There is more than one way to collect money online
Online freelancing gigs are becoming more popular as working virtually becomes more accessible. Small to large businesses turn to freelancers to quickly fill a skills gap or to provide assistance on short and long term projects.
According to a survey by Freelancers Union and Upwork, more than 57 million Americans earn freelance income, America’s 57.3 million freelancers contribute $1.4 trillion to the economy, an increase of almost 30% from the previous year, while according to an online post, there are 4.5 million freelancers in UK. The internet penetration in Africa also makes it home to numerous freelancers, working through several freelancing platforms most notable is Fiverr.
Due to distance, the biggest concern for all freelancers is the issue of payment. In particular, that payment will be received in full and in a timely manner. The way in which you collect money will affect this.
There are a few main ways to collect money as a freelancer;
- By using a freelance site
- By arranging a direct payment method with a client
Each of these methods has pros and cons.
Using A Third Party Freelance Site
Using a freelance site is the safest way to receive a payment. Although each freelance site differs on how payments are to be arranged they all provide an extra layer of accountability towards to clients, pro. The con is that you pay for this added security, sometimes as much as 20%; on sites like Upwork. That is a good chunk of the money that you make, which brings us to option 2.
Arranging A Direct Payment Method
If you want to keep more of what you earn,then dealing directly with the client instead of using a third party system will let you do that. Using a payment platform like Google Pay, PayPal or Payoneer makes invoicing and collecting payments easy. You can also use the old method of making an invoice in excel and getting an e-transfer or echeck. The con; you need a very good contract and you need to set yourself up properly so that you are not left donating a bunch of work to a client that becomes unreachable after a few months.
If you choose to use this method, there are a few things to keep in mind;
- Ensure the means of payments is easy, this can be done by offering different means of payments options for the client to select the most suitable.
- Deal with late payments immediately. Stop work, find out what is going on and charge interest for any payments that fall behind weekly.
- Have a contract and make sure your get their billing address.
- Build trust slowly. You can develop a more relaxed relationship with payments as you get to know a client but in the first few months don’t take any chances.
Whatever method you choose, in today’s world, conducting business online couldn’t be easier and building a freelance business is a perfect way to create a career that you love frommthe comfort of your home.
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