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5 Ways to Get Paid On-Time as a Freelancer

If you are a freelancer or a gig worker, you know how important it is to get paid on-time. And Guess what? You’re not alone. Studies show that 54% of freelancers say it takes too long to get paid.

As a freelancer, you may or may not have a steady stream of income coming in. There’s a chance you’ll find yourself waiting on payment from a client to cover your own financial obligations, causing unpaid invoices to be a problem.  Chasing after your clients to settle these outstanding invoices takes up your time and energy, which is valuable.

So what do you do about it?


Here are 5 ways to get paid on-time:


  1. Lay the groundwork with communication.

    Before any work has begun, discuss your client’s payment policies and schedules. Understand how long it takes to process invoices, who to contact if you have questions about your payment and whether payment is electronic or by paper check. More than 4 in 5 of your fellow freelancers, or 86%, say they prefer payments electronically, and 41% say they require electronic payments to avoid lateness. So consider this option. Just be sure to clearly communicate payment policies and schedules in order to set expectations and avoid confusion with your clients down the road.

  2. Get it in writing.

    This seems obvious, however, many freelancers and Independent Contractors neglect this important step. Before you begin your work, draft a contract, review it with your client and have both parties sign it. Be sure to include payment terms such as when you will get paid, how much you will get paid and how late payments should be resolved. Consider including whether or not late fees will be incurred if the client fails to pay you within the agreed upon time-frame.

  3. Understand how you will work.

    How will you track your time or progress? When will you invoice? Are you going to be a truly independent worker, or part of an online marketplace that connects job opportunities with gig workers, like Band Of Hands? Joining an online platform may save you valuable time in finding your next gig and invoicing for the work you do. There are plus sides to both options, so research them thoroughly before you make a decision. Gaining clarity on these components will help you be organized and timely as you begin to work.

  4. Invoice on-time and often.

    Frequent billing shows clients that you value your time. Establish your own timeline for billing, stick to it and make it a priority. This provides predictability and consistency to your clients and they will appreciate it.

  5. Finally, follow-up.

    Be vigilant here. Determine ahead of time how many days can lapse before you reach out regarding overdue invoices. If no one responds, don’t walk away from it. Emails and calls serve as documentation of your efforts to be paid. No answer still? Go up the food chain.


Invoicing is an important part of being a successful freelancer. So follow these steps to set yourself up for a smoother road from delivering quality work to getting paid for that work.


Check out Band Of Hands if you want to learn more about how leveraging an online gig economy marketplace can tremendously streamline the invoicing process.