Dear photography freelance clients, this is a post we’d love for you to read. Paying your freelancers shouldn’t be difficult but it seems to be a climb, a real rocky uphill lengthy climb!
I am posting this blog in hopes that one of your future clients may stumble upon it. I’m also posting this blog in hopes that you learn a couple of things to save yourself in the future.
Have you noticed the energy does not match? They need the product and there’s a massive rush! They need to pay and it’s like they’re in hibernation. Have you noticed this? I have and I want to address this, perhaps even tell you how to handle it.
3 Tips for all Freelance Photographers and other artists!
Tough statement but it’s hard for people to take advantage of you unless you let them. There are cases where it’s out of your hands but for the most part, we have control over the situation. Here are 3 ways that you can preserve the relationship and your bank accounts:
- Get everything in writing, seems basic but it’s still not widely practiced. Get the delivery schedule in writing and get the payment schedule in writing. A good deal is one where both parties benefit, not one side getting bulldozed. If you don’t get the payment schedule in writing, it’s your fault. You can blame your photography client all that you want but you didn’t handle your business.
- Cease work until payment is made. That’s right, I want you to stop working until they hold their end of the bargain. I would imagine this made you nervous but I’m going to need you to man up/woman up. You’re defending all of us here. We’re all watching you and expediting you to keep the boundaries clear. Because when you allow them to cross the professional agreement boundaries, you’re encouraging them to do so with one of us next. You look out for me. I’ll look out for you. Deal?
- Allow the photography freelance client to become the hero and to save the day. That means giving them every opportunity to save the situation. You can do this by saying “NAME, I can’t imagine how swamped you are. I just noticed that our next payment hasn’t cleared yet and I want to be able to deliver on time. I’m sure accounting has already processed but was checking in” – the person will likely say “Thank you! Let me check with accounting” – means they have the chance to pass the blame. From our POV, we don’t care who gets the blame if the check cashes.
A Word for the Photography Client Who Hires Freelance:
Hello, freelance photography clients, this section is for you. We love to work with you, and we’re willing to go the extra mile because we love our job and the clients it allows us to meet.
However, I have to be transparent about something. We are a small business without the logistical and financial support of bigger brands. That means we rely on every invoice to clear on time and according to the agreement. Many times the client feels it’s only them that might run late. From our side, that’s not the case. It’s often a substantial percentage of clients that delay the payment.
If we hired contractors to assist on this job, we pay them on time and the full amount. That means we are financing projects for multi-million dollar companies out of our business checking accounts. That often means we don’t get paid until you pay which puts a tremendous strain on the business.
Here are 3 ways you can be a better ally:
- Ask us if we had overages unaccounted for. It’s so much easier/cheaper to nurture established relationships vs. finding new freelancers each time. If you ask this question, you will 100% certain be in the top 10% of amazing clients.
- If we did a good job, ask how you could support us. Maybe say “How’s your schedule? You did such a great job and I think others should hear about you. Can I introduce you to any colleagues of mine?” – and NO, you won’t lose us this way. We won’t be too busy for your future jobs. You’ll land at the top of the list EVER SINGLE TIME and we’ll gladly help you first.
- Every once in a while, put yourself in our shoes. That’s all we ask and we’ll do the same for you. At the end of the day, you need us and we need you. Let’s make it work for both sides.
Can you Help me Build My Freelance Creative Business?
If you wish to wish to get business consulting for your creative business from me, Click here. I’m an avid supporter of the creative community and this is something that I love to do!