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how to make sure you get paid as a freelancer

How To Make Sure You Get Paid As A Freelancer: Full-Proof Process

Have you asked the question “how to make sure you get paid as a freelancer?”

Being a freelancer is becoming more and more popular day by day.

The main reason behind it is that you are in charge of everything,.

You are independent and can work on whatever and whenever you like to.

Being self-employed is also a big step into becoming a businessman.

As mentioned above, one of the perks of freelancing is working on our own.

This means there is no billing department to call.

So how could a starting freelancer make sure he or she gets paid?

This article will discuss a guide on how to make sure you get paid as a freelancer.

First Steps To Freelancing

Choose A Platform Or A Website Carefully

There are many platforms for freelancers, which is exactly why we should choose where to sign up and apply for a job carefully. 

The first and adequate step to take would be asking other freelancers for the right website.

In case you don’t have connections with any self-employed individuals, there is always another way – searching online. 

Nowadays, in the era of technology, it is always easy to find desirable information.

After finding some websites, it would be appropriate to see some reviews and other people’s opinions about the platform. 

Everyone must read the website’s policy, how it works, terms of partnership and payment methods, forums established in communities, etc.

For questions, go to the section “Help and Support” to post them.

Upwork is one of the popular sites nowadays.

We think it is the most comfortable and trustworthy platform.

Upwork is offering employees and clients the safest environment and lots of choices, which leads to the fastest services and the biggest market for employers and employees.

How does the system of the platform work?

To become a freelancer, you should apply as one.

After signing up, you will choose an area of your work and opportunities to take some jobs.

You have to send proposals to employers and wait for their answer.

The more successful you are on projects, the more likely they are willing to hire you.

On Upwork, all the invoices and payments happen through their platform.

There are hourly and fixed-priced jobs for which there are different kinds of payments.

Payments could be made in lots of ways, and all of them are safe.

Advantages Of Being A Freelancer

  • Free working schedule
  • The economy of time and money
  • High income
  • Stability
  • Feeling free
  • Comfort
  • Being able to work and travel or do any of your hobbies simultaneously
  • Taking the first steps to becoming a businessman

Selecting The Right Employer

Even after signing up on the adequate platform and being eager to work, it is never good to rush.

Being a freelancer, especially a newbie, is not as easy as it seems to be.

First of all, you have to get known to the system pretty well to be successful.

Second, competition is too high, so you will need to work your way through.

Finding the right employer is the most important of all.

As long as you take your first job and complete it successfully, you will receive more opportunities and jobs.

in your first steps, the first offered job is the start of everything and every goal you have set to achieve.

So, what should you do to perfect the start of your freelance career?

Starting Your Career

Do Some Research

Usually, every website has feedback systems that help consumers find out whether the website, employer or product is worth spending some resources on.

After applying as a freelancer, finding the job you can do perfectly and checking if the employer is reliable is the main thing to be aware of.

As we already mentioned, we can rely on feedbacks and reviews of the clients.

The first thing that is the most easily accessible is the rating of the employer.

You should check his/her partnership history with the platform, other projects of him/her, payment history, and conditions he/she makes with clients.

Besides that, it would be helpful to read other freelancers’ feedbacks. 

If the employer’s company has its webpage, it would be highly recommended to visit it and review every necessary detail and information that you need to know.

New freelancers make a common mistake because they take an offer from companies or individuals with no history of the work and without any introduction of what they represent.

Have A Little Chat With The Employer

Don’t be shy.

Ask whatever you need to know and don’t have enough information on.

Asking questions, taking second thoughts, and taking time to make an offer is never a shame.

It’s another way around.

It is considered thoughtful, smart, and appropriate to take time before considering an offer.

Having a conversation with an employer is the best way to indicate more information and clarify details.

Ask For A Contract

You might want to go through the contract too.

There are lots of nuances you must know. 

However, some companies and individuals do not sign contracts with their employees.

That’s the most suspicious it can go. 

Even though you will be working on safe platforms, some scammers might leave you without any payment, which they owe you. 

Asking for a contract is nothing to be worried about. 

It is a needy procedure. 

You have to respect yourself and be sure you are working with someone who is expected to pay.

Signing a contract, for sure, is a very important procedure. 

It serves key purposes. 

Sending a contract and returning it underlines you as a serious businessman in the employers’ mind, which plays a big role in the partnership. 

Impact Of The Contract

A contract’s impact is not only phycological but also clarifies details and avoids misunderstandings. 

The payment schedule with the exact amount of money, dates, and deadlines, milestones for payment, and a total have to be included in the billing section. 

Signing the schedule will help both-client and employer- to do their part of the job due date.

Format Of The Contract

Formatting a contract is a crucial thing to do. 

If you are not part of the platform that guarantees payments between client and employer, you will need to format a contract yourself. 

Finding a sample for a contract is a perfect start.

Indicating details of your service is one of the most important parts of the contract. 

Describing what you are providing them with and what they are paying for is crucial to agree. 

Provide and clarify details that you want them to know, but it is not necessary to be too detailed.


The next thing you need to inform a client about is compensation. 

You should lay it all out for everyone to know how much you charge for the work you are willing to do, and when is the exact date, deadline for the payment. 

It will also be thoughtful to explain what happens when the payment is late and how you will be charged for a late fee or interest.

Now when you have already made yourself clear about what your client expects and what you ask for instead, it is time to introduce your client to the date when he/she would expect your job finished.

