When working freelance, it can often become a worry of whether or not you are going to be paid on time for your work— even worse—paid at all. Unfortunately, content creators aren’t guaranteed a bi-weekly pay as a direct deposit like most of the population that have a regular 9-5 job. So the questions become: how do you manage this uncertainty and master the art of being paid on time as a content creator?
1. Be upfront with your expectations on payment once the deal is agreed upon.
A great way to establish your expectations when it comes to payment is being upfront and simply stating your needs. Once you and the brand/agency have come to terms with what is expected from you content wise, this is also a great time to provide a timeframe of when you need the payment to be processed and what forms of payment methods are best (cheque, PayPal, etc.). Some brands may have longer processing periods—which you cannot always control—but you can still ensure they process it as soon as possible by being upfront about it to create a sense of urgency.
2. Always establish a contract no matter how small the deal to ensure you’re paid on time.
Most collaborations usually have a contract that’s sent to you by the brand or their agency, which will ensure timely payment methods. However, not all collaborations are organized this way! According to an article from Forbes, you should set up a contract for every freelance job you do—no matter how small it is! There is no harm in setting up a simple written agreement yourself, that states when and how you will be paid upon completing your end of the work.
3. Be on time with your end of the deal.
With all that being said, to build up professionalism in order for the brand/agency to pay you on time, you also must fulfill your end of the deal by providing your content on time! There is nothing worse than being that content creator who is super late in getting your content posted, which really won’t help support your end in being paid on time.
4. Invoice right away.
As soon as your content is completed and your end of the deal is done, send over your invoice ASAP! It feels so much better knowing that you have done all you could in being prompt and timely on your end in order to get your payment as soon as possible.
5. Follow up.
Following up will have to be your best friend if you haven’t heard from the brand after completing your content. Unfortunately, everyone gets busy, and sending over your payment might not always be top of mind to the brand. Following up with a very direct and professional email will definitely help create the urgency.
6. Build a relationship/professionalism with the brand where you could eventually bill upfront.
After building a relationship with a brand and completing several collaborations, it is definitely okay to ask if you could bill upfront! Since you have proven your timeliness and professionalism in the past, the brand and you have created a mutual trust in knowing that by billing upfront, you will still fulfill the content side of the deal.
These tips are all useful when you’re freelancing on your own. Want to avoid all this hassle and have guaranteed payments, on-time, every time? Every collaboration you do with #paid ensures you get paid your full rate and payment dates are clearly outlined. Join #ThePaidCrew community and start working with world-class brands.
Natalie is a fashion/lifestyle influencer and freelance social media manager from downtown Toronto. You will most likely spot her shopping for the latest street-style trends or walking in the city with her mini wiener dog, Louie. On Instagram, she goes by @natalie.alysa. Natalie is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.