How Can Freelancers Get Paid By Clients Faster?

As a freelancer, it’s important to set yourself up to be financially secure.

This starts with things like living below your means and properly tending to your taxes.

How Can Freelancers Get Paid By Clients Faster?

If you want fast payments, you have to set the stage on your end before you begin requesting them.

However, you also need to make sure that you’re getting a steady influx of cash.

Here are a few tips to ensure that you aren’t just earning enough income, but you’re also getting paid by your clients in a timely manner.

Set Things Up Your End

The battle to be paid in a timely manner by your clients starts with you.

If you want fast payments, you have to set the stage on your end before you begin requesting them.

This starts with basics, like setting up a bank account that is separate from your personal finances. This can be a huge help in keeping things organized.

It’s also wise to create a rock-solid invoicing system.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make sure that your invoices have:

  • An invoice number and/or purchase order number;
  • Description and price of services;
  • Contact info for both you and your client;
  • Payment terms and taxes (if applicable.)

In addition, avoid common mistakes, such as creating errors on your invoices, leaving fields incomplete, and sending invoices too late.

Accept Different Forms of Payment

Another area to address before you start sending invoices is the forms of payment that you’ll accept.

If you’re like most freelancers, you’re going to have the payment methods that you prefer.

However, the more options you can offer, the easier it will be to work with different clients.

From Zelle to Venmo, PayPal to direct deposits, wire transfers to paper checks, consider what payment methods you are comfortable using.

Try to set up as many as you reasonably can and then order them by personal preference.

That way, if you have a choice you can pick an option that you prefer, but if your client only has certain options available, you can accommodate them.

Communicate Early and Often

Communication is a key part of freelancing, and it impacts timely payments as much as anything else.

If you want to get paid fast, you need to communicate early and often with your clients.

This starts right at the beginning.

When you’re onboarding a new client, pursue the right things as you close the deal. For example, make sure to:

  • Use a contract that clearly delineates terms of payment;
  • Tailor things to the needs of your client to ensure they can pay you on time;
  • Figure out who the decision-maker is if you’re working with a larger organization.

By proactively going over the details from the beginning, you ensure that the wheels are greased to speed along payments when the time comes.

Be Bold and Responsible as a Freelancer

As you communicate with your clients, make sure to be both bold and responsible when it comes to finances.

Regarding boldness, don’t be afraid to ask questions and make reasonable requests.

For instance, if a client is paying you with PayPal and you want to avoid the fees, reach out and politely ask if they’re willing to pay via direct deposit.

If they can, you’ll be glad you asked.

If they can’t, you can continue working with your existing system.

When it comes to responsibility, it’s hard to expect clients to be timely with their payments if you, yourself, don’t respect commitments and deadlines. Make sure to hold up your end of the deal throughout your professional relationship.

One of the best ways to do so is to create a competent commitment tracking system to stay organized. Organization is one of the most important soft skills that a freelancer can have, as it enables you to stay aware of your responsibilities at all times.

Get Into a Rhythm

Finally, once you have everything set up, try to get into a solid rhythm with each client.

Set up recurring reminders to invoice at the right times. Keep your invoices up to date, complete, and error-free.

Deliver each and every project in full and on time.

Communicate often, as well, and make sure your clients can expect a request for payment like clockwork.

The freelance world is known for its flexibility, but this isn’t always a positive.

If you want to be paid predictably and on time, do your best to infuse your financial activity with a high level of steadiness and constancy.

This sets the tone for your clients to respond with fast, on-time payments.

Getting Paid Quickly and Efficiently as a Freelancer

Discussions around freelancer finances tend to focus on topics like paying taxes, attracting clients, and getting paid what you’re worth.

But actually receiving the money that you’ve earned is another topic that should be carefully considered.

From setting the stage beforehand to agreeing to clear terms with clients to maintaining communication and consistency, make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to keep that cash flowing into your coffers in a steady manner.

Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he's learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work.

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