Real Talk With Mike Monteiro: How To Get Paid For Your Work Even When Your Clients Are Total Jerks

Nov 24, 2014

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

Real Talk With Mike Monteiro: How To Get Paid For Your Work Even When Your Clients Are Total Jerks

Nov 24, 2014

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

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mike monteiroThis video is one of the most entertaining presentations on how to deal with non-paying and problem clients. Creative Morning guest host, Mike Monteiro, is able to take a sensitive topic and inject some humor into it with his witty sense of humor. You’ll not only get a few laughs out of the discussion, but you’ll also take in some very important advice on how to deal with the inevitable problem client. Regardless of whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur who books the occasional paying gig, you have to know what to do to protect yourself from non-paying and slow-paying clients.

Monteiro and his lawyer, Gabe Levine, cover a plethora of talking points in the nearly 40 minute talk. While the gist of the entire presentation could be summarized by saying “GET A CONTRACT”, it’s well worth the time to watch the entire clip. Remember, knowledge is power and there is a lot to be gained from the video.

Here are just a few reasons they discuss in detail:

  • Contracts protect both parties.
  • Don’t start work without a contract.
  • Don’t blindly accept their terms, review all contracts. Have a lawyer review your contracts and don’t be afraid to negotiate if you see something you don’t like on a client’s contract.

Let’s have a look at the presentation below, but a quick heads up before you press play: there is some colorful language in the clip, as the title “F*ck You, Pay Me” might suggest. It’s all in good humor, but we recommend sliding on a pair of headphones if you’re somewhere an occasional f-bomb may be deemed inappropriate.

YouTube video

Though the video referecned design work quite often, the ideas Monteiro and Levine present in the presentation can apply to just about all creative fields, especially including photography.

It would be interesting to see how our fellow DIYP community deals and/or helps prevent getting burned by bad clients, let us know your techniques in the comments section below.

[ via Reddit ]

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Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

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2 responses to “Real Talk With Mike Monteiro: How To Get Paid For Your Work Even When Your Clients Are Total Jerks”

  1. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
    Kay O. Sweaver

    I had a client not pay me for six months, then called me up to do another shoot for them. I said “Ummmm, you haven’t paid me for the last one yet.” He says, “Okay, I’ll pay you for that job when you get here.” I respond “Actually I think I need you to pay me for it before I agree to shoot this new job.” Reluctantly he sends me a cheque, which I cash immediately. “Okay so let’s schedule this next shoot.” he says. “Oh, actually I’m all booked up. Sorry.”

    I then proceeded to tell that story to every photographer in the area.

  2. Ralph Hightower Avatar
    Ralph Hightower

    This is great information, not just for the “design” trade or photography trade, but applicable to other businesses.

    Even though I am a computer software developer by trade, I found this legal advice on a photography blog extremely helpful. If the company that I worked for followed this advice, perhaps that company would have survived.
    What brought this company down is detailed in this bullet point:
    * Client Goes Rogue; Requirements Change.
    The company had signed contracts with financial institutions for an automated loan approval system. But then after the contract was signed, the client would request changes to the software to add features or modify agreed upon deliverables. The company would say “Okay” instead of saying this modification will cost this much and delay the project by this much. Instead, the company basically said “Okay. Do you want me to supersize your fries?” The company even had a corporate lawyer on staff. The client was lost because of the continuing delays in delivery of the product because of the client’s continual changes to the deliverables.