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5 Ways to Get Paid Faster as a Freelancer

Written by on June 12, 2017

To the average freelancer, getting paid faster is one of the top concerns.

It is widely known that freelancing has lots of difficult aspects to it, such as a lack of health insurance, stable income, socialization, and much more.

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When you add in the fact that the average business waits 72 days for payment, it can become overwhelming. This is especially true seeing as freelancers (and most Americans) are living paycheck-to-paycheck, meaning if you don’t get paid on time, you can face some problems.

There are some measures you can take, however, to make sure you get paid on time. Today we’ll look at the 5 best ways for freelancers to get paid faster.

Set late payment fees

When you create your terms and conditions, you should be sure to create a section that specifically details the charges or penalties for clients paying late.

These can be as simple as a percentage of the entire project (for example, 2%-10% for every month the client is late). It can also be just a flat fee that adds up as the time goes by.

You should also emphasize these payment terms when you create your quote or estimate for your client, when you first discuss it. You should clearly state what is expected of the client as far as payment is concerned. This is especially beneficial for avoiding surprises and challenges later on.

When your client sees the payment fees, it will communicate that you are a professional and that your time and services are valuable. This will help you get paid faster.

Send invoices faster

The surest way to get paid faster is to send out your invoices faster.

This is a problem with many freelancers, especially those in the creative or design areas. And it is quite understandable.

They spend a lot of time and energy on creating great products and services for their clients. In fact, they do it so intensely, that they may end up suffering anywhere from light stress to serious burnout. Because of that, they feel absolutely drained right after finishing the project and probably don’t want to look at it or think about it for at least a week.

And that’s where the problem comes in. They put it off for so long that they end up sending it two weeks, a month, even three months late. And therefore they don’t get paid quickly enough.

The best thing to do is to create and send your invoices immediately after you (or even before) you’ve finished the project. Although this may seem like a chore, with online invoicing software you can create and send your invoices in just 60 seconds. That helps take away the pain of filling out documentation and helps you get paid faster.

The most important advice is to use online invoicing software
Online invoicing software can help you send out invoices much faster so you can get paid much faster

Minimize due date

One mistake that many freelancers make is that they are too liberal with their payment due dates.

It’s common practice for freelancers to set their due date as 30 days. This means that the client has 30 days from receipt of the invoice to pay. While this may seem professional and that it is allowing the client the appropriate space, that is just not the case.

What is in fact happening is that you allow the client to push it to the back of his mind. This is a big problem because all clients are busy. Things happen, other things become higher priority and they simply forget about you.

It is thus recommended to decrease the amount of time to just 14 days. This will help get the ball rolling faster, making it more urgent for your client to pay. It also allows you to add on payment charges more quickly and use that as a motivation to get paid faster.

Send interesting invoices

One of the reasons, as I mentioned above, that freelancers don’t get paid faster is because clients are just too busy. They simply forget. This is not for all cases, but it happens for most cases.

This forgetfulness causes freelancers to be paid much later than they naturally should. One of the reasons is that there is nothing particularly memorable about the invoice you sent. It’s just another gray, black or blue document. It’s unfortunate that it looks exactly like all the other documents on your client’s desk.

For this reason, you should spend time on creating more interesting, unique, personal invoices. Of course, this takes time as well, unless you’re using online invoicing software. InvoiceBerry has a wide range of attractive invoices, and you can find many styles to fit your personality.

InvoiceBerry has lots of great invoice templates you can choose
InvoiceBerry has lots of great invoice templates you can choose from

There are even free invoicing templates for download in different formats: Word, Excel, OpenOffice, InDesign, Photoshop, PDF and GIMP.

Whatever you do, make sure that your invoices are interesting enough to catch and keep your client’s attention.

Chase late payers

Lastly, because of your client’s forgetfulness, no matter what you do, you just might not get paid on time. Even with your timely, beautiful invoice, your clear terms and conditions and payment terms, they’ll just forget. Or, even worse, they’ll put off payment until a later date.

In any case, it’s your responsibility then to make sure you get payment from them. You will have to chase your late payers.

One of the best ways to do that is to send polite email reminders to your forgetful clients. Often, one polite email is all it takes to remind them of their financial responsibility. You’ll get an apology and get paid faster. Send your email the day after the client has passed the due date.

However, even that may not be enough, and you’ll have to send a second polite email or, even better, place a phone call. The call is much more effective, seeing as you’ll grab their attention immediately and won’t leave them space to forget again. Do it politely, as always, and you’ll see your invoices get paid faster and faster.

The best ways to get paid faster

These are some of the best tips we’ve come across to make sure you get paid faster. Remember, it is much easier to take care of your invoices good online invoicing software such as InvoiceBerry.

When you take charge of your finances, you’ll get paid much faster and succeed much more quickly.

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