Paying Your Freelancers on Time
In the 2013 gold rush to create a content marketing stable of writers for client and agency work, there’s one shining nugget employers should consider: When you hire freelance writers, make sure you pay them in a timely, consistent and professional basis.
That’s it, really. In a service-oriented, perma-lancer economy, it seems a no-brainer for freelancers to get paid. But it’s not always as easy as it seems. Let’s explore the thinking on both sides.
Professional agencies do often pay their freelancers promptly. In these situations, your writers stay motivated and forward-looking, always eager to take on new content opportunities. Why? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY’RE GETTING PAID IN A TIMELY FASHION.
But what about the freelancers who produce, but somehow get the losing end of the payment stick through client or agency mishandling? They tend to become unmotivated, and could lose interest until the payment issue resolves itself. And that’s always a drain on the freelance writer’s capabilities to the client.
Clients and agencies are generally professional outfits that work closely with teams of freelance writers and content producers and make the best of their relationships. In doing so, they often integrate an automated payment plan into the relationship. Whether it’s a bi-weekly deposit into a PayPal account, or a monthly mailed check, upfront communications about payment always work best. Without an agreed-upon payment plan, clients can play a little loose with any such agreement. Eventually, content writers can even become an irksome annoyance to an agency’s accounting department.
Here are a few tips for freelancers and clients/agencies to consider when starting a prompt-paying freelancer relationship.
- Agree upfront to any fee for the services provided. It’s not to the freelancer’s advantage to let the client decide on a fee after writing completion. Things can get a bit sticky when it comes to setting rates or fees for larger projects down the road.
- Decide upon an hourly or per-project fee. This fee should consider research and keyword work for the content, and should also be reviewed after a period of work for possible adjustments (higher or lower).
- Build in allowances for the total cost of getting paid. Yes, those pesky PayPal fees or credit card processing transaction fees can add up for those 3, 5, or 7 content pieces you’re expecting payment on. Freelancers should try to get those fees waived paid for by the client.
- Assume a hiccup or two. If one in-house agency person handles freelancer payments, and that person vacations, gets sick or goes on leave, who processes the payments? Make sure you get solid answers for these situations.
These are just a few tips to insure prompt freelancer payments—which tips can you share?
Dave M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.