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JoshCzoski

n00b question - about to try freelancing

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Okay, n00b question time and I'm probably going to get pointed at a resource. I wrote music for a company before this, and now I have my own software set up and ready to go. I warmed up on a little personal project and now I'm perusing postings seeking freelance composers.

 

How do you make sure you're not stiffed? Do the websites themselves facilitate payment somehow? (Upwork, PeoplePerHour, etc.)

Any quick tips for where to look?

 

I've done freelancing for other things before, and hopefully people won't mind the question and maybe you'll point me at something to read. I'm still working on someone's resource for breaking into the game industry so maybe there's more in there for questions like this (though I'm not completely limiting this to game music). Thanks!

 

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How do you make sure you're not stiffed? Do the websites themselves facilitate payment somehow? (Upwork, PeoplePerHour, etc.)

Any quick tips for where to look?

 

Try sending audio that has a watermark on it. It could be a recording of your voice saying your company/studio name every 5-10 seconds or so. This way, there's no way the client could use your work without paying for it but can still hear the track and evaluate it. Then tell them you'll send a clean, un-watermarked copy right after payment is sent. 

 

This works better than sending a low-fi version of your track because I've heard stories of clients just using that and not paying for it. Also, are you working with a contract? If not, I strongly recommend you work under contract only and require a deposit upfront. This usually separates out the clients who are serious and trustworthy versus the ones who may be flakey. 

 

Hope that helps! 

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How do you make sure you're not stiffed? Do the websites themselves facilitate payment somehow? (Upwork, PeoplePerHour, etc.)

Any quick tips for where to look?

 

Try sending audio that has a watermark on it. It could be a recording of your voice saying your company/studio name every 5-10 seconds or so. This way, there's no way the client could use your work without paying for it but can still hear the track and evaluate it. Then tell them you'll send a clean, un-watermarked copy right after payment is sent. 

 

This works better than sending a low-fi version of your track because I've heard stories of clients just using that and not paying for it. Also, are you working with a contract? If not, I strongly recommend you work under contract only and require a deposit upfront. This usually separates out the clients who are serious and trustworthy versus the ones who may be flakey. 

 

Hope that helps! 

 

I didn't think of the watermark - that sounds like a great idea. I'm not *totally* new to freelancing (with other things) so I wonder what protocol clients should expect (iow I'm not demanding something that's unheard of).

 

So asking for some kind of deposit upfront? Will do.

 

I have so much to learn, it seems. Thank you!  :)

Edited by JoshCzoski

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Just wanted to second the advice to have a contract in place. Contracts are a must. Become familiar with
work-for-hire agreements and development agreements.

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