Another important thing about the contract which you could easily forget is explaining the terms of canceling the contract. 

Sometimes you and your client might need or want to cancel a contract for specific reasons. 

You should expect this to happen one day, so you will need to explain in advance how the contract could be put to an end and for what reasons the outcome might be. 

Specify what the consequences of canceling the contract are.


In this article, we have mentioned choosing a proper platform and clients, but we have never mentioned the awareness you need before choosing a job.

Think first and then act. 

Never choose a job that does not fit you or requires too many hours for you. 

You can’t get paid unless you finish your job. 

Not being able to make a project successfully has an impact on your overall rating and feedback too. 

Tracking your hours would help you solve this problem.

Valuing yourself and taking competition into account play big roles in developing your career as a freelancer. 

You should know the objective cost of your hourly work and also compare it to other self-employees.

Offering a prompt payment discount would be greatly seen and taken by clients. 

It is a great way to win a competition and be noticeable just for taking a little less money in a little less time.

There are some new clients in whom you can never be sure whether they are trustworthy or not. 

Billing up-front is always a great solution to get some money in advance.

Be sure you are dealing with a businessman who is willing to have a great partnership and reputation. 

For example, you might be hired to create an eBook cover for a writer. 

You can demand that the client pay a certain percentage up-front before you begin working

An industry standard for billing up-front is 30%, but it is depended on you how much you charge for it.


You need to develop a system that allows you to invoice promptly. 

For example, it’s better to invoice directly after you finish a job than to invoice only at the end of the month. 

You might need to bill once a week to make sure everything is fine. 

Sending an invoice is not always a guaranteed payment. 

The client can be slow to pay, or he/she could be forgetting the date of payment. 

Reminding them and just checking out if they have some difficulties paying is not a bad gesture. 

It is always productive.

Multiple forms of freelancers can get paid.

When you sign up as a freelancer, find a job and client, sign a contract, and finish the project, you will earn some money for it. 

As we already acknowledged, freelancing is done remotely, so that is the only way you will get your money. 

You cannot get your salary in cash.

To facilitate your clients to pay your fee, you must be signed up in a platform for freelancers.

Upwork handles invoicing, and in most cases, payments have been placed in escrow and are guaranteed. 


Being a freelancer and getting paid remotely automatically means that you can accept multiple payment options. 

The more options you give your client to pay, the easier it is for them and, therefore, more likely they will do.

A way to receive your deserved money is by accepting checks. 

What makes checks one of the best payment methods is that you will not pay any fee for depositing a check into a bank. 

However, if you need your money immediately, electronic payment is preferable.

PayPal is commonly used as a way of paying for freelancers. 

It is fast, free, international, and comfortable. 

You can get money spontaneously and transfer it into your bank account with or without a fee, depending on how fast you want money to be on the account. 

But expect to lose 2.9% of the money as a transaction fee whenever you receive PayPal payments. 

You can always attach your PayPal account to your bank account, which makes it easier to use.

Your accounting software might assist and open the door for your payment collection as well as helping your track down income and outlay. 

The service could help you handle the income and expenses and make sure that you get updates about revenue. 

Having An Accounting Software

Accounting software is a great assistant for handling invoices too.

Payments can be moved directly without any apps and credit card processing companies involved from one bank account to another, which we call electronic funds transfer. 

It is the easiest and the most inexpensive method to get paid. 

Transferring money could take two to four days depending on banks, but you would not have to worry about retransferring it again. 

The only problem with electronic funds transfer is that some banks may need to accommodate those transfer requests, which causes freelancers to prefer getting their payments via checks or online applications like PayPal.

Another accepted form of payment is credit and debit cards. 

Those cards are daily used for common expenses. 

Remember that most freelancers who accept credit cards use apps or other service providers to get paid, for example, PayPal, Stripe, Google Wallet, Square, Mollie, etc. 

All these platforms and applications allow you to accept major credit cards, for instance, Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and others. 

You can also take accepting payments from clients into your hands and get wireless credit card terminals and credit card processing software as well as a merchant account.

Handling all the excuses about late payments

Now when all is done and ready, some clients like to come up with excuses and try paying you late or just trick you with not paying at all. 

Some Common Excuses

The Company Has Gone Bankrupt

You could always find the information if the company has gone into administration.

If it has happened, you need to find administrators and inform them that their company owes you money. 

And if they are just lying, you can take them to court and prove that you must receive payment.

The invoice has already been paid.

If the company assures you that they have already done their part of the job, they must be able to show you some proof, like checks.

The Company Claims They Haven’t Received Invoice Yet

You can always resend the invoice to them if a client claims they have not received an invoice.

A Client Has A Problem With The Final Product

When there is such a problem, you need to clarify details immediately and ask for more feedback. 

You will need to fix the problem soon and ask for payment then.

The Product Has Not Been Received.

It’s almost the same case scenario when the client says the invoice has already been paid. 

The only difference is that it is the other way around. 

You can always show official proof that you have sent the final product and it has been delivered.

Other excuses could be easily handled by proving your point and your side of the story with official documents. 

That is why you will need to sign a contract, have an invoice ready, and be sure that everything goes as planned.

Final Thoughts

It is reasonable to think and say that freelancing is heading towards becoming the way of the future. 

The biggest part of freelancers worldwide is youngsters and people under 30. 

Unfortunately, most of them, almost 60%, are not getting paid on time. 

The purpose this article serves is to briefly introduce you to the world of freelancing and teach you how to make sure you get paid as a freelancer.

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