99designs gives you the security of knowing you’ll be paid for your work. Payments are made by clients before any work should begin, but it’s up to you to decide how you’d like to have these earnings released to you.
1-to-1 Projects are all about personalizing the way you work, which is why we make payment options flexible.
For each 1-to-1 Project, you have three options for collecting payment:
- Get paid on completion
- Set payment releases
- Multiple quotes within a single project
This guide will offer advice on the kinds of projects that work best with each option and show you how to set up quotes so you can decide what works best for you and your client on a project-by-project basis.
TIP: Each successfully completed project boosts your designer stats, which means the more paid projects you complete, the more visibility you are given on the platform. Taking payments from clients outside of 99designs will negatively affect your visibility, leading to fewer projects in the future and could also result in account suspension in accordance with our circumvention policy.
Before you submit a quote...
When you’re invited to submit a quote, you should respond in 24-hours or less to maintain a good responsiveness score. Rather than submitting a quote right away, we recommend replying with a message to introduce yourself and to ask any questions you have about the brief (more advice).
Once you've worked out all the details with your client, you're ready to create a quote.
Option 1: Get paid on completion
Get paid on completion is the simplest, most basic option. This is recommended for small projects that can be completed relatively quickly, such as a simple edit to an existing design. Choosing this option will invoice your client for the total amount upfront. Earnings are then distributed to your in one lump sum when all of the services listed on the quote are completed.
After clicking “Create a quote,” you’ll see this screen:
Choosing the Get paid on completion option means the client will pay the full amount of your quote upfront and the earnings are distributed to your account in one lump sum once all the line items or "services" on this quote are completed. This is also a good option when you want to detail all of the tasks you are going to do, but don't expect the client to release earnings to you for each line item. If you would like to be paid as you go, option 2 is for you!
Option 2: Set payment releases
For larger projects, we recommend using the Set payment releases option. This will allow you to set up line items in your quote so the client can pay as you go. For example:
In this option, the client will still pay the full amount of the quote upfront but can mark each line item completed as you go. When each line item is marked completed, earnings will be distributed to your account.
You can request a release from the Payments tab of the project screen. Just click the Request release button next to the task you completed. This will trigger a message to your client letting them know you’re done and asking them to release that portion of the quote.
This is what the client sees when they go to their “Payments” tab on the project:
Notice that the client can choose to release payment for a specific line item at any time. They can also easily keep track of which line items have already been released.
TIP: Do not add line items for your platform and/or client introduction fees. These are fees you pay to use 99designs. Clients pay a separate 5% platform fee per project. There’s no need to discuss 99designs' fees with clients. You should charge enough to cover all your costs. See How to set fees & client expectations for more advice.
Option 3: Multiple quotes within a single project
For very large, high-value projects, some clients may be hesitant to pay the full amount up front. If you feel comfortable proceeding, you can create multiple quotes for a single project so the client has more flexibility.
Things to consider before choosing this option:
- Clients will only pay upfront for the portion of the project you’ve quoted. There’s no guarantee of future payments, so it’s vital that your client understands and agrees to this payment structure before you begin work (advice for setting your own terms).
- Designers with more completed projects on the platform are given more visibility. Once all work is complete and the client has paid all quotes, make sure the client marks the project complete so it counts toward your stats. Clients should start new projects with you for new work rather than continuing to work in the same project space.
You can use the Get paid on completion option to create a separate quote for each part of the project. For example, you could send one quote for your deposit. Once that’s paid, you could then create additional quotes for each part of the project.
To add on a quote to an existing project, click on the Payments tab, then click the Create new quote button on the right. This will add an additional quote to the project.
In the example above, the project contains multiple quotes. On the first quote, the designer chose to Get paid upon completion. You can see it only has one item and the client has secured the payment, but it has not been released to the designer yet.
The second quote has Payment releases set up for three line items. Payment has been secured, but has not been released. The designer can click the Request button next to each line item to indicate they have finished that task and the client will be notified.
The final quote in the example above, which has been paid in full and released, is another way to Get paid on completion. It is just like the first quote except the designer has chosen to list multiple services covered by that payment. This is good for when you would like the client to see all the tasks you will be completed, but don’t need them to release payment for each separately.
This is what the client sees in this example:
Notice that on the third quote, the designer included line items, but the client only had to release one payment for all those items. This is good for when you want your client to see each task you’ll be completing, but don’t expect them to release funds for each one.
Once all work is done and all quotes within a project have been paid, it’s important to click Complete project so the project is counted toward your Designer stats and you can add the finished designs to your portfolio.