How to Accept Payments From Clients Outside of Upwork

How to Accept Payments from Freelance Clients

One day you looked out upon the ocean of Upwork and saw a storm on the horizon. The seas were rocky, the waves rough, but on the other side was a place you dreamed of going. And as you looked out over those tumultuous waters, you thought to yourself..fuck that mess, I’ll take a different route!

So you set off in a new direction. Said you’d get clients through your website, or social media or some other place. But you have a new problem. Upwork used to handle payments for you. Now you have to do it on your own. So you need to know how to accept payments from freelance clients like a big boy or girl (or whatever you identify as)! Here’s how I do it:


PayPal is the easiest free solution. Create a free PayPal account here. You can upgrade it to a business account if you want.

With PayPal you can create and send invoices that have a link to pay you. It’s user-friendly, and they even let you add your logo.

With PayPal there’s a minor fee per transaction, but it’s wayyyyyyy less than Upwork’s 10 to 20 percent, so it’s worth it. Most freelancers should use this solution.


Stripe is another free option. It works similar to PayPal. You can do the same stuff, but the fees are usually lower.

Stripe also has a nice plugin for WordPress so you can set it up on your website and accept credit cards with a fancy pop-up box if you want.

I like stripe, but it’s not as widely recognized as PayPal, so some clients might hesitate. Also, I’ve had issues with Stripe not letting payments go through for some people.


Today I use ThriveCart. I’ve used it for years and it was a great investment. ThriveCart is a conversion-focused checkout system designed for digital marketers.

ThriveCart lets you offer various payment systems (including Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay and more) in addition to upsells, downsells, countdown timers and even bump offers. Plus it’s standalone so you don’t need a website to host it.

How to Accept Payment from Freelance Clients

Two other cool features I love are that it integrates with my email service (ActiveCampaign) and it lets me create affiliate offers super easy (which is great for getting referrals).

ThriveCart isn’t free. But it’s way better than SamCart’s $49/mo ($588 per year). ThriveCart is just $500 once for lifetime use.


Most freelancers can get by with free systems like PayPal or Stripe. If you have a website you can link to them or integrate them directly.

If you want more advanced features like better affiliate options, email integration, and funnel capabilities, then you may want to consider ThriveCart since it simplifies the process. That’s just my opinion, but it’s what I use and it works pretty well.

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