How to Make Sure You Get Paid As a Freelancer
Freelancers can earn as much money as typical employees. There are even some freelancers that make more. Based on an analysis by Payoneer, American freelancers earn up to $31 an hour, with an annual average of $64,000; that’s 17% more than how much typical employees make. So if you’re about to quit your day job to start freelancing, a stable financial future could be waiting for you. For that to happen, you have to ensure that your would-be clients will pay you. Your income will depend on it. So before you transition to freelancing, know the eight ways to make sure you get paid as a freelancer.
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How to Make Sure You Get Paid As a Freelancer
Work with the Right Clients
In freelancing, before you think about earning money, you need to make a deal with clients first to gain projects. But, be careful in choosing clients. Before you strike agreements to work with a particular client, you have to assess if the client is capable of paying you. You can do a background check, or you can ask other freelancers who have dealt with that client. Make it a practice to work with clients that can be professional and can pay dues. You should say no to clients with negative feedback from other freelancers, especially those with histories of not paying fees on time.
Be Open to Change Your Rate
In freelancing, you’ll meet clients who’ll want to request to lower your service fees. You have to understand that some clients are also businessmen and businessmen love to bargain. If you shy away from these types of clients continuously, you might end up having a small clientele, which also means you’ll have lesser income. So, don’t be afraid to work with such clients. To ensure that they will pay their due on time, be open to lessen your rate.
For your case as a new freelancer, your rate should still be at a minimum level. If you opt to make your rate bigger, some of your clients might not be able to pay you as scheduled.
Present a Bill Upfront
Billing upfront is a sure approach to get paid at least a portion for the meantime. Don’t let clients pay your whole fee immediately; just a certain percentage of it. Upfront bills can incline clients to pay the remaining percentages of your fee because they already started paying it in the first place. They won’t let the first payment to be for nothing. You can also use the first payment to prepare a budget for the tools and resources you’ll need for a project.
You might be thinking that presenting a bill upfront seems rash or rude. No, it’s not. Your clients will understand that it’s an assurance on your part. Plus, if particular clients can pay an upfront bill, that could be a sign that they can pay you in full moving forward.
Arrange a Contract
If you plan to legally oblige your clients to pay you, you need to prepare contracts. Sites for freelance work are online platforms where you can find gigs. If you receive a proposal from a client on such platforms, let them know that a contract will be at hand. The terms and conditions of the contract must emphasize that the client must pay your fees promptly. In return, the contract must state that you’ll produce output for the client before the deadline.
If the client deliberately delays payment, you can file legal actions because the agreement was settled in a contract. That being said, a contract acts as insurance in case a client doesn’t pay dues.
Send an Invoice Regularly
Regularly sending an invoice enables you to receive partial payments from your clients consistently. Thus, you’ll have a steady income. Each invoice you’ll send must have a due date. You can send invoices via email for convenience. In general, freelancers who send invoices to their clients do so weekly, biweekly, or monthly. But, it is up to you how frequently you want to send invoices.
Use a Reliable Payment Method
Using a secure payment method ensures that you’ll receive your pay from clients, and clients will feel confident that their transaction with you is safe and credible. Paypal and Square, among many others, are excellent websites that you should consider as your payment methods. The money your clients will send to you will be protected from hackers and cybercriminals who might attempt theft. So, there will be no worries, and you’ll receive the fruits of your labor.
Follow Up Often
Your clients might be preoccupied with other matters, or they simply will overlook the invoices and bills you’ll send them. Some clients do that. Ask some people in the freelance business, and they’ll agree. In that case, you need to follow up with your clients as often as you can. Remember that in being a freelancer, you’re basically running a small business and earn a profit. To grow a business profit, you need to collect payments.
If you’re worried that following up your clients’ dues will irritate them, don’t be. You’re within your right, especially if your deals with them are stipulated on a contract.
Stop Working If Pay Is Not In
To stop working on a project if a client is not paying is among many freelancer benefits. You should take advantage of it. As a freelance, you need to manage your time and resources. Your time and resources should be spent on projects owned by clients who can pay you on time. Don’t use your assets on a project that can’t generate revenue for you. If your clients know that you’re not working on their projects because of their dues, they’ll be inclined to pay you asap.
Doing freelance at home is a great career path that grants a work-life balance. You’ll have more time with your family and doing the things you love. In terms of finances, you’ll be secure as you are right now with your current day job. Just remember the steps you need to take to ensure you’ll get paid by your clients. In doing so, freelancing will become your primary means of livelihood.