There are so many perks to freelancing. You don’t have to be accountable to anyone except for you, but that often means that you have no one accountable to you to get you paid on time. You will deal with a range of clients when you are freelancing and one thing that some may have in common is the fact that they can – and often do! – ghost instead of paying.

Running a business is tough, but it’s even tougher when you aren’t being paid for the hours you’re putting in to work for someone else. Let’s be honest: it’s hard to work for someone else and wait for your payment. It’s even worse when you are then ghosted by that client and they choose not to pay you at all. But how do you handle an invoice not being paid? How do you make sure that you’re not working for free over and over again? We have some of the tips below of what you should do when a client ghosts before they pay you.

  1. Firsty, don’t panic. Your client may well have forgotten the terms of the agreement. Expecting the worst is normal in your quest to find a balance as a freelancer, but don’t panic that you have been ghosted. Contact your client via phone and email, and make sure that you give them the required time as set out in your contract with them.
  2. Always resend the invoice. First and foremost, resend the invoice that you sent in the first place and make a point of outlining further charges if there are late fees. Invoice your clients and ensure that they have replied to invoices before you worry too much. Make a big point of adding red writing to let them know that you are chasing this payment.
  3. Check out social media. If you are being avoided by the client, look to Google and social media to find them! This way, you can find new phone numbers for them or email addresses to contact the legal team and get in touch with them, too. You can use social media links to publicize their non-payment if you have gone beyond the time they should have paid you. Often, a little shame goes a long way.
  4. Get some legal advice. Before you go the full court route, get in touch with a lawyer and have a letter sent out to the client. This will be one of the last things that you do before you call the claims court, because it’s the thing that’s needed to ensure that you don’t have to go that route if you don’t have to.
  5. Off to court. The last thing to do before you give up hope of being paid is to go to a small claims court. It’s your last resort and yes, it’s going to cost money. This will be a good route to take depending on what the client owes you. Ideally, they’ll pay the bill and avoid the court!