How Freelancers Can Protect Themselves and Get Paid on Time

The world of freelancing is becoming more accessible to more people than ever before. Studies have shown that the number of people who do freelance work has jumped over 30 per cent since 2008. While the numbers are rapidly growing, the number of people who get paid on time is decreasing. Only one in four freelancers can boast of getting paid on time; others get paid late and sometimes not in full.

These figures aren’t pretty, and they don’t paint a very positive picture for a world where more and more people are doing freelance work. The freelancing economy is booming, but so are its problems. So, what’s the fix? Freelancers themselves have a big part to play. With this in mind, below are ways freelancers can protect themselves and get paid on time.


Do a thorough background check on the client

It is said that a new client can become a client for life, but it is not a wise decision to put your life in their hands. It is a well-known fact that many people get into trouble when a client is unable to pay up as at when due.

It is important for a freelancer to make the right choice for the client. However, it is not that easy. You will have to put in a lot of time to find out if the person who is a potential client for you is a worthy client or not. Most importantly, you need to find out if the potential client is struggling financially or not. It is only then that you can make the right decision. 


Have a written contract

A written contract is designed to establish clear expectations and to ensure that both parties can be held to their commitments. Signing a contract is a useful and often necessary exercise for clients. It ensures that their expectations are clear, the task is delivered on time, and most importantly, that you are paid on time.


Set the tone and the expectations at the start

The last thing a freelancer wants to deal with is a client who isn’t respecting your time and work.  If you are a freelancer, establish clear parameters for your clients upfront. This will ensure that both parties are on the same page throughout the entire process.

A clear set of expectations on your end will help your client move things forward. A good tip for freelancers is to draft an agreement with their clients that includes itemized tasks, due dates, and payment terms.


Stay current on trends in your industry

One of the reasons that a lot of people fail as freelancers are that they ignore trends in their industry. If you want to have a successful business, it’s not good enough to just do what you’ve always done. You have to stay current on trends and make changes to your business plan as needed.

If you want to stay relevant as a freelancer, you have to be on top of what’s going on in the industry. In order to do this, you have to have a pulse on what clients are thinking and how clients are evolving. It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse so that you can position yourself as a go-to resource whenever a client is doing a project in your niche.


Protect yourself 

Whether you’re just starting out on your freelancing career or have an entire team of expert freelancers working for you, there is always the chance that something might not go exactly to plan.

If you are a freelancer, whether it will be full-time or part-time, you should consider carrying out cover against professional risks – not only for your sake but also for your client’s sake.  This way, you’re protected from any claims, legal costs and other expenses which might otherwise fall on you in the event of a major failure in a client’s project. 



Freelancing is becoming increasingly popular as most people want to be their own boss and also be in control of their time. However, without prompt payment, a freelancer will find it very hard to make waves and keep up with the business.

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