Creation of Clients Articles – A Schedule

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In your initial conversation with your client there should be two major questions asked.

What?  Determine what kind of content your client requires. Is it to attract new clients? Is it announcing new products? To promote upcoming events? Then ask how they envision the article to look – graphs, photos, bullet points etc. and if they require links to external or internal sources.

When is the Deadline Date? When do they require the finalized article? Once this is answered make sure to note it down and schedule your work accordingly. Give yourself at least four to five extra days, this enables you to revise and resubmit if needed without missing the deadline.

Once you have the topic of the article, take time to research it as well as the clients previous articles to ensure voice, SEO, types of images etc. are compatible with your clients vision.

Write the article and insert any links, images etc. and then leave it for a day. Come back with fresh eyes and re-read it. Adjust any type of error and test links to ensure they work.

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When you are satisfied the article contains all the information your client required send it to your contact and request a proof read. This is the time to communicate to your client changes can be made if needed, then once approval is given send the ‘corrected’ article and an invoice.

Use your invoice tracking system, whether electronic or manual to enter the invoice and payment date.

Follow up with your client in a couple of weeks, firstly to ensure the article was published and to ask if they require further articles.

When you have multiple clients and deadlines – fill out a weekly or monthly schedule where you can easily see it. This will enable you to plan your workday and tasks quickly and efficiently.

What tips can you share?

 

 

Cooperation or Bartering with Other Small Business

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I have found that word of mouth is a powerful tool when it comes to gaining new clients. Part of that success is due to the numerous small local businesses in my area. By utilizing each others strengths, skills and knowledge, we are able to sometimes barter services rather than invoice between ourselves.

With a strong social media management skill, I offer tri-weekly schedules of multiple posts per day on my clients chosen format. Blog posts, articles, newsletter and website content is tailored to each clients needs and are scheduled per instruction. For these services, I gain website links and the added benefit of extended coverage to other businesses. It also gives me access to companies whose services may help me with other future projects.

There are a number of organizations, such as your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau that enhance your business profile and give you vital links to your local services and business owners.

Bartering is not a new concept of course but it can help when your small business is cash poor – see link:http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimblasingame/2013/09/25/sometimes-barter-is-better-for-your-small-business/#2715e4857a0b46e304c83b6d

For a small or fledging businesses bartering can aid cash poor companies while they build their client base and retain funds for vital supplies and services. Mutual respect and cooperation are the foundation for this business compromise.

Have you bartered for services?

Tell us your experiences.
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How To Make A Delinquient Client Pay But Keep Them As A Client…

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There are several types of non-paying clients:

a) The well-intentioned non-payers, who have a reasonable explanation for not paying on time. Try to work with your client and suggest a payment plan over a couple of months, which will allow you and your client to maintain cash flow. If they agree to this arrangement put it in writing.

b) The unhappy non-payers are a trickier prospect. Take a step back and look at their complaint to see if there was some fault or error on your part. If the deadline was missed, the invoice is higher than the quote or the project was substandard (for whatever reason) – then apologize sincerely and offer a discount. However, if your work was completed and priced as agreed then try to mitigate with your client for a mutually acceptable resolution.

c) The serial non-payer is to be avoided at all costs but when projects are scarce we may fall prey to them. There are websites available to you, such as Client Scorecard, which will give you a better insight into a new client who doesn’t ring true for whatever reason. A little research can save you a lot of stress.

d) Large corporate clients will typically put you on the bottom rung for payment. To counter this negotiate payment terms prior to beginning work for them and have it in writing. You should have a payment policy within your contract, stating net days required, a late fee (typically 1.5% interest), and dispute resolution terms.

Remember to send your invoices out promptly and track them so you can follow up. The initial contact for requesting payment should be pleasant and friendly and tie them down to a date. If the payment is not received after the promised date, call and ask politely if the payment was made. If the payment has been delayed or forgotten, request a new date and state you will contact them on that date to check. Any longer delays require diplomacy and tact but also making it clear you require payment without fail otherwise you will have to engage a collection service. Make it clear you will work with your client in order to keep your business relationship.

However, there will be clients that will not pay and then you need to contact your lawyer, who will send a letter on your behalf. Another option is to send a Final Notice stating a collection agency will be actioned if no payment is received in a specified time. These options may lose you the client but without payment your time and effort is wasted.

Do you have any tips on ensuring payment?

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