Today we want to share 5 steps to get you paid as a freelancer. Freelancer roles are becoming more and more popular as people want a more flexible way of working. Instead of working for a company and having to work certain hours, you can work for yourself. Go out and find new customers, set your own rates and set your own hours.
Freelancing has many benefits, but it also comes with a few concerns. In the first place, you may be concerned about being paid for your work. Some freelancers wait months before seeing client money. In extreme scenarios, you may not get paid at all.
However, these problems usually affect new freelancers. Why? Because you don’t know what steps to go through to make sure you always get paid as quickly as possible. So follow these tips to avoid being chased away by dodgy customers:
Every freelancer should set up some basic freelancer contracts to give to clients when services are offered. They don’t have to be fancy, they are basically an arrangement that the customer pays for your services.
You must state on your contract:A full description of the work you do A timeline describing when the work is due How much you will charge for the project When you expect to be made How the client can pay
If you send this in and have the customer sign it – together with you – you have created a legally binding document. This can be used as proof if the customer doesn’t pay you or tries to drag the payment way past the originally scheduled date.
Create and send invoices
Invoices are used to show customers exactly how much they owe and when to pay you. If you don’t send an invoice, a customer may claim that they didn’t know how much the final invoice would be. They might claim that they are waiting for you to send the invoice their way, which is why they have not paid.
If you do business online, you can use invoicing software to help you send automated emails to customers once work is completed. You can also download a professional invoice template and send it to the customer yourself. In either case, make sure your bill dictates exactly what’s due, when they’re due, and how they can pay.
Follow up if you don’t hear back
Sending your first invoice isn’t always enough to get customers to pay you. You will often be paid quickly after the invoice has been sent. Difficult customers, however, may try to drag things out for as long as possible.
Sometimes this is not done maliciously or with the intent to scam you. The customer may be a company with cash flow problems, and they fear that if they pay you now, they will have money problems. It’s a good idea to send follow-up emails to remind them of payments for two reasons.
One: it gives some customers a friendly reminder, which can encourage them to pay you. It’s very possible that they just forgot because they’ve been so busy.
Two: it allows you to enter into a dialogue with the customer and agree on a later payment date if necessary.
If they still don’t pay, keep pestering them until the money comes your way. Since they’ve signed a contract, you can threaten legal action if things get out of hand and they don’t pay you.
Implement a simple payment system
Make it easy for customers to pay you. For example, accept payments via bank transfers or other convenient and common means. PayPal is always popular among freelancers because it is so easy for customers to use. They just need your PayPal email address and the money will be sent in an instant.
This also helps if you have customers all over the world. PayPal – and other payment systems – are universal, so you can get paid in any currency and receive the money instantly. Make your customers’ lives easier and you should see faster payments.
Another method of making sure you get paid is by charging customers in advance. This may not appeal to some customers, but there is a way to get more by selecting this method. Easily discount your prepayment services!
They pay you upfront so you feel safe, and they take advantage of a discount. With these steps, you can get paid by your customers with minimal hassle. Of course, there is one important step to be brief about. Your life will be a lot easier if you research your clients before agreeing to projects. See if they are legit, see if there are reports from other freelancers about withheld payments. If you’re confident you’re doing business with a trusted customer, you’re less likely to get paid.
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