The thrill of the first job as a freelancer wears off pretty quickly if you’re not paid. In fact, all of the benefits of self-employment diminish when cashflow is slow or non-existent. Here are 5 tips for getting paid.
1. Don’t work for nothing – no matter what
Giving freebies isn’t a path to financial independence. When you work for free (volunteer, charitable work is the obvious exception), you’re telling the world what the value of your work is. Set a rate, agree woth the client and invoice promptly.
2. Value your work
When you work for a low rate, like the $25 per story things you see on many job boards these days, your resigning yourself to a life of hard labour, frustration and poverty. When you take a job for low pay you’re telling the client that’s what your work is worth.
3. Make sure the client knows you’re getting paid
Even if the client is a friend, make sure that they know you’re not working for free. It’s better to be frank and open about the pay rate and timing than to get into a nasty argument later.
4. Make your invoice crystal clear
How do you expect to be paid if the client can’t work out where to send the money? Make sure that your invoice clearly
- shows your company name
- the services you’ve provided and the price
- all of the legal tax stuff you need to include. In Australian this means having the words “Tax Invoice” printed on the invoice as well as your ABN
- payment details including bank account details, Paypal address (if you use it), due date and contact details in case there’s a problem