As freelancers, our daily work routine may seem a bit abnormal to our peers that work a strict 9-to-5 day in a cubicle, basking in the glow of ever-flickering fluorescent lights. We typically have no need to wake up before the crack of dawn, only to join the inevitable standstill traffic that stretches on for miles. Nor do we usually have to race against the clock to punch-in, so close to being late due to the aforementioned bumper-to-bumper dance.. With that being said, it’s no surprise how easy it is to get caught up in the web of misconceptions about what it means to be a freelancer, where your routine looks nothing like what has been normalized as ‘work’ for generations.
While freelancers may not typically have to leave their living space to join a long line of traffic heading to an office building, we do work hard to meet deadlines, produce great quality outcomes, and continuously improve on our craft, similar to our in-office counterparts. Unfortunately, while working as a freelancer has its flexibility and freedom, many of us can sometimes find ourselves worrying about when, how, and if we will be paid for our dedicated efforts. We too have regular bills, as well as incidentals, like a pet who falls ill from one too many experimental snacks, so freelancers have to be diligent about finding the most reliable, most convenient, and, of course, most timely manner to process payments.
- Traditional Banking
While banks continue to maintain a steady presence in the day-to-day operations of our lives, traditional banking can be a bit slow for a freelancer who may take on projects characterized by irregular payment schedules. Some companies also prefer to delay payment based on their own 30-, 60-, or 90-day accounting structure, making the worries about getting paid that more intense. A client could be based anywhere in the world, as is the nature of freelance work, so depending on a bank to accept your international/cross-border payment can result in several days of waiting time, and expensive banking fees for the privilege of accepting such funds.
Touted as the holy grail for many freelancers across the globe, this online payment system facilitates a simple-to-navigate electronic money transfer system that replaces the need for more traditional methods, such as checks. Availability in over 200 countries and accepting 25 different currencies allows freelancers the opportunity to accept payments easily from wherever in the world their clients are. The PayPal invoicing system makes it that much easier to request payment for your project, and once paid, you can immediately access from your own PayPal wallet.
- PandaDoc Payments
PandaDoc is still one of my all-time favorite document management systems. On top of all of its great features that can make any freelancer’s life more streamlined (including document templates, and real-time document analytics), since earlier this year, they have partnered with Stripe to allow clients to make payments from within any of your next documents. Encrypted credit card payments allow you to get paid faster, without slacking on security. PandaDoc is already a great way to help you figure out what may be going well, or not so well, when you send off that proposal that was painstakingly created. Making it easier for your new client to make the first payment will lead to more projects in your near future.
Deciding on the best way to receive payments as a freelancer can be difficult, especially if you are typically within a niche that tends to involve projects that may be well-paying, but inconsistent. Rent, utilities, and other bills can make or break your living experience, so figure out your best system for sending for and receiving payments, and let’s all avoid that infamous landlord knock at the start of the month.