How to Get Paid as An Up-and-Coming Artist


6/25/20232 min read

Remember that ensuring payment for your work requires a combination of proactive measures, professional conduct, and diligence. By setting clear expectations, protecting yourself with written agreements, and maintaining good communication, you can minimize the risk of non-payment and focus on building your career.

For upcoming entertainers, here are some ways to help ensure you get paid for your work:

I must add. Number 1 is probably the most important of all.

1. Written Agreements: Always have a written agreement or contract in place before starting any work. The contract should clearly outline the terms of the engagement, including compensation, payment schedule, and any other relevant details. Make sure both parties sign the agreement to ensure mutual understanding and legal protection.

2. Deposit or Advance Payment: Request a deposit or advance payment before starting the project or performance. This helps to ensure that the client or promoter is committed to the engagement and reduces the risk of non-payment. The deposit amount can vary, but it is common to request 50% upfront.

3. Research and Background Check: Before accepting any work, research the client, promoter, or production company to ensure they have a reputable track record of paying their artists. Look for reviews, testimonials, or ask other performers about their experiences working with them. This can help you avoid potential non-payment issues.

4. Set Clear Payment Terms: Clearly communicate your payment terms upfront. Specify the payment amount, due date(s), and acceptable payment methods. It's also a good practice to include late payment penalties or interest charges in your contract to provide an incentive for timely payment.

5. Professional Invoicing: Provide a professional invoice with all the necessary details, such as your contact information, the service provided, the agreed-upon payment amount, and payment instructions. This makes it easier for the client to process the payment and helps maintain a professional image.

6. Follow Up: If the payment due date has passed and you haven't received payment, send a polite follow-up reminder to the client. Sometimes, delays can occur due to administrative issues or oversights. Keep the communication professional but firm, emphasizing the importance of timely payment.

7. Escalate if Necessary: If you've followed up multiple times and still haven't received payment, consider escalating the matter. You can involve a collection agency or seek legal advice to explore your options and recover the owed payment. However, it's important to evaluate the potential costs and benefits of pursuing legal action.

8. Build Relationships: Establishing strong relationships within the industry can increase your chances of getting paid. Network with other professionals, agents, and artists who can provide insights into reputable opportunities. Positive referrals and recommendations can go a long way in securing paid gigs.

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