Hey freelancers, I have a million dollar question for you:
Freelancing is one big waiting game.
First, you wait to win a project. Then, you wait for a client to review your work. Finally, you have to wait to get your money.
What can you do about it? You can’t force someone to award you a project. You also can’t skip a review period. So, what’s going on with your money from the moment a client release a milestone to the moment you eventually get it?
It travels through the system of your favorite freelance platform. That’s a lot of waiting.
Everything comes to the one who waits. Whoever came up with this proverb didn’t work as a freelancer.
So, I did some research. Fair and square. I checked the terms that regulate payments and billings on the top five platforms in the freelance industry.
Just to clarify. I focused my attention on hourly projects. I consider them to be the golden standard for freelancers.
Here are my findings.
This picture is worth a thousand words.
Let’s say you’re done with your work for the previous week on Sunday. You’ll get your money ten days from that day. My fellow freelancers call this one “the third-week Upwork’s payment rule.”
It is what it is. So, let’s move on.
Here are the things a bit more complicated.
Screenshot Freelancer dot com
I think that these rules apply to both fixed-price and hourly projects. So, I had to dig a little deeper.
Screenshot Freelancer dot com
As it seems, Freelancer dot com makes it possible for you to wait one week less compared to Upwork. You get your money on Wednesday (the 2nd week) rather than on Wednesday (the 3rd week).
That’s much better.
Here’s a line that says it all.
Two weeks, unless you are a top rated seller. That’s it.
It seems that Toptal is a platform of few words.
What’s this supposed to mean? Twice a month. Two weeks. Right? So, that’s Fiverr payment style. But, there’s a catch.
Two weeks plus a review period for a client. How long? A few days or the whole week or two? Honestly, I couldn’t find additional information about this one.
If you don’t like to wait, then you are going to appreciate what this platform offers.
There’s a Payday Advance option I haven’t found anywhere else. If you choose to use it for a small fee, you don’t have to wait for a client’s review period. You can get your money on Monday.
That’s great! You are done with your weekly work on Sunday and the money is available the very next day.
Now, you still have to pay for it. So, goLance decided to take it a step further.
If you are your client’s trusted freelancer, then he can use the Variable Review Period. Meaning, this period can be simply turned off and you can get your money right away. It’s the same as if you’re using Payday Advance, but the difference is that you don’t have to pay a fee.
Let’s sum up my findings:
#5 Toptal — two weeks plus a review period (unknown).
#4 Fiverr — two weeks OR one week (top rated sellers).
#3 Upwork — ten days.
#2 Freelancer dot com — three days.
#1 goLance — one day (Payday Advance OR Variable Review Period).
The numbers never lie.
goLance is actually a two-time winner. Why?
They made an obvious thing between clients and freelancers official part of their payment policy. If you are working with the same client from week to week and month to month, then you have built a trustworthy relationship already. Why do you need a review period in the first place? Right?
If you don’t want to wait to get paid then use Payday Advance. If you don’t wait to pay a Payday Advance fee then work hard, so your client can “turn off” the review period.
The waiting problem solved. You get your money right way.
Who says that you have to wait to get paid? It’s up to you to decide where you’re going to work and how long you’re going to wait to get paid.
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