Put yourself at ease by protecting those you love
18 July 2022
Becoming a freelancer is a personal decision based on different reasons. It could be the desire for more time doing personal passion projects, better flexibility and greater autonomy, expanding income sources, or working on your own. With its roster of upsides also comes downsides, one of which is the inevitable challenge every freelancer will face: managing clients and cash flow.
Building and maintaining customer relationships is difficult. Sometimes, you agree on things that are not on paper. Other times, the payment discussion only gets glossed over, resulting in some clients getting away with "free work"—especially if you're new to the freelancing world. And this is what you want to avoid.
Ensure you always get paid for your work. Check out these handy freelancing tips that cover money-related and client management best practices for a smooth-sailing freelance career.
1. Do: Research before accepting a gig
Whether you see a post about a project or a client has approached you for one, make sure to learn as much about the company or client before you send a proposal or respond. If the post or offer sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
Besides researching the business or brand, look for mentions about the company in freelancing groups. Some freelancers often warn about sketchy companies (read: does not pay freelancers) in private freelancing groups so others can avoid them.
2. Don't: Get started without a contract
It's not uncommon, especially for beginner freelancers, to experience not getting paid for the work they have done. Before accepting a project, it's important to ensure that you and the client are on the same page. Depending on how you price your services, explain how your package or rates apply to the project.
It's crucial to use clear language and mention essential details in the contract, including the repercussions when the terms are broken. Any negotiations should be stated in the contract as well so you have a record. Draft a contract, discuss it with your client, and have it signed to protect you when it comes to payments.
3. Don't: Start working for free
You can state in your contract that you require a down payment (at least 30%) upfront before starting on the project. Many freelancers do this not only to guarantee that the client has the intention to pay but also to lay the foundation of trust between clients and freelancers.
Of course, you must state the terms so the prospective client wouldn't feel uncomfortable with the deal. For example, you can note in the contract that you'll show or discuss the progress halfway through the completion. Once you feel like there's a good relationship between you and the client, it's up to you whether to continue the down payment rule.
4. Don't: Forget to send invoices
Make sure to send out the invoice each time you complete a project or gig. The invoice should detail what you're billing the client for, the total amount due, how the client can pay you, the payment due date, your and your client's contact details, and the invoice number. If you want to get paid fast for your work, send the invoice on the same day.
There are many invoice tools online freelancers in the Philippines can use, such as Odoo, Xero, and Lano.
5. Do: Keep things professional
It's essential to remain polite and respectful when communicating with prospective and existing clients. It's always best to use a formal tone when writing emails and conversations to keep the discussion professional. That means avoiding memes if the conversation doesn't call for it.
This isn't to say you shouldn't share any personal anecdotes with clients, especially those you've worked with for a long time. It all comes down to moderation—share just enough relevant personal notes to keep things light, but don't ramble on unrelated personal notes. Whether you're sending a sense of urgency about unpaid invoices or communicating updates, maintain a professional and objective tone.
6. Do: Learn when to say "no"
If a client asks for revisions on a completed project due to oversight, don't do it for free. Suppose the client wants to change the scope of the project but you're already swamped with other client work, explain the circumstances, respectfully decline, and say you need to stick with the original agreement. When you get requests that are beyond your control, capabilities, and schedule, know that it's OK to say "no."
7. Do: Have a savings plan
One of the limitations of freelancing is inconsistent work; hence, inconsistent income. That's why you must beef up your savings as you get to work with many clients and make more money.
While you're at it, get an investment plan that doubles as life insurance to safeguard your future as a freelancer. You can't control many things as a freelancer, and you don't get the same benefits as a full-time employee. Getting a life insurance plan allows you to work with fewer worries.
Switching to the freelance side is exciting and daunting, but it's most rewarding when you're doing it right. As a freelancer, you have to see to it that the projects you accept from clients are bringing in significant earnings.
Late-paying clients can be inevitable. That's why it's best to have a backup plan in case this happens. BPI AIA's Savings Plan can help you become financially ready through investment and life insurance. BPI AIA lets you get insured at the convenience of your home despite the ongoing pandemic. Get in touch with a Bancassurance Sales Executive today to future-proof your freelancing career.
You can buy a life insurance at any BPI branch nationwide! Talk to a bancassurance sales executive now!
Get the power to protect yourself and your family with an affordable life insurance plan. Life Ready Plus is easy on the budget, but offers coverage of up to 30 times your yearly payment to support the financial needs of your loved ones.
The plan gives you fast access to coverage and benefits and can match your long-term financial goals when maintained within an appropriate term.
Critical Care Max will help you make more memories by providing financial aid during the early stages of a critical illness. This unit-linked life and health insurance plan offers assistance on your recovery. You can build a health fund that grows over time, depending on your chosen investment, to pay for other medical costs.
In addition, it comes with a hospital confinement benefit that will replace lost income due to hospitalization. This daily cash benefit may also come with optional benefits like cash payout for surgery-related expenses, allowance for consultation fees, and many others.
Let your loved ones enjoy the fruits of your labor even when you’re no longer around. Build Estate Plus is a unit-linked protection plan that will cover your estate taxes after your passing so that you can ease your family’s burden.
It doubles as an investment savings fund that builds Account Value as you pay. It is also integrated with AIA Vitality that provides additional upfront coverage of 20% to your policy and add-ons.
Be in good hands in times of sickness. Let Critical Care Plus, a unit-linked health and life insurance plan, take care of you with financial aid in case of a major illness, so you can focus on getting better and spending more time with your loved ones.
It even gives you more benefits for having good health through the AIA Vitality program that adds 20% upfront coverage and supplemental benefits on your policy.