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Top 7 Tips to Ensure You Get Paid for Your Freelance Work!

Dec 13, 2017
(updated: Dec 5, 2022)
Max 5 min read

If you've ever been in a difficult situation with a client where you're just not getting paid or want to completely avoid that, make sure to follow these 7 tips gathered from countless freelancers on the top things they do to ensure they get paid for their freelance work!

1. Get a signed contract by both parties BEFORE you start working

This isn’t because you don’t trust your clients (well, ever so often it might be), but good business often involves covering your own ass! If the client’s planning on paying you, they won’t take any issue with signing a standard contract.

2. Make sure all deliverables are included in the contract

The last thing you want to deal with is a client asking for additional work, and expecting it to be part of the agreed upon price. If you clearly define all of the deliverables at the start (and detail them out explicitly in the contract), there’s no risk of them trying to tack on more work for no additional money.

3. Revisions, revisions, revisions

Another item we can’t stress enough - define how many revisions you’ll provide for the agreed upon sum, and make sure to align on the fact if the client tries to go over the confirmed amount you’ll have to charge $/hour for the additional work.

4. Always ask for a portion of your payment up front

Not only does this minimize the chance of a client not coming through with payment, but it keeps them invested throughout the entire process as they now have skin in the game. Also, if the gig includes any rentals or contract work, you’re covered! A 50% deposit is standard practice.

5. Make sure the client has your payment information before you start

Don’t give your client any excuse to claim they’re not sure how to pay you. Confirm your rate, while giving them multiple options for compensation. Also, be sure to align with the actual person who’ll be completing the payment, as it may not be who you communicate with day to day!

6. Send your invoice promptly 

We’re the first to admit we’ve been guilty of sending out an invoice late, and there’s no one to blame but ourselves. Make sure to send out invoices right away to maintain professionalism and get that money! If you could use a free invoice generator, we've got you covered.

7. Follow-up

If your client still owes you money, follow-up with three calls. Be professional, polite, but firm. If they’re still not paying, we say this may be a case for lawyering up! Have your representation send a letter from their offices to show you really mean business.

Review this list before you sign anything and see if you've covered all your bases. These tips will help ensure you’re able to focus solely on your talent, rather than feeling like a full-time collection agency!

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