Many freelance writers often ignore the invoices part of the deal, when in reality, it is the most important part of your work.
For seasoned freelance writers, generating invoices is as easy as blinking an eye but when you are creating invoices for the first time, the struggle is to make it look professional.
With the end of the month upon us, many invoices would be going out, and I thought it was an apt time to do an article about it.
What you need for an invoice
- Invoice number
- Order Information
- Payment Information
- Client information
- Freelancer information
- Due Date for the Payment
Invoice numbers can be anything you want, but you need a unique number for all your bills, and its better to use a running sequence so its easier for you when you pay your taxes at the end of the year.
A lot of freelance writers miss out the due date part on invoices, which can be deathly. There should be a due date on every invoice you send, and you should also discuss late fees with your clients.
Choosing the way to create invoices depend on how your client is paying you – whether its directly to your bank account or to Paypal.
You could use the good old Excel to keep track of all your work, and then manually create every invoice for clients.
Invoice templates can be easily found online. Here are a bunch of invoice templates on Microsoