Late payouts are the biggest downside to freelancing. You just never know when you’re going to eat decent food again, sometimes (or even most of the time, if you’re unlucky). I’ve talked to a few other freelancers about this, and I find it unacceptable how delayed payments have become a “freelancer’s thing”. 

It is already hard enough to convince the people in the bank that your job is a legitimate source of income. Then deadbeat clients just make it even more impossible for institutions to believe that although your occupation is not as formal as a regular corporate job, you’re still a hired skilled worker.

Freelancers don’t have laws protecting them from these inconveniences and the rampant scams in the industry. What we can just do in our part is to avoid getting dodgy projects and some more preventive measures. What exactly are these preventive measures anyway? Allow me to share the 10 things I do to make sure I get paid on time as a freelance writer. 

Show Professional Worth

Many clients who don’t take freelancers’ payouts seriously are those who think freelancers are not professional, that we are just hired fillers for gaps they need fixing for their business. Professional worth is not even based on your credentials or achievements in your field.

It’s simply communicating with your clients the way a corporate worker would–polite, formal, and civil when it comes to negotiations. Do not respond to project requests like you’re an amateur who doesn’t know what they’re doing. I made that mistake when I was new in freelancing, and that client never paid a 6000-word project he still took ownership of. 

I was naive about the potential scams in freelancing then that I let that client get away with it. I also thought maybe I just wasn’t good enough as he said. Sooner, after more projects, I realized that if you don’t exhibit absolute confidence in this work, that’s when you’ll get hit. 

Make sure you learn everything you need to know about your field in the world of freelancing. That way, you cand handle these clients with that high self-esteem and complete knowledge of how things work. 

Research the Background of your Clients

I used to get my writing gigs from Craigslist, and many ads there don’t have sufficient information about the job or about the company or client asking for services. Never start creating a deal with a client whose background you haven’t researched yet. 

Make sure you know what you’re getting into–the character of the person who will be paying for you labor, the brand they are building, and the virtual space where you will be working. Your intuition can easily make conclusions from these aspects of the client. Once you feel that’s something off, even just a little, it’s always best to take a step back. 

Bill Up-Front

This is for freelancers who have outputs to produce with priced fixed rates. Bill up-front so you can have an agreement about what you should expect and what they should provide early on before the work starts. 

Some might think it’s rude, but real professionals will understand that it’s only fair. Make sure to keep this in mind as a good indicator of a reliable client or employee. 

Only Work With a Contract

It’s important to always have whatever you and your client agreed on in writing. This is the only protection you have in this unregulated industry. Here, you can specify payout dates, payment methods, work deadlines, and other necessary terms to be agreed on before proceeding to the work/employment part. 

Make It Easy for Your Clients to Send Payments

Most clients have their preferred payment methods, which they will kindly ask you to sign up for if you don’t have them yet. Still, it’s barely any way to maintain on-time payouts. What you need is a mutual agreement on this. 

Communicate your concerns on their preferred payment method if there are any. Better yet, post your skills on Rakuboss where the clients directly pay through the freelance job platform’s on-site payment system. They have a great range of partners like BPI, BDO, PNB, Metrobank, DragonPay, Western Union, 7 Eleven, and LBC. 

Publishing my online portfolio on this site (you can learn how to do that here) is game-changing. I get requests from different interesting clients and I feel secure with the payment system that ensures that all clients pay their hired freelancers. 

Never Continue Work Until the Previous Ones are Paid

I always tell my fellow freelancers that we are not traditional employees. That means we can always refuse to continue work if previous balances haven’t been paid out to us yet. This is the freelancing advantage we have to embrace. You have all the right to pause until your client finally pays the balance from your accomplished jobs. 

Last Tips

Nothing good ever comes easy, and the flexi-time we have with freelancing does come with issues like awful payments, unfortunately. Just make sure to follow these tips and check out Rakuboss so you can have a more convenient and secure freelancing experience. 

This platform serves as a community for Filipino freelancers. The site provides a wide reach and easy access to many freelancing opportunities from technical and creative skills to divination services. You don’t want to miss out on this chance to level up your freelancing game.