Chasing down brand payments is undoubtedly one of the least fun parts of being a creator. It may feel awkward or even unprofessional to reach out and inquire about late payments, but it’s unfortunately just something you’ll have to get used to as a small business owner. You’ve worked hard to meet the brand’s expectations and deadlines, so it’s only fair that the brand follow through with a timely payment as well. Here are our tips on what to do when a brand is late with payment.
Set expectations ahead of time.
Once a collaboration with a brand is confirmed, make sure you read the contract to see when you should expect to be paid, and if you’re unhappy with the terms, remember that you can always negotiate! If the brand doesn’t create a contract for you, you can always create one yourself outlining all of the terms and expectations for both parties. Having everything in writing is important so you have a document to reference later on if things don’t go according to plan.
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Be timely with your invoice.
Forward your invoice to the brand as soon as you’ve completed your deliverables; or if they’ve requested it, as soon as you’ve signed the contract. If you want to get paid on time, you need to make sure the brand has the right tools and information to follow through on their end. Be sure to include any relevant information they may need, i.e. breakdown of the services you provided, preferred method of payment, etc.
Follow up with the brand.
Brands have humans behind them! Remember, everyone makes mistakes. Maybe someone forgot to forward your invoice to the accounting team, or perhaps you missed an imperative step outlined in your contract and need to revisit the campaign. If a brand is late with payment, remain professional and polite to avoid any potential misunderstandings. Try and get to the root of the problem before jumping to conclusions. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your working relationship.
If time continues to pass and they still have not settled their debt, be firm and straightforward. You’ve provided a service and deserve to be paid in a timely manner. If all else fails, consult with a trusted legal professional on how to move forward.
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