1. Write a contract and get it signed! The best way to get paid, is show them at the start you’re serious about getting paid! Lay out your terms in a contract and let the client know early what’s expected of them. I’ve had people not go ahead with projects because they thought my contract was too much. That for me was a sign they wouldn’t be a good client. You taking your work seriously isn’t a barrier to people who want to work with you and pay you what you’re worth. Write a contract that covers: • Who the agreement is between• The work involved• The cost • When you’ll get paid• What happens if the scope changes 2. Money up front If you aren’t doing this yet, do it nooooow! Why should you deliver work and wait for payment? If they wanna work with you they’ll have no problem putting money on the table to prove it. Some clients say they won’t pay until they’ve seen some work. In my experience, if they’re difficult about paying a bit up front then they’re likely to be difficult about other things too. If they intend to pay you and have money to do so, paying a percentage up front should not be a problem. 50% for small projects is fair, smaller percentage for bigger stuff. 3. Get paid in stages This one I learned the hard way. A 6 month project with a scope that creeped like the weirdos on Tinder. They hung the invoice over me to make sure I agreed to their nonsense without complaining too much. After that, I never let someone put me in that position again. If the project has multiple stages – and they generally do – tie the payments to those stages. Files aren’t delivered and work doesn’t begin on the next stage till they’re all paid up. Try 40% up front with 3 payments of 20% to be paid before any work is sent out. 4. Stop work! If you’re working on multi-stage projects, the first reaction to late payments is to stop working. It might feel weird but it’s the best tool you have to get them to pay. If they want your service, they want the deadlines met then they have to pay you. That’s how business works. You can be nice about it, be gentle in the way you tell them, but make sure they know, if payments aren’t up to date you ain’t working on their project. There’s nothing faster than a payment after you tell a client you’re stopping work till they’re up to date with their debts. 5. Pre-write your emails You get those nerves when you’re sending out an invoice as if you’re asking for a favour? This will fix that! I used to hate sending out invoices because I didn’t know what to write. What tone should I use? What should I include? Do I need to say please? When I prewrote my emails it totally changed my approach. Clients get the same email every month, invoices get paid on time and I don’t feel weird asking for money. Steal mine! I have attached the invoice for [project]. The payment details are included on the invoice, please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you. I'm looking forward to getting more good work done together soon. 6. Debt collectors No one wants this but it’s gotta be an option. Every minute you spend chasing invoices your profit on that job decreases. There has to come a time when you pass it off to someone else to deal with so you can get on with earning money with clients who respect the process. Hopefully you’ll never had to go this far but I know just the person to call if it does. I’m not talking Tony Soprano round someones house, y’know keep it legal! 7. Save time and money with a payment process! Like a Megazord you can combine all of these tips into a process to make sure you get paid! Processes are something you do once, use lots and tweak when necessary. It takes all the emotion out of dealing with payments so you can do what you have to without worrying about it. Making a payment process including all these tips, you’ll save yourself time and money. And best of all, you’ll get more invoices paid on time. Who doesn’t want that?

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