Complications with getting paid, or client non-payment, are common problems among freelancers. Without an advance payment strategy, a client could leave you with bills and financial complications. This is why it is extremely necessary that you set up a plan that leaves you with a payment in advance.
Working independently, as you do in freelance, you have to think ahead of what you may need in order to receive the money you charge for your work. If you develop a good strategy to manage your clients in a professional manner, freelancing can be a dream come true. On the other hand, if you don't have an effective plan, it can be a real nightmare. So you don’t only have to think about yourself and what you need, but also have to think ahead of problems that your client may have that will affect their payment schedule; for example, poor communication, their payday, etc.
The worst case scenario for any freelancer is that the client does not pay at all. Clients often find cheap labor because they are too busy with business or personal matters and do not think of the freelancer that is doing all the work. That is why it is so important to find out how to ask for advance payments that will save you from possible conflicts and delays in your income.
How to request payment in advance and make it a success with customers
Advance payments is one very important aspect related to trust between the client and the freelancer, so why not make the request for an advanced payment part of a strategy to improve the client’s profile? That is to say, stop thinking about charging an advance payment for your as a last resort and start considering it as a necessity to develop high quality projects and include in all your contracts. It should be thought of one of the priorities that your client has to accept to in order to work with you.
Here are some ways to develop a good strategy for managin advance payments:
Establish upfront payment conditions
Before presenting yourself as a candidate for freelance projects, you must assess and analyze the characteristics of the services offered and the economic needs to develop each project (material, equipment, resources, training, etc.).
Each freelancer knows their business and should know what expenses they will face before even starting the project. Some of the options to establish how the payment will be made and what percentage or amount will be paid in advance could be:
- Set a specific amount regardless of the total amount of the budget.
- Establish a percentage of the total budget
- Requesting payment in advance of the estimated cost of the resources needed to develop the project.
- Propose a system of payments in several phases (one part in advance, one in the middle of the project and another at the end, or similar).
Indicate that you want payment in advance from the beginning.
Once the client has decided to accept working with the freelancer, it is time to indicate the conditions. Along with the budget and the delivery time, it is necessary to point out that the payment is made in advance and what are the terms of this payment.
The best thing to do is to comment it naturally, showing that it is a regular part of the hiring process.
Collaboration document and terms and conditions
There cannot be a freelance-client relationship without a contract. We cannot state this enough. This collaboration contract includes all the obligations and rights of both parties, and in which it is specified that the payment will be made by advancing a part of the money, and indicating the concrete terms of this advance. This will help create a professional image of the freelancer and to provide protection for both parties. In fact, consider it a red flag when a client denies a contract or simply does not ask for it.
Needless to say, makes sure that before sending the collaboration contract the client is already informed about the most important contents, such as payment in advance, conditions in case of cancellation by the client, and what happens if the freelancer does not meet the deadlines.
Issue an invoice as soon as the client has accepted the project.
Once the client has signed the collaboration contract, it is time to issue the invoice for the total amount of the project. In the remarks it should be indicated that an advance payment will be made, specifying the amount or percentage to be paid as a guarantee.
In the case of multiple payments, the date or period of each payment shall be indicated. The amounts to be paid on each occasion should also be specified.
Some extra tips for requesting advance payments
Advance payment can help create an image of a professional who knows their work and the value of the activity they develop, but it is only a part of it. The professional brand is built above all with quality work, meeting deadlines and conditions with each client, with training and experience applied to each project, etc.
Make sure the client is clear about it
Last minute changes or hidden information (not saying anything about the payment method until the contract is sent, for example) are not liked by clients. Such strategies detract from professionalism and undermine the trust the client has placed in the freelancer. In the worst case, they can make the client decide not to continue with the project. Therefore, it is better to make sure that the client has all the information about the payment method clear.
One of the keys to online freelance business is good written communication management, including proof that information has been sent and received. In other words, wherever possible, emails and other written communications should be kept. Written communications show that the customer accepted the terms of payment. And, of course, it is important to store the collaboration contract correctly.
Perhaps it's time to start changing the way you manage collections and to make advance payment to clients a necessary part of developing the project with the quality that clients are looking for and expect.
Use a payment platform that manages advanced payments
Payment platforms such as Crema help freelancers receive payments in advanced in case clients are falling behind. If you charge your clientes using Crema, you can choose the Multiple Payments Gig and choose a porcentage of the total to be paid in advanced. But, in case that you choose a Single Payment Gig, no worries, we can pay you in advance, and when the client pays, the debt will be paid. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well believe it! Our vision is to help freelancers make their lives easier, which is why if you need the money, we will give it to you beforehand. Start now and reep the benefits!