How to make sure you get paid as a freelancer

Hi,

I am Pea, and I blog over at the ‘a working mum’s blog’. I am a first time mum and a ‘newbie’ in the world of parent blogging.

You can find me online, most days (and nights); tweeting, instagramming and catching up on the various Facebook ‘blog groups’ that I follow.

One subject that I keep seeing from other bloggers; is conversations about not ‘being paid on time,’ for freelance blog related work.

Making sure you get paid as a freelancer is one of the most stressful aspect of working for yourself! This is one of the reasons why I stopped my freelancing career and started a job in advertising seven years ago.

At that advertising job I gained a lot of experience working close to finance payable departments. I made myself responsible for making sure freelancers my team hired got paid. This experience helped me gain better understanding about how to make sure you get paid as a freelancer.

I don’t claim to know everything but hopefully the insight and experience I have gained will help some of you, and make the process of ‘chasing’ your money after the work has been delivered is a bit less stressful.

Here are my tips:

Due diligence: make sure you are ‘set up’ correctly with your clients finance team. Finance are the ones who will process your actual payment and they will therefore need you set up as a freelancer or supplier within their system/s. This process can take anything from 3 days to 2 weeks! You will save time by making sure your contact at the company has set you up properly to be paid once you hand in your invoice. So do this as soon as you can and don’t leave this for after your work has been completed.

Communicate your terms: Within most companies, payment terms are indicated to be processed within 30 days. If your payment terms are different; for example, if you need to be paid faster (say, 15 days), than you need to communicate that and confirm ahead.

This is equally important if jobs you are completing are likely to finish near or during a big holiday (Christmas, New Year and Easter). If you want to be paid before the holidays then communicate that in your terms.

Negotiate your terms: Most companies pay when work that was commissioned has been completed, however, you CAN negotiate that (if your terms are different). For example, it is not unusual to ask for a percentage (50% or less) of the payment upfront and the remaining after work has been completed. You won’t know until you give that a try!

Make it easy for your client/s to pay you: create your own business invoice. Most professional invoices are in created in excel.

A business invoice should include: an invoice number, date, invoice terms, your full contact details, client full details (including address), description with dates when service was delivered, total amount, and payment instructions.

(Always make sure you send your invoice in a format the receiver can open it in. This is especially important if you are a Mac or chrome user. Be safe and check or use the standard formats, like windows and pdf)

Don’t forget to invoice: Sounds simple but you would be amazed how often freelancers forget to do this! Try to send your invoice to your contact within 48 hours after work has been completed.

No shame in chasing: Don’t feel ashamed about chasing if payment is delayed despite your best efforts. There is nothing wrong with politely reminding and chasing! Stay factual, friendly and calm no matter how frustrated you might be feeling. Politeness will always get you further!

That’s all I’ve got to share on this subject. Have you got any tips or tricks to share? What is your experience invoicing and chasing for payment for blog work?

Written by

Pea is the editor at workingmumblog.com. She is a wife, 1st time mum and an experienced digital marketer with 7 years experience creating social media and community management strategies for brands in the UK, US and Europe. At workingmumblog.com Pea writes about how she copes with ‘managing’ a hectic work life while raising a young family in London. Workingmumblog.com is a lifestyle blog, and so Pea also ‘occasionally’ writes about beauty, fashion and anything else that comes with being a woman.

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