November 6, 2020

The challenges of not getting paid

As a freelancer it is inevitable that you will have some challenges not getting paid. The anxiety of this can be amplified by the precarious nature of gig work itself.  If you are shifting from full-time work to freelance work, the lack of a steady paycheck will feel weird at first.  You may experience feelings of inadequacy and failure, but that is normal...really!

A couple things to consider in getting paid:

  1. Make sure you outline your terms in a project contract
  2. Don't be afraid to talk about payment on calls with the client.  The client is often working in a different group that pays you (often accounting, finance or accounts payable) and they may not actually know the right contacts.  It may require them to make a few calls or e-mails on your behalf
  3. Try to send invoices when you say you will.  It's a good practice to send follow-up e-mails as well ("Hey I'm just following up on this.  Let me know if you have any questions" works well most of the time)
  4. Use a good invoicing software.  I recommend Stripe mostly because it is easy, seems to always work and offers seamless integration with credit cards and bank transfer.

You can see an example of creating an invoice in Stripe here as well as other thoughts on getting paid