PSA: Why you NEED be asking for a deposit

PSA: Why you NEED be asking for a deposit by EG Media Co. | small business tips, online business owner, freelance work, freelancer, security deposit

As an online business owner, you become extremely vulnerable to online scams and one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is creating client contracts. Aside from having client contracts, asking for a deposit from your clients is the next most important thing you should be doing as a freelance web designer.

Many freelancers make the huge mistake of not asking for a deposit from their clients because they’re too embarrassed to ask for one or they think that they might be scaring their clients away by asking for a deposit. Be confident about your online business and know your value as a web designer. Don’t be afraid to ask! I’m telling you, if you don’t implement some sort of deposit for your clients it WILL wind up biting you in the butt.

Before beginning my online business, I did a whole lot of research on other web designer’s client process. So, I learned early on that requiring a deposit from your clients can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

If you’re still debating whether to implement a deposit approach, I want to share a few reasons why deposits are so important.

1. Deposits reduce the risk of non-payment

So, let’s say you didn’t ask for a deposit. At this point you’ve invested a good amount of time into the project, might be weeks or even months at that! You show your work to your client and they end up being unsatisfied with the work you put in *jaw drop* and they decide that they aren’t going to pay you for all the hours you’ve already invested or even worse…they ghost you.👻

What happens then? You’re now stuck with a completed project sitting on your lap with hours wasted 🤦🏻‍♀️. Just talking about this gives me a headache. Even if you had a contract in place getting ahold of your client might be nearly impossible especially if you’re working remotely, which most of us are.

This is why I require a 50% deposit from my clients. Even at a 50% deposit you still might run the risk of not getting paid fully but 50% is 100% better than getting nothing at all.🤯 You’re partially covered with that 50% so the hours you’ve already invested don’t go in vain.  

2. Deposits keep your clients committed in the project

If you require a deposit from your client, they will more likely stay invested throughout the project. I mean who wouldn’t? They’ve already invested money on the project, so this keeps them committed and they tend to take the project more seriously.

Having your clients commit to the project financially changes the way that clients view the project, it becomes a priority for them.

If you’ve made the mistake of not asking for a deposit from a client when you’re more than halfway done you run the risk of that client not prioritizing the project. When they have no financial commitment, it is easy for clients to just disappear without paying you. They don’t lose anything by ghosting you, leaving you with hours of unpaid work.

But if they’re financially commitment they will 100% be invested in the project from start to finish. At this point, cancelling the project when they’ve already paid a deposit turns into a loss for them. You’ll see how less often this happens when you require a deposit.

Be confident and don’t apologize for requiring a deposit. It’s part of your process and clients need to respect that. If you see that your client is being hesitant to pay that deposit I would consider that a red flag and not work with that client at all.

If you’re a new web designer don’t be afraid to talk money. You want your business to be successful right? You have to be assertive. You’ve signed up for a 24/7 sales job as an online business owner and the likelihood of getting taken advantage of and scammed has gone through the roof. Protect yourself and avoid this by requiring the client to financially commit to the project.

What I typically do is during my call with the client, I will ask them questions about their project and at the end I will ask them when they are looking to launch. Once I ask that and if they give me a date, this is my cue that they do indeed want to work with me I say something like “Perfect. I can send you the contract via email with my client intro packet and an invoice for 50% deposit to get started on the project.”

Be assertive. Tell the client what is required to begin the process and if they ask why, tell them it is a way to reserve their spot and it’s there to protect you as well (I’m sure they will know this). Don’t be apologetic. If you need to, practice with a friend or family member! Tell them to ask tough questions like “Why is a 50% deposit required?” This will help prepare you for the real deal and trust me it will become easier as you get more comfortable.

What are your deposit requirements? Have you had any bad experiences because you didn’t ask for a deposit?

Leave a comment below!