If you’ve ever been a freelancer, you know how important it is to get paid quickly. You don’t mind slogging your guts out for a client who pays within 30 days, but you’ll quickly resent the ones who sit on your invoice for two or three months.
Of course, it can be well-nigh impossible to get the accounts department of a vast corporation to cough up in time. If it’s policy to pay in six weeks, that’s exactly what these firms do. Getting them to change is like asking an oil tanker to swerve round a jellyfish. It won’t happen.
It’s different with smaller businesses. They tend to get their accounts done by human beings. As such, you can appeal to their better nature – and get paid quicker. Here’s how…
Rethink your invoice ‘\-’” and give clients a reason to pay quickly
Here’s a quick story to explain what I mean.
Over the last few months we’ve been managing a huge copywriting project for a well-known online retailer. It’s a company that sells thousands of products on its website, and it needs accurate, persuasive descriptions for every single one.
We’ve been writing them – with help from some excellent freelancers.
Every freelancer invoices us for the work they have done, and most write something like this at the bottom of their document:
Terms: 30 days
Then a new freelancer helped us out. Her invoice read:
Thank you for paying within 30 days
Of course – talk directly to the accounts official! You’re much more likely to get paid if you appeal to their better nature (if they have one).
So I asked the freelancer how quickly she normally got paid. Her answer:
Most people pay within the week
Not exactly split testing, but I know roughly how long it takes our clients to pay us. And on Monday we’re changing the way we add our terms on the bottom of each invoice.
I’ll let you know whether it makes a difference. Why don’t you give it a try yourself?