Getting paid as a freelancer may seem like a straight-forward task: make an invoice, send it off, and get paid. The truth is that it’s not that simple. Clients are frequently busy and forget, or perhaps your invoice was caught in a spam filter or drowned out by other emails.
Getting paid is all that matters, right? Well, not exactly. But when 63 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and have no emergency fund, a late payment can mean the difference between paying rent and eating.
Don’t lose hope though! In this article, I’m going to give you the information necessary so that you never have to worry about receiving a late payment as a freelancer again.
Send Invoices Immediately
Freelancers often overlook this step because they spend so much time and energy finishing the project. Sometimes they put it off for weeks or months! Then, clients wonder what they’re even being billed for.
The easiest solution is to simply write the invoices as soon as the project is completed. Remind yourself that you are not finished working until the invoice is emailed.
Set Due Dates
Some freelancers can be far too lenient with their due dates. Most people in the business world agree that 30 days is the professional standard, and that’s what most freelancers follow.
But sometimes, 30 days can be far too much time for a freelancer to wait to be paid, especially those with no savings! Sure, it’s nice, but it just gives customers more time to forget about paying.
I think freelancers should allow 15 days for clients to pay invoices. This adds a higher sense of urgency, so any clients who wish to avoid late fees will pay up.
Late fees should be charged by every freelancer. They demonstrate that you mean business and are not to be ignored or paid at their leisure. Late fees can even be used to earn extra money from clients who frequently pay late.
Late fees can be charged as a flat weekly or monthly rate, or as a percentage of the total bill. Be sure to discuss late fees with the client upfront when providing a quote so that there are no surprises later on.
Learn Client Payment Routines
Many of your regular clients probably have a billing schedule, whether it’s every Tuesday or at the beginning of the month. Knowing when they pay their expenses is crucial to making sure that you get paid faster.
If you know when their payment deadline is, you can be sure to send invoices ahead of time; you’ll get paid faster and your clients won’t have to wait unnecessarily for your invoice!
Send out Regular Reminders
Sometimes your invoices are simply drowned out by a slew of other emails. Or, clients are frequently overburdened and may simply forget to pay your invoice.
Sending out regular reminders is professional and preferable for clients who want to avoid late fees. I’d suggest sending out friendly reminders every 7 days to stay in your client’s mind.
If a client hasn’t paid and the due date is approaching, make a polite phone call to remind them. Phone calls are much more attention grabbing and immediate than emails. Frequently, you will receive a simple apology and a paid invoice.
Working on a Freelance Platform
Because of their simplicity and security, freelance platforms are a popular choice for newer freelancers. Clients are usually forced into escrow, which requires them to deposit sufficient funds before signing a contract.
However, as you gain freelancing experience, the fees from these platforms can significantly reduce your profits. They occasionally have strange rules for withdrawing funds and may even place a hold on your account for days or weeks.
Join a Freelancer Co-Op
One of the simplest ways to get paid is to join a freelancer cooperative. A freelancer cooperative streamlines the entire process by handling all billing and customer service. Through their marketing team, they can even bring in new clients.
While in a cooperative, you’ll never have to worry about being paid on time again. You’ll be paid immediately after the project is completed, and the cooperative will handle invoicing clients and sending payment reminders.
Freelancer cooperatives are frequently confused with agencies. Agencies can take up to 50% of your profits. Cooperatives, on the other hand, are a group of freelancers who work under one company. The company exists solely to support freelancers without taking away their profits.
Freelancer cooperatives charge a project management fee on client invoices in addition to a small freelancer fee to cover marketing and billing costs. These expenses are frequently offset by the increased productivity gained by freelancers working in a cooperative, since they can complete work faster and take on more clients.
If you’re interested in joining a freelancer cooperative, agency716 is currently accepting freelancers with absolutely NO fees, but only for a limited time. If you want to simplify your life and make sure you get paid on time, come join our freelancer cooperative now!