When we talk about making money online, whether it’s by offering freelance writing services, virtual assistant services, website design, eCourses, coaching or consulting, whatever you want to offer, there is one thing we don’t often talk about.
I mean asking for payment, collecting money, making sure you get paid on time. All of that fun shit that goes along with selling services and getting paid for them.
And the truth is, a lot of us don’t like to talk about it because it’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward. We don’t like asking for money. And I think deep down, when we have trouble asking for payment, it’s because we secretly feel like we may not be worth it.
Think about it, when you’re confident about something, and know you deserve something, do you quiet your voice or shy away from the topic? Hell no! So why do we do it when it comes to getting paid for our services and products?
So first thing: What you’re putting out or thinking of creating, it’s worth it. YOU are worth it.
You are worth being compensated for your time and effort.
Don’t ever, for a second, doubt that!
Okay, rant over.
However, no matter how confident you are, asking for money is still pretty uncomfortable.
So here’s a few tips to make it less weird.
Have a contract. This is crucial. When you have a contract from the get-go that clearly states all your payment expectations; like how much you should get paid, any deposits or upfront payments, when you will invoice, when that invoice should get paid, any expectations for your services, any consequences or fees if your client pays late, etc; it really makes it so much easier to make sure you get paid when the service is completed.
Collect payment upfront. This might be the best option, especially for new clients. Because you have no history with a new client, and know nothing about them. You don’t know if they will pay immediate or make you wait 30 days, or worse, ghost on you completely.
And I know, it can be hard to ask for money even before you’ve done anything. Like, why should people pay you when you haven’t shown them you are worth it? But if you have proof (reviews, testimonials, samples, etc.) that’s good enough to prove to them that you are worth the money.
Another benefit of getting paid upfront- clients are more serious. They have money invested already so they are more likely to communicate with you through the process and respond to you promptly.
Not willing to collect it all upfront? Collect at least a deposit.
Keep in touch throughout the process. If you’re not collecting money upfront, keep in touch with your client throughout the entire process. Actually, this tip works no matter if you get paid upfront or not. But it’s especially important if you’re not collecting money beforehand.
Not only does it help you make sure you’re staying on track with what your client wants (nothing sucks more than completing something and realizing your client changed their mind or it’s not right and you have to redo it. Like f$%k me), it also keeps them responding and keeps you in front of their mind. Which you want. You don’t want them to forget about you and the awesome work you do.
Have a payment plan. This is a great idea if your service is a large investment. This allows you to spread the payment out over time for the client. However, make sure the service is also spread out over time too. The last thing you want is to deliver everything before you’re completely paid. Because there are going to be some assholes that decide to stop paying because they’ve gotten what they want. It’s not right, but it happens.
Give them different ways to pay. Sometimes people hold off paying simply because they are waiting for funds in their PayPal or bank account. So make it easy for them to pay by offering multiple ways to pay you. Accept cash, checks, bank transfers and credit card payments in addition to PayPal.
Send invoices right away. For ongoing work, you will likely have a set payment schedule. Send your invoices on the dates you state. You’re setting the tone for getting paid. If you send them out late, your client will think it’s okay to pay late. For single jobs, send those invoices asap.
Bonus tip: If you want to get paid immediately for ongoing work, consider finding out when your client’s payment schedule is, and aligning your invoices accordingly.
Offer an incentive for upfront or early payments. No one really wants to discount their work. But on the other hand, no one wants to risk not getting paid at all. If you can afford to discount your prices a bit, consider offering a small discount for early or upfront payments. Alternatively, you can consider raising your prices a bit, so you can comfortably discount them. Sneaky right?
For most of us who use our blog to sell services, asking for payment isn’t the most fun conversation to have. In fact, it can sometimes feel downright scary. But it doesn’t have to be! Use these tips to help you get paid, and get paid on time.