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How I Achieved 100% Payment in 2013

Tis the season for filing taxes! Oh the joy!

As I was finalizing all of my invoices, expenses, etc… to send off to my accountant, I had to smile at my 2013 books. After all, knowing I was able to collect full payment on 100% of my invoices is a pretty good feeling!

In the voice over business, as with my freelance businesses, achieving 100% payment isn’t always easy. Look in any voice over group on any social network and you’re guaranteed to find talent venting, complaining or seeking wisdom on how to collect on outstanding accounts.

So what’s my secret?

How I Achieved 100% Payment in 2013

Invoice Immediately: This one change I made in 2013 might have been the biggest difference maker! I send an invoice with the final audio. No more waiting for client approval. No more waiting until the project is complete. Essentially… no more giving anyone time to forget about me!

30 Day Follow Up: I follow up on any outstanding invoice after 30 days. The key to this follow up is be polite! Don’t assume because you haven’t received payment the client is trying to screw you. In my experience, that’s never the case. A friendly note reminding them of the invoice, asking if they need you to resend it, and reminding them you’re available for any new work is all it takes!

Choose Clients Wisely: Go with your gut. Trust your original instinct. How many other cliches would you like me to throw at you? Nine of out ten times, you’ll have a sense of whether a client is worth your time or not. Pick bad clients and bad jobs and you’ll suffer. Select great clients and great jobs and you’ll get 100% payment!

Make Payment Easy: This is vital. I accept cheque. I accept PayPal. I accept email money transfers. I accept wire transfers. The more ways you have to get paid, the easier it will be for clients to pay you. Include CLEAR payment instructions in your invoices.

The key to collecting on difficult accounts is to be friendly. Always. Click To Tweet

Be Friendly. Always!

keep-calm-and-be-friendly-8If someone comes at you, what’s your reaction? Get your back up? Does anything productive ever come from that response? Seldom. If ever.

Did I have to chase some invoices in 2013? Of course I did. But I never got nasty. I never dropped threats of collections or legal proceedings or other such things I hear other talent discussing. I always assume the best, give them the benefit of the doubt and remind them how much I enjoyed working with them.

In all cases, for me, it worked!

Here’s hoping to 100% payment for your business in 2014!

For Comment: What techniques do you use for collecting?