There is no more enriching feeling than being ready to get paid as a freelancer. You know you've worked hard to get it, you've gone through unpaid projects, some bad ones probably, but now you're ready to get what you actually deserve. There's just one problem: how do you bill correctly? Freelancers are in charge of all their finances, of acting as their own accountant and, above all, of charging clients. One thing no one teaches you is what to include in writing an invoice for freelance work, so we put together a few steps so you can do it yourself.
Use a digital system to invoice for freelance work
The last thing you want is to add more work to what you already have on top of it, so better make the investment of hiring a digital service to collect where invoices are created, and tracked. Creating and sending your invoices through an invoice management platform can save you time and increase your productivity in many ways. You'll spend less time tracking invoices or creating a separate filing system, and you'll be able to more easily monitor your freelance revenue and revenue trends as your business grows.
That's exactly why we created Crema! Our platform allows you to have invoices for all your projects, pay them in one payment or multiple payments, send them by mail or via a link and have them all listed on your dashboard. It is an organization that every freelancer should have in their life to be able to dedicate themselves to what they do best. Sign up today LINK to see the benefits and if you have any questions, write us at email@example.com !
Include your brand and your data in the invoice
Remember what we mentioned about personal branding in our article? Well, invoices are no exception. Branding your invoices helps create a consistent look and feel across all your documents. It gives the impression that you are a serious business person. Add your logo and brand colors, along with your name and contact information, to further solidify your business brand and show that, although you're a freelancer, you run a well-organized business.
Here's a list of all the details you should include when writing a freelance invoice:
- Your name and contact information
- Client's name and contact information
- An invoice number (for your records and tracking)
- A detailed list of services rendered
- Payment terms and dates
- Payment options
Of course, this is in case you decide to do the invoices yourself, as most digital invoicing systems do not allow you to customize it 100%.
Specify the services you provided as a freelancer
The key is to be specific. By writing out what is being charged, your payments will come more quickly and easily, without so much back and forth with the client.
Double check your freelancer contract
Your invoice will most likely include items that you agreed upon with your client in a contract. Those details are extremely important when creating your invoice, since by avoiding misunderstandings, you avoid late payments because the client returns it to you or questions you. If you are invoicing a client for the first time, it may also be useful to ask them a few questions to make sure you are doing things the way they prefer. There are people who already work with an invoice template, or a specific process that you could adapt to in order to provide better service, but also to benefit you by having your payments on time.
Remember that you will not always work with one person, you may be providing services to a company or a team of people. So it is important that you establish these things in contracts prior to the invoice and thus, the collection process will be simpler and more efficient.
Include your terms and payment methods when drafting your invoice
If you use Crema, you will notice that our invoice creation process includes a terms and conditions section and that you set up how you want to be paid. If you don't want to create invoices on your own, check out our platform and give it a try!
Your goal when sending an invoice is to get paid on time, so it is your job to try to streamline the process as much as possible so that your customer does not send it back to you and your payment is delayed. For example, with the terms and payment methods established in the invoice, it will be easier for the customer to understand the rules; or, establishing a clear due date will help the customer to keep in mind to make the changes before that date. The more details you establish on your invoice, the easier payment will be.
Be prepared to follow up
In a perfect world, you would send your invoice, receive payment instantly, but this is not a perfect world. Invoices are read late, or ignored, payments are late, and rent is sometimes paid through savings. Not only that, but you will most likely have to remind your customers of the payment. This can be a tricky situation, as you don't want your customers to get the impression that you don't trust them. It can be very helpful to have some automatic reminders to send to customers when they miss an invoice due date. These reminders can gently encourage them to make a payment, if you think they may not have done so because they are as busy as you are. But if you do need to talk to them, remember to speak calmly and respectfully. Chances are they just forgot and needed a little reminder.
Writing an invoice for freelance work isn't necessarily fun, but the results - getting paid and maintaining a good relationship with your clients - are worth it.