How to get paid for the work you do

One of the worse things is doing work and not getting paid

You pour your heart out getting everything perfect. You spend the time, busting your brain figuring out every detail. Taking the time to craft the masterpiece and deliver it on time to the client. Finally, the stress is over and you can move on with your life and get paid.

Then the unthinkable. Nothing. Silence. No comment about the job. Nothing. You don’t even get paid.

As a freelancer, this is one of the most frustrating experience I have ever faced. Not receiving feedback from a client and worse not getting paid after all the hard work you put in. Is it a lack of principles? Is it a lack of good judgment when accepting the work from a client? What is it that makes not getting paid sucks so much.

We must ensure we protect ourselves from deceptive clients. This will ensure we get paid for the hard work we put in. No one likes getting a six for a nine and lots of stories and excuses. And worse of all no one likes doing work and not getting paid.

Here are some things that will help you guard against deceptive clients.

Ask for a deposit

Getting money upfront helps to ease the cashflow burden. You get a percentage of the total fee and start the work. This proves the client is committed to getting the job done. The process has begun. But asking for it is very uncomfortable. It’s very simple but uncomfortable.

Here’s an example of how you can do it.

You: to do this project will cost you $25,000.

Client: Ok, I can work with that, when do we begin.

You: We can start this week. But I’ll need a 20% deposit when with the signed contract.

That’s it. Nothing complicated about it and this can be done via email.

Get all your money upfront

Asking for all your money upfront can be a pre-qualifier to weed out bad clients. You might lose sales doing this but at the end of the day when you start the job, you are already paid. All the money worries are out the door and you can work on the project stress-free.

Here’s an example of how you ask for payment in full.

You: To do this project will cost you $25,000.

Client: Ok, I can work with that, when do we begin.

You: We can start this week. But I’ll need full payment with the signed contract.

Ensure you get paid before you deliver the final product

Nothing is worse than delivering on your end only to no hear from the person ever again. To prevent this ensure they pay you in full and you deliver the final product. Fair is fair. If there are any changes that need to be made you can quickly make adjustments and move on.


All in all, asking for money is uncomfortable. But if you don’t ask you won’t get paid. I had to learn to ask for money and get comfortable explaining the cost of my different offerings.