Tip for smArtists: Making sure you get paid on time

Artists: Getting paid is important. If it’s a small studio, they simply may forget to mail off a check in a timely manner. That sucks. It’s usually not intentional. They got the art, which is all they wanted, so they’ve probably moved onto working on something else and aren’t thinking about it anymore.

One way you can counteract this is by setting an expectation as early as possible about when you’ll receive payment after submitting an invoice. If they don’t have a date in their head that you need to expect to be paid by, it’s more likely to slip their mind.

See, if you’re working with inexperienced clients, having a set of expectations you can subtly impress upon them can help give them cues on how to think and act. Here’s an example:

You: “Hey, when I submit my first invoice, what’s a reasonable timeframe to expect the check to be sent to me?”
Them: “Oh. A week or so after the invoice, probably.”

And when you submit the invoice, reiterate it:

“Okay, here’s my invoice. Based on our initial conversation about turnaround time on an invoice, you said to expect about 7 days. Is it reasonable to expect a check on or around [specific date]?”

Everybody trains everybody in their own way. 🙂 If you make your expectations clear and are polite and respectful about it, you’ll make sure your business gets taken care of and they learn how to deal with people more effectively and respectfully.

Managers: One additional way to treat your artists well is to tell them in advance exactly when they’ll get paid after invoicing you, and remind them again when they invoice. Setting and meeting expectations is good business. 🙂

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