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Freelancers: get paid on time and stop chasing checks

Freelancers: get paid on time and stop chasing checks

By Laurent Perrier

Did you know that more than 75% of our invoices are paid within 24 hours? 29% of them are even paid in less than 60 seconds!

With millions of dollars paid every month on our platform, I've learned a thing or two about getting invoices paid in record time.

Unfortunately a lot of freelancers seem to make it hard on purpose for clients to pay them. Your clients are busy and they will procrastinate on paying you if the process is not fast and easy for them.

Let's explore a few easy ways you can simplify your invoicing process so clients are incentivized to pay you faster.

Accept credit cards payments

Accepting credit cards is a big one. Clients are used to paying with a credit cards for almost everything because it's convenient. They can also earn travel points or cash back which is another good incentive.

If most of your invoices are under $1,000 you should accept credit card payments for everything. Unless your client has an accounting department, they probably dread mailing checks.

You could also be losing clients to competitors by not accepting credit card payments. If you're worried about the 3% processing fee, you can raise your prices by a few percent to offset the cost.

I've had clients knowingly pay 25% more for the exact same service because I would charge their credit card automatically and the freelance contractor I outsourced the work to would require them to pay by check.

While pulling out a credit card to pay an invoice is easier than mailing a check, you can make it even easier for your regular clients to pay by saving their payment information and charging them automatically.

Ask for a credit card upfront

When you're working with new clients, you can ask for their credit card information upfront before and save it to their file. It won't ensure you'll get paid because cards can expire or not have funds available by the time you try charge them but it should give you some some security.

If you don't trust a new client, you can ask for a security deposit though some clients may feel insulted. I wouldn't recommend asking for deposits unless it's common practice in your industry.

Work on a retainer

Working on a retainer means clients pay you upfront for a block of time. It can be a few hours or a week, but the idea is that you only work on prepaid time. You can renew the retainer before the prepaid time ends to ensure there's no interruptions.

Change your payment terms

There is no reason to offer clients 30 days to pay you. You should ask for payment right away and let clients pay you as fast as they can. It's not your responsibility to lend clients money for 30 days.

Payment terms such as net 30 or net 60 are enablers of late payments. Clients will open your invoice, see that it's not due for a while and forget about it until you send them a late payment reminder.

The bottom line

The easier you make it for clients to pay, the faster you'll get paid. Credit cards help a lot with faster payments and saving payment information takes it a step further. Getting paid upfront is the ultimate guarantee.