My own business, how to get paid safely?

Hello, I am planning on starting my own business. I have my website and portfolio on it, but now I don’t know how should I safely receive payment. I can give my customers my bank number but I cannot be sure that they won’t run away with my project without paying. I can request a payment before I deliver them a real project but before that I post them an image with my watermark, some of them will reject to pay without getting a real project.

So is there any type of internet safe or cloud, where I post my project on contract and then they see if that is what they like and then they pay me? Or what is the best way to make contracts for those online sales per project.?

Too much depends on what you feel is safe doing in your country legally.
In this regard you should seek professional advisory.

In practice: small, partial or watermarked images & delivery of encrypted packages until payment is done works fine.


At least in the US, I suggest that you find some of the many books written by the late Herman Holtz (“Hermann Holz …”). He wrote many excellent books on the ins-and-outs of the consulting business.

1 Like

Where and how should I seek professional advisory?
As much as I know now, I can go and ask other freelancers like me but the ones who made it with their business.

Yesterday. (Trust me on this.)

Please note that there are plenty of resources out there which are specifically designed to help small businesses succeed – by providing both financial resources and pro bono expert advice. For instance, in the United States we have SCORE = Service Corps of Retired Executives. … which is fully-backed by the US Department of Commerce.

Even though small-business success is inevitably “chancy,” it does not have to be entirely “a matter of chance.” Other people before you – uhh, like me, for instance – have made mistakes that you can profitably learn from.

1 Like

Paypal is always a good choice for payment. I’ve never had a bad experience with them.

Don’t do their design work upfront, point them to your portfolio instead. If they like your work then proceed. Always ask for a percentage up front, a non-refundable deposit. Don’t lift a finger until client meets that requirement. Can’t tell you enough how much it sucks to have a client bail halfway through a project and refuse paying for work to date. Those slugs are out there, so be careful.


Ouuuf buddy well thank’s a lot for that, mentioning those “slugs” yes I am a bit scared of those.
Here is my website/portfolio: , you can give some focused critiques on my website/portfolio if you want to.

And about finishing my project, if the customer likes it, I was planning on sending him a project with a watermark first then receiving a payment and then sending him an image without watermark.

“Business” is about a whole lot more than just “getting paid.” Business is actually a very-complex human relationship that is actually carried on with very high stakes. It is enormously based – especially at a “small business” level – on things like “trust” and “trustworthiness.” (Your competence to actually “do your job” has precious little to do with “business” success.) Please(!) avail yourself of the many resources that are out there to help you succeed. Do not fall prey to: “I didn’t know that I didn’t know …” (As, several very unnecessarily-painful times, I did.)

1 Like

Your environments look really nice.

I did notice you said, " You can use those images as cover arts, posters, wallpapers, concept arts" It would be good to not just tell possible clients what you can do but show them through examples. I see you are fairly new so as you get more examples put them up on your website. Only the outstanding ones. When your workload allows, create some of your own concepts. Pretend you are the client and come up with a job for you and treat it seriously, like a real job. Have a few posters made, etc and put those on your page.

And one last suggestion. When dealing with clients, always, always, under promise and over deliver.

It can be a hard business, but someone has to do it. It is rewarding.

Best of luck to you.

1 Like

Thank you very much for that warning, can you please tell me about some serious things which I should really know (the things you learned from your own experience).

Thank you very much for that hint of “under promise and over deliver”, I was doing that to my customers on Fiverr and now I have a bunch of constant buyers. Not much money out of that (since I am underpaid on Fiverr) but marketing connections are immense.

Why do you want to design a work upfront? It’s best to yeah what everyone mentioned, point them to your portfolio.

I think before getting started you have to set up a contract management system. I actually use this docusign alternative since it’s cheaper and has a free option for less than 10 contracts. (linking it here for reference) Then lay all of your terms down on that and make sure you include everything just so your safe. As freelancers that’s our only document.

I think in terms of payment there are different platforms you can go for like paypal, my only drawback with it are the fees. I switched to a Wise recently since it has lesser cost on both the client’s end and your end (formerly it was transferwise)

1 Like

If I may add more. Use that marketing connections outside of Fiverr if you can. I know like those platforms rake additional rates. But just be careful cause on Upwork when you mention just even paypal or gmail they suspend your account. I had that incident before and I went back to squareone :frowning:

1 Like

Thank’s for that Juno information.
But what about invoices, I was planning on using Freshbooks. Do I even need to make invoices, because I heard it makes paying more safer and professional?

1 Like

Invoices are a necessity. It’s a record, and you need to keep good records.

My biggest problem with clients was every now and then someone would expect revisions without cost. It doesn’t work that way. I allowed three minor revisions without cost. And I made sure the client knew I was the one who decided if a revision was minor. In fact, you need to add that to your contracts. And be very clear about it.

1 Like

Yes, thank you for that. I don’t even know what I need or don’t need since I have never done that.
But yes about those revision I am aware of that, when you make like 80% of project then the customer changes the idea of the whole image and expects the price to stay the same. You spend like 8 hours working on things then the customer just says “I changed my mind”, nope gotta pay for those 8 hours :slight_smile:

I talked with couple of people (not customers) and they told me that they wouldn’t be willing to pay upfront some percentage without seeing some progress first. They say that I could “steal” from them, by taking the money upfront and not do anything, so I think that me and my customer should both sign a contract at the beginning where it would say that “I get 20% of the full price before starting the project but then I gotta make something for you”. Because taking money before I even started might repel some of my customers.

But honestly I would just make the first half of the project then ask for 25% of the full price to be payed in advance, so that I could continue with the other half of the project. Write it in the contract, mention to the customer the reason why I do that (reason is that some customers are prone to bail out in mid project without paying for the work done).

PayPal, Credit card payments, all the virtual wallets. There are many options here. You can also talk to your bank and see if they can offer you an alternative payment method. My only advice about the business - don’t waste time and money on unnecessary advertisement. The ads which work the best these days - social media ads. You can also check to be sure it works and how many customers come to you from FB.

1 Like

Ou buddy thanks a lot for that advertisement hint. I was just thinking about it right now

8 hours… the easy ones maybe, which are few. No, try like weeks, some longer. And some expand beyond that. Which is cool because the paycheck expands with them. Some projects can span a lengthy amount of time, specially if you are doing the initial design work and including animations, walk/fly throughs and the like. Added skill, learn how to read a blueprint.

1 Like