By asking for a Deposit.
It is always good when there is good trust between you and the buyer, as this will enable freelancer to ask for something like deposit before starting the job. Such move helps to establish good trust in transaction between you and the buyer. It also helps you to gauge the seriousness and trustworthiness of the buyer. Although it may be a bit disappointing if the buyer balks down when you mention a deposit, but will help you save on your time, energy and resources by not working for such like clients.
Put the contract in writing.
It is always good to put the agreement in writing before starting the work. This will help protect both you and the client, and if one is not willing to sign, then know that he/she is untrustworthy. You therefore need to be keen with such like clients since they may be pulling a fast one on you. Starting work without signing a contract means your employer is not respecting you and you are also not respecting yourself, therefore always sign an agreement for it to be binding because if one party fails on the way then it becomes easy to seek legal re-dress.
Sending the client an invoice.
It is always good to send invoices to some clients even though most of them may disapprove of it. However, it serves to remind them that the payments are due. Though invoices may not be needed, but it is a kind way of reminding a client that the payments are due and should be made. A good invoicing system will help you in collecting your payment s well, and also give some credibility to your service. Do not hesitate on sending an invoice just the same way you would not like it when the buyer delays in sending the check.
Work only when you get paid.
Being paid upfront should not leverage you to think that you will always be paid on time; you should therefore save yourself stress of untrustworthy clients by refusing to take deposits all the time. Always ensure that you get paid everything before commencing on the project.
Doing some ground check on potential clients.
Whenever a potential client approaches you, it is always good to assess him/her before responding to his/her project. He/she should give you enough time to think about the pricing, time needed to complete the work and also search for the details of the company online to see if it is a genuine company. For example you may get another freelancer writer on google search telling a story of how he/she was duped by your prospective client and that should raise a red flag. You should say no to such like buyers.
By recruiting a “bad cop”
A “bad cop” is a person who will step in instead of you when the client defaults in payment. The person will be responsible for calling the client and informing him/her that if payments are not made the work will not resume. Such a person can be like your assistant at your work place. This will help you position yourself as a “good cop” and therefore avoid bad blood between you and your clients.