Press "Enter" to skip to content

Quick Tips For Freelancers: Getting Paid!

Your business can only run smoothly when you’re getting paid and cash is flowing in and out. Unfortunately, sometimes clients aren’t keen to shell out the money they owe you even though it’s way past time.

Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid all this? To get the money you’re owed without all the fuss and hair-pulling?

Well, there actually are a few things you can do to streamline the process of getting paid so your business can grow and you can pay your bills.

1. Contracts are Vital

Let’s face it: if you don’t have a contract in place, you don’t really have any leg to stand on when a client ditches you. You can yell at them until you’re blue in the face but if there’s nothing legal there you can’t really go after them when they’re late or even if they disappear.

So contract up! Docracy has many popular commercial contracts to choose from. This document actually protects both parties, so unless the client is planning on being a deadbeat they should have no reason to fight the inevitable. To aid quick payment, be as specific as possible with every detail, especially when it comes to money. Detail payment terms, what form of payments you’ll accept, and consequences for late or non-payment.

2. Accept Multiple Forms of Payment

How many times have you heard “Do you take so and so as payment? No? Hmmm, I’ll have to figure it out later.” If your client pays all of their bills a certain way – say via a business credit card – you don’t want to be the squeaky wheel who demands that they go out of their way to pay you in another form. So while you may already take PayPal, some clients won’t have that option and would like to pay you with a credit card directly. Plus, once you open this option, you can take on other clients who would like to pay with cards, too. Sign up for a free WePay account and start accepting credit cards in your small business. It’ll broaden your horizons and get you paid faster, too.

3. Require a Deposit

You want to get paid and the client wants their work done right. How do you ensure everybody walks away happy?

Requiring a client put down a deposit before you start the work ensures they’re actively invested in the business relationship. It also gives you more of an obligation to finish the work the best you can so you can get the rest of the payment. Deposits solve the conundrum above so both parties leave happy.

There’s something to be said about the power of numbers. If you’re in business by yourself sometimes it can feel like you’re on your own with no help at all. The truth is, however, that you have other people around you willing to help.

For example, the Freelancers Union exists primarily to let freelancers know they have friends out there. They’ll represent you when times are tough and help you with other matters, both legal and otherwise. Check out their “World’s Longest Invoice, a tool they’re using to advocate for independent workers’ rights to get paid.

What safeguards do you have in place to ensure you always get paid?

Carol Bush
Carol Bush

I am a Coach & Mentor to High Performing Health Writers. I co-host The Savvy Scribe Podcast and champion #PlainLanguageWriting.

View all posts

One Comment

  1. Carol–I heartily recommend that any nurses providing writing/editing/blogging and similar skills join the Editorial Freelancers Association. Everything from specific biz info (e.g., what to look for in a contract) to simple chats (anyone else freezing on this wintry day?) can be asked/answered. Great place for contract and payment procedures for independent editorial consultants. I’m been a leader in their health/science writers/editors for years (even chaired a group once) and I heartily recommend. Best place for biz advice, not just clinical classes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

I help health brands create authoritative, well-written and well-aligned content. That’s it. Health writing changes lives.