Money. It’s always a difficult topic right? Especially when you’re a freelancer waiting on pay cheques from clients. Not only is invoicing, accounting and (in the worst cases) chasing payments, stressful for freelancers – it’s also incredibly time consuming. These days, you can’t just ping over an email requesting the amount of money owed; your clients will have their own taxes to pay and will expect you to operate professionally – and invoice them.
Here at Jam Pan, we want to help our freelancers get paid as quickly and smoothly as possible. So, here are our top tips on getting paid as a freelancer.
Tip 1: Use technology to your advantage
You aren’t the first or the only freelancer who’s looking for ways to make accounting easier. For this reason there’s a plethora of free invoicing and accounting tools out there (and they’ll make your tax returns much easier too!) Some great invoicing and accounting software we’ve seen on the market include Zipbooks, Wave and Zoho Invoice – and they all have free versions.
Tip 2: Have the conversation at the start
Winning a new client is a super exciting time. We all know the euphoria felt after finally getting the green light after lengthy negotiations and proposal processes. But don’t let your excitement get in the way of laying down some ground rules. Agree payment terms and processes up front, in writing, before you start work. In fact, we’d recommend drafting a Statement of Work (SOW) – you can find tonnes of free examples on Google if you don’t know where to start. But be as granular as possible in your SOW – and don’t leave any room for assumptions.
Tip 3: Invoice on time
You should always make sure you send your invoices in a prompt manner. Not only does this mean the project/work you’ve completed is still fresh in the mind of your client, but it also sets a clear, professional precedent. You’ve invoiced promptly – you expect to be paid promptly, as per the terms on your invoice. The technology mentioned in tip 1 will really help with this, and will help you with getting paid as a freelancer.
Tip 4: Know your worth!
No – we aren’t about to get on our soapbox and tell you to charge more (we’re sure you’ve got your fees down to a fine art now!) But we often see freelancers worrying about annoying clients by chasing them. When your client has failed to pay promptly, and in line with the terms on your invoice – they’re falling short of their side of the deal. And you are well within your rights to chase them for payment. Depending on the size of the organisation, they may have an entirely separate finance team, but find the right person in the organisation and ask for payment.
Of course – it’s always important to remember your manners in these situations, and behave professionally. But chasing payment isn’t something you should be afraid to do if an invoice is outstanding. Large organisations have people whose job it is to chase payment on outstanding invoices – so it’s a known practice that businesses are used to!
Tip 5: Be aware of the other forms of payments
Most freelancers will assume they’ll receive payment through a simple bank transfer. But sometimes clients will ask if they can pay via credit or debit card. To speed up getting paid as a freelancer, it’s a good idea to offer clients the option of paying through Stripe or PayPal. But bear in mind that these sometimes come with a fee – so you must consider whether it’s really worth it.
Tip 6: Be ready for international clients
If you gain a client that’s outside your local area (which is becoming increasingly likely with remote work on the rise) – you need to consider two things:
- Only companies in the UK will need to have tax added to their invoice, IF you are VAT registered.
- You should include your IBAN number on your invoices, which is needed for international transfers (you can find this with your bank details usually!)
Now getting paid as a freelancer is a breeze…
If you’re an existing freelancer, we hope you find these tips useful if you’re struggling with receiving payment right now. And if you’re pondering the idea of becoming a freelancer, we hope this has cleared up any worries you may have about taking the plunge into the world of freelancing. But whether you’re a well-versed freelancer, or a complete newbie – Jam Pan are here to help. If you have any questions about being a successful freelancer, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.