Word Tweak is a failed business where the sole trader has never recovered the costs associated with officially registering, purchasing the domain names, printing the cards, emailing the hack frauds or setting up the website. There have been some small wins here and there, but a lot of time has been squandered chasing leads and repeatedly asking legacy clients for overdue payment. So, fuck it. If you’re a freelance copywriter, just stop. Get a real job.
Was it all for naught? No. Through professional experience elsewhere and downright exploitation at the expense of this salty operator, there is a folio that is half-decent. At least the body of works, and the piffle to accompany it, was ok enough to open up more lucrative and sustainable full-time opportunities for an entrepreneur who was spinning words for virtual cents. So yeah, it padded out the good ol’ CV and helped this aspiring capitalist learn a thing or two about humanity.
But that’s not the point. It should never be acceptable for a professional freelance copywriter to work for free when payment via legal tender was agreed upon in writing. Fast food chains won’t wait a year for you to pay for that litre of cola that you quaffed. Myki doesn’t give a shit if you fare evade because you forgot to top up (well, from what I’ve seen, V/Line conductors are weak on the matter) but you get the point, right? Engage a professional for a service and then pay them promptly. If the job was terrible or needs fixing, it gets resolved.
There are a few problems when dealing with copywriting contracts.
- Trust. This word tweaker should’ve encrypted files and done all sorts of Mr Robot shenanigans to ensure payment for services rendered. In almost every situation where payment for copywriting is pending, it’s because the contact has established trust and their tardiness was never anticipated. It is difficult to withhold copy when it is being submitted via .docx or text format. Fuck people.
- Priorities. Businesses focus on core business. It’s what businesses do. When a business engages a copywriting business to do business, its business is more important than your business. So don’t be surprised when you do all the work and then wait an eternity for a response. By the time the other business get back to you, they’ll probably back out or have a change in priorities that will call for a complete re-write, with the expectation that you can do it for free. Cheap bastards.
- Protection. No, this isn’t a contraception spiel. wait, maybe it is … You see, freelancers are often at the mercy of their customers. There’s endless negotiation and compromise because freelancers want happy, paying customers. Sadly, people will play every dirty trick to squeeze all the value out of your juicy noggin. This means that the copywriter often completes the job but the other party will attempt to get away with paying only a fraction or zilch. When you’re just a small-town writer, livin in a lonely world, you’ll take the midnight train goin anywhere.
TL;DR: People exploit people. Get your shit together. If you freelance, fuckin don’t.
Let this video ram it home for ya.