This lesson is exclusive to members

Making money as a web designer

How to ensure you get paid.

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 7 of 8


I recommend hosting your new website with Bluehost, you can get a big discount by signing up with this link:

You need to be a member to view comments.

Join today. Cancel any time.

Sign Up

Hi, my name is Dan. In this video we're going to talk about  getting paid.

Now, this is your survival, this is your job. You've got to be-- you get better at it, but you need to really care about how much you want to get paid, and how you're going to get paid. For me, I make sure it's 50% upfront, and that happens to a lot of freelancers, they'll ask for a lot of work upfront. 

For me, a lot of my experience, and a lot of my work is in that first kind of planning stage, so I explain to the client, it's 50% upfront, 50% on completion, and because I've got so many jobs that never get past, I never get finished, ever.

And that's fine, but it means that I've at least got the money for this work done. Because what happens, what tends to happen is, you'll quote the job, and you'll get started, and the client will either lose interest, find out there's a really strong competitor-- it's really hard to starting a business, lots of people like to start them, but never actually get around to actually completing them, and getting properly started. 

So, you're in that kind of phase quite often when you're doing their website, they're brand new business. So what you need to do is, make sure that you get paid for the work you've done, and I explain it in a way where I explain it to them, I say, "Look, I understand it's not you, but I've had it in the past where people get started and they don't reply, and I end up-- a lot of my work is done at the beginning, and it's a kind of a-- it's a nice bit of a screening process, where people are too afraid to pay upfront. 

You might decide at the beginning, 20%, I do 50%. Feels fair. I’m doing a lot of work at the beginning, and I'm confident enough to do that. You might decide 10%, 20% for your first jobs. It just means you've got some incentive to get going, and what it is, it gives you kind of a start date,  because quite often I'll say, "Look, I can't wait to get started on your job. Here's the invoice." As soon as it goes through, I can't wait, I'm going to get started. 

And it means that you got some motivation, they're clearly interesting in getting work. And it just means later on, if it doesn't, like lots of people, I know people that are serial they're never entrepreneurs, they are start-up businesses, they never actually start a business, so I wouldn't call them an entrepreneur, but  I do lots of work for them. 

I'll start the work, get my 50%, we start working through, they do some user testing, and it never goes anywhere. But when they come back to do another job, it's not this awkward, because otherwise what happens is, if you don't get that money upfront, they stop replying to emails, they've lost interest, they've lost money, you end up in this kind of like no man's land, you don't get paid, they stop talking to you. 

Whereas, if I've got paid for the work I've done, I look at it till the finish. I'd like it to be finished, but the fact that it didn't, my hours are being covered, and when he's looking for more work, he's more likely to come back to me rather than avoiding my calls, because he's got another business, he knows, "I've paid that guy for the work he did, I'm going to give him more work," and you end up with a nice sort of relationships. So don't be afraid to ask for money upfront.