The last thing you want as a freelancer is to not receive payment for your hard work. That’s why establishing excellent habits at the beginning of your freelancing career is the best way to save you time and money down the road. These tips are a great starting point for any freelancer who wants to ensure that they get paid in a timely manner.
Get Paid in Advance
Don’t start any project until you’ve received an advance on your payment. Tell your client that you won’t start working until you receive a portion of the accorded fee. Your skills and work are a valuable asset! You don’t want to find yourself in an endless cycle of ignored emails and phone calls.
If you’re a new freelancer, this may be a difficult first thing to do with a new client. You might tell yourself, “I don’t want to seem too demanding — I’ve just started!” But the sooner you implement this strategy, the easier it will become. Recognize that you have to build rapport with the client, and applying this professional habit will likely garnish you respect. Getting an advanced payment will assure a commitment from both parties and help the project go smoothly.
An upfront payment should all be part of a detailed payment plan. Research what kind of payment plan would be best for your and your business. It can be as simple as receiving half of the payment before you finish the product and the rest after. You can also ask to get paid based on project completion. Be sure to establish a method that works best for you and your client before you both agree on working together. If a client does not agree to an upfront fee, this might be a sign of their lack of seriousness with your work and the project at-hand.
A handshake just doesn’t cut it anymore! Protect yourself by creating contracts for you and your client to both sign. Make sure all of your terms and conditions are in writing before you start any project. There are great contract templates online that make it easy for you to create customized contracts for your business. These online templates allow you to create legally binding contracts that will protect your work in case any problem may arise. A signed commitment will make it easier for you to get paid if your client refuses payment.
When it comes to tracking your expenses and getting paid on time, it’s incredibly important that you have software that fits with your business needs. A great freelancer creates professional looking invoices for their clients, and Every freelancer needs to keep track of their time spent working so that they can be transparent with themselves and with their clients. Invoice tools can help you track expenses, receipts, and payments so that you won’t be wasting any time creating separate documents or having to log into different accounts. An invoice app can also make tax season easier for you and your business. Some tools can track time, which will make it easier to keep a record of billable hours and expenses associated with freelancing.
Being a Freelancer means constantly investing in yourself and your business needs. If your client doesn’t respect your conditions, they aren’t appreciating the value of your work. You are your own business, so it’s important to remember your worth, time, and skills. It can be tricky when you first become your own boss, but it’s once you find the right tools and strategies that will help you get paid for your hard work, you’ll be smooth sailing.