The rule is: Get paid sooner rather than later. Get money up front if you can. Get paid as you go. The least desirable is to bill when you’re done, and wait 45 to 60 days to get paid.
The trick is how do you get money up front, without making the client wary? Or uncomfortable? Without actually saying ‘up front’.
Keep the focus on what they get, not what you want and when you want it. Make the terms sound like the most natural and routine and expected thing.
And stay away from killers like “I require . . .,” “You have to pay“, “I get . .”
“Half the project fee will be invoiced when your design gets underway, with the remaining amount invoiced when the final design is turned over to you.”
“As soon as the initial $1,300 is taken care of, you’ll have your shoot day booked. The remaining amount can be settled on the shoot day itself. ”
“The paperwork is pretty simple. There’s an invoice for one-third of the budget when we start. The second third won’t be invoiced until the modules are turned over for review. The rest is invoiced when you have all the finals on your desk and ready to go.”
“The invoices will be submitted with the usual net, 10 days terms. I assume that’s pretty easy for your accounting to handle.”