VO Job Payment Problems
A few days go by and then a week and then a month and at this stage you are many jobs down the line away from that job, so much so that you can hardly remember anything about it. You realize, "Hang on! I need to do something about this!" You like to be nice to your clients but after anywhere between 5-10 emails of asking politely you start to lose it a little. The emails you have sent have not been working and not been loosening the tight purse strings of your client so you have to be a bit more demanding. The next email after not hearing a word from the client but they have the completed voice file in their editing studio also gets no response. So what can you do?
At this stage the client has all the strings in their hands once the voice file is sent the client that previously was all communicative can be struck dumb and emails and phone calls may not get you any further than just waiting to see if the client does pay up. By contacting them constantly and asking about money owed, what was once a perfect business relationship then becomes a disastrous affair of complaints and the reason they probably don't contact you back is because they may be busy and now feeling like they are dealing with a spoilt VO artist. All voice artists do their jobs to make money but clients generally deal with lots of people and they have their payment times and terms usually of which we are not aware of. So, rather than wait what can you do?
After the voice file has been sent - If you haven't asked for an upfront payment then really there is not much you can do apart from sending the occasional reminder email to try and get paid. The client will after a while get annoyed by your emails and a majority of them pay up because of this annoyance or constant reminding. This tactic can backfire badly if you are constantly hassling your client and don't expect a second job from them. But you need to get paid for work done. Your voice is your work tool. A lumberjack uses a chainsaw, a plumber uses a spanner as a tool and you use your voice to get your work done.
In an ideal world you do the work, the client accepts the work and in return pays for the job then gives you feedback. In the real world it can be much different and although almost all clients do pay and on time, there are times when you come into contact with some clients that are problem payers and bad communicators. The rule of thumb in my book is to be well communicative and to make it clear from the outset how the job is to proceed and if you can get half the money as an advance on the VO job, then this is all the better.
VO artists need to be careful when booking jobs or you could end up doing work for nothing and this will not go down to well with your accountant. Don't be afraid to ask as much information as possible about payment terms and payment days and always always keep the communication flowing and always try to be on good terms with your client.