How to get paid as a freelancer

With flexibility and autonomy over hours, freelancing has become something of a global dream job. It’s also why 58 million freelancers account for almost 38% of the U.S workforce. However, knowing how to get paid as a freelancer is just as important as knowing how to find your next freelancing gig.

Salaried employees have the convenience of monthly bank deposits or paychecks. On the other hand, freelancers are paid per project, so timely payments are a must to keep you afloat until your next project. So, researching and keeping up to date with the nitty gritty of payments and payment methods is vital. The good news is that getting paid as a freelancer can be a pretty straightforward process. While some well-established freelancers outsource this work, new finance software and apps make online payments faster than waiting to receive a check in the mail. It’s also much easier for new freelancers who can now choose from multiple payment options. 

How to get paid as a freelancer 

1. Read the fine print

Reading the fine print, project details, terms and conditions, and stating your own thoroughly cannot be emphasized enough. This step can save you much financial and emotional stress and avoid payment delays. It also ensures you meet all aspects of the client’s brief. Your invoice fine print should also have your payment options clearly outlined. 

2. Submit your invoices on time

A freelancer’s schedule is often hectic, but submitting late invoices not only delays your payment but could also give the impression that your payment isn’t urgent or important. Clients don’t usually make random payments, so if you invoice a few weeks after the job is done, there’s no guarantee of receiving timely payment. Before you can advise clients on your payment terms, it’s good to settle on what these are. Will you accept net 30 or 60 terms? Do you require clients to pay upfront? Whatever you decide, be sure to communicate this thoroughly to your client and include it in the contract and invoice. 

3. Over communicate and remind 

Invoicing, unfortunately, doesn’t guarantee immediate payment, so having an automatic billing service sends reminders to slow-paying clients for outstanding invoices. In some cases, clients do experience genuine technical problems, or sometimes they could also have made the payment incorrectly. So, communicating through advanced notifications could diffuse a potentially heated situation. 

Freelancer payment options

As with anything, some payment options work better than others. This is even more so for voice actors and freelancers in general. So, what are some of the better payment options to get paid as a freelancer?

Checks are a tried and tested payment option. As an added perk, they don’t require deposit fees. On the downside, some are wary of receiving checks because they take longer to arrive via post and have a clearing period. eChecks, however, can eliminate the waiting period. They’re only different from checks in that they’re emailed and not posted. 

Payoneer users can send and receive instant payments. Making it a preferred payment method for global freelancers. It’s convenient for clients because international payments are sent directly to the recipient’s bank account. It also works for multiple currencies that can be made via bank transfer. You just need to share your Payoneer account details to receive a payment. For example, to receive the following international payments you need:

  • American dollar = account and routing number
  • Hong kong dollar = account and routing number
  • Canadian dollar = account, transit, and institution number

Payoneer has none of the international wire transfer costs associated with bank deposits, so you get to keep more of your earnings. In addition, its transparent fee of $3 is lower than other platforms, and you also get access to a credit card to spend your money. But you can only receive funds in U.S dollars, carry a U.S dollar balance in the account, and send U.S dollars to another Payoneer account. However, you can shop and purchase in local currency that is converted to U.S dollars.

PayPal is a go-to payment option for more than just freelancers. The platform is also available in over 200 countries and supports 25 major currencies so that users can receive money across borders and language barriers. A client simply needs your email address or phone number, and you receive the payment immediately. However, it carries the highest transaction fees. If you’re a U.S citizen, they will provide a tax form (1099) at the end of the year, which does help freelancers who need certain documents for tax purposes. It’s also accepted at most merchants, and you can hold funds in multiple currencies. 

Clients have paid through bank transfers for years, but if you opt for this method, be sure to double-check your bank account information. Transactions are sometimes free for certain bank accounts but international rates can get as high as $50. So, refer to your personal bank for the fees associated with any transfer, as they vary from bank to bank and location to location.

Pro tip: Ask your bank if there are any specific intermediary banks where funds can be routed to avoid bank fees for international transfers. Be sure to communicate that directly with your client when sending your invoice.

Voice123’s Secure Payment service is both reliable and convenient for freelancers/voice actors receiving international payments. It’s a guaranteed payment service in the sense that you can get paid by Voice123 through any of the above methods. PayPal and Payoneer can receive funds instantly, but you can expect to incur some fees. Wire and bank transfers (ACH in the U.S) can take up to 5 business days to reflect in your account. How does it work? Essentially, the platform acts as a bond for booking transactions and automatically monitors the entire transaction, so you’ll never have to follow up on a transaction when using the Voice123 free booking system. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to get paid through ACH or wire on Voice123! 

Freelancer payments: the bottom line

Despite its ups and downs, the potential in the freelancing industry is limitless. But, whether you’re a voice actor or a designer, freelancer payments are still a vital aspect of your job. That’s why removing possible obstacles from the payment process is key to receiving your payments. The growing number of freelancers getting paid on time has also increased the number of payment platforms available. Many of which are functional and encourage timely payments. With the right tool, you’ll be able to invoice, follow up, and receive your freelancer payments exactly when you expect it.

“Voice123’s Secure Payment process is quick and convenient. Change your payment preferences as often as you like, speak to actual people whenever you have questions/concerns, and above all, we cater to Voice Actors to provide added security so you get paid for your hard work! We’re looking for ways to expand so we’re always open to suggestions!”

how to get paid as a freelancer
Bryan Swift
– Financial Analyst at Voice123