freelance Blues, Part 1
Part of the freelance existence is dealing with clients who choose not to pay you after you have worked for them. This video is my attempt to turn pain into redemptive art. Enjoy. And feel free to share your own freelance nightmares as comments, emails, your own blog entries, podcasts, or best of all, as web videos. What do your freelance blues sound like?
Posted by Jonny at March 21, 2005 12:05 AM
why don't you start a tag in MeFeedia? Call it "FreelanceBlues."
Posted by: josh at March 21, 2005 01:35 AM
I did! But I made the tag with a space "freelance blues."
Posted by: Jonny Goldstein at March 21, 2005 02:06 AM
(This post is from a guy on another list where I posted a link to my video....Good stuff for the aspiring storyteller in all of us---Jonny)
hey johnny "little walter" g.
a good start. I'd reverse the ratio of words to harp and you're on to
something. I was impatiently waiting for the music. remember, the
essence of good writing - and this includes songwriting - is to cut
every last unnecessary word.
keep up the good work.
Posted by: Jonny Goldstein at March 21, 2005 04:03 AM
(A couple of anecdotes from a fella I know)
Right after graduating from ______I started developing an online website for a shadey guy on a handshake deal for $2000. He paid me nothing afterwards. I kept emailing - also trying to keep things informal. Very similar story as your Quicktime. He finally cuts me a check for $120 and says the rest is coming soon, and that he is not made of money. As of today, the man still owes me over $1000 but as they say, a verbal contract is as good as the paper it's written on. My mistake: actually doing the work before signatures.
July 2004 - I fly to another country to work as a designer at a big name. I end up having a bad experience on many levels of manipulation and leave the company. One plane ticket gets reimbursed, but not much more. Gross losses: $5000.
Also, from June to present, I have been working with an artist who continues to call and ask me to work for him, but he is never clear about how much he is going to pay. At first, I was getting large checks. As time went by, I was doing more work for less money. Eventually, I stopped taking his calls.
Posted by: Jonny Goldstein at March 21, 2005 04:08 AM
An excerpt from another story from a list that I belong to:
In the 10 years I've been freelancing (past 2 as moonlighting thing), I've
been stiffed 4 times in the freelance world (which probably represents less than
3% of my freelance income). Each time I took very personally, and found that
it was much more upsetting than just the loss of income, and the negative
impact to me was just way out of proportion.
The biggest one: $7,000. I fought and fought (lawyers and lawyers). I ended
up with $1,500 at the end and months of grief. If I'd known, I would have
walked away from it and let them keep my 6 months of work that they're still
using today.The whole experience was all just too negative for me.
I think this is a BIG problem for freelancers and really don't have any
I wish you well.
Posted by: Jonny Goldstein at March 22, 2005 09:18 AM
Jonny, you have reason on freelance. And I can confirm, because I have been a freelance journalist for ten years. "Part of the freelance existence is dealing with clients who choose not to pay you after you have worked for them." Yes, right! I will write this on my notebook. Your are a great, Jonny! Bye bye
Posted by: Leon B at March 22, 2005 11:12 AM
Give 'em hell, Jonny.
Some advice that worked for me:
It was three days before I was to pack up and move my girlfriend and I in a giant Ryder truck from Atlanta to Los Angeles, sight unseen (ie, no job waiting for me). I had about $7K in outstanding invoices and $.53 in my checking account. These clients were past 30 days, and I was about to move three time zones away, writing bad checks across state lines the whole way.
Two days before I left, I had a farewell party/beer bash at the local pub. In addition to lots of friends (who thankfully bought my beers), I invited my clients. I told them that if they came with check in hand, they could knock 10% off the invoice. They all came with checks, and none of them took the discount.
To quote Homer Simpson, "Beer...is there anything it can't do?"
Posted by: Patrick at March 23, 2005 12:25 PM
i've been so lucky and had all really good freelance gigs.
sometimes even getting paid BEFORE i did the work.
i know the man you speak of.
i am disappointed in him.
Posted by: ryanne at April 8, 2005 08:57 PM