I write white papers for business to business technology companies. As part of my contract, I include two revisions after the first draft is delivered. I had delivered the first draft of the white paper, and the client wanted some changes. Then he got some feedback from some more people in his organization, and we were on Round 2.
Me: I’d be happy to make these changes. However, keep in mind that we’re bumping up against the second round of revisions, so before I do these, I want to make sure that this is it. Otherwise, I’ll have to start charging my hourly rate, per the contract.
Client: Okay. Be sure to use hashtags in the white paper title.
Me: I strongly recommend you don’t do that. Hashtags are used on social media to categorize posts, but they’re not used in white papers. It doesn’t look professional.
Remember, this is a B2B technology company.
Client: Put the hashtags in anyway.
I sighed, then did as the client asked. He, of course, came back with more revisions. This would be Round 3.
Me: I’m happy to make these changes at $X per hour.
Client: WHAT? That’s not what we agreed to.
Me: It’s in the contract you signed.
Client: Fine, we’ll do it ourselves.
Me: Okay. I’ll send over my final invoice.
Client: C’mon, do you think you deserve to get paid?
Me: According to my contract, I met all my obligations. I’m pretty sure a judge would agree that I “deserve” to get paid.
The check arrived seven days after I sent the invoice. Moral of the story: always have a contract, and always mutter “breach of contract” and “lawsuit” under your breath when talking to difficult clients.