How A Freelancer Talks About Money: Five Tips

I’ve developed a few rules that help me earn more with less nerve. I’m sharing them with those who might benefit – freelancers like me, or more talented but less stingy ones.

Many myths have been created around money: coaches teach how to attract it, paid online training seems to take more income than it brings, fortune tellers, magicians, fortune tellers all tell you how to be with your money. I wouldn’t want to become one of them. I will tell you about the rules of financial hygiene, which I use myself, and also an experienced freelancer needs to know what are 1099 form definition.

Tip 1. Always take a prepayment.

Try to buy a plane ticket by paying for the flight only after boarding. How’s that working out for you? When working with a freelancer, the client sometimes expects to pay for services not just after landing, but with the condition that there will be sunny weather in the city of arrival. That is, he wants to reserve the right to decide whether to pay you for the work or not. I don’t think so. Why don’t you take money for your work?

You don’t like to charge in advance, but why? Maybe because:

  • You don’t feel comfortable talking about money. Nevertheless, you have to talk about money. And it’s better to do it sooner than later. All arrangements must be made on the shore.
  • You’re not sure you’ll do the job in a way that the client will like it, and you don’t want to commit yourself to it. Drop it immediately. A result that doesn’t please the client doesn’t always mean no result. Start believing in yourself: you are conscientious, you are trying to complete the task in the best possible way.
  • You are happy to know that there will be more money coming into your budget. You think that if you have the money before you do the work, you will immediately squander it.

Tip 2. Everything about money should be decided first

You’d be surprised, but the layout can be sent by e-mail in 1 minute, and you can get paid for 3 months.

If you are self-employed and invoicing for payment, invoice as soon as possible. The accounting department will give it back to you three more times and ask you to correct the name of the work. Money is like air for us.


Tip 3. Prepare an estimate. The client should understand what you are asking to be paid for

No matter what kind of project you’re working on, both you and the client will feel more confident if all the work is described and the price is given for each one.

Any job includes several tasks, each of which has a cost. Make an estimate. Include in it the work that you have done, put a price on each. The client will see that you did not take the cost from the ceiling.

Lifehack. When they ask you to lower the price, meet the customer halfway. Say that you can lower the cost if you give up some of the work. But never lower the price for nothing.

Tip 4. Document each payment in a letter

If they send you money by wire transfer or you get it in your hands, send a letter saying you’ve been paid.

You must send a letter confirming each payment. In my practice, it has happened more than once that a client has not transferred payment because there were several jobs during the month, and then we could not find the end of what was paid and what was not.

Tip 5. Do free projects

Set aside at least 1-2 hours a week for unpaid projects.

These are tasks like working on your portfolio, helping social projects, writing articles like this one, drawing a logo for a friend where they give you complete freedom of action.

Thanks to such projects you improve, gain confidence in your competence, and gain useful connections. You get the moral right to ask for exactly the amount you think is fair when you do commercial projects – because you are already doing pro bono work.


Remember that you have thousands of competitors. That’s why you need to constantly develop in your professional field, collect feedback and work on the quality of the service you provide. Do well even when you have already succeeded

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