50/50 payment schedules used to stress me out so I stopped doing them.
In the creative field, “complete” is always subjective because there are seemingly endless ways to explore further. The pressure to accommodate extra requests towards the end in order to get paid made me realize there had to be a better way.
I tried breaking the payment into increments, but that didn’t help much either, so I experimented with a recurrent payment schedule not tied to any project milestones.
My pitch went like this:
“We will invoice the same amount every 2 weeks during the engagement. If at any point you feel our team is not producing value or you want to kill the project, just give us a 2-week notice.”
This literally decreased my cortisol level by 50% overnight. No more ambiguity over when an invoice was due, no more stressing over unpredictable cash flow.
Does this work for every client? Probably not.
But like pricing your work, devising a payment schedule is also an art. There is no magic formula and no one size fits all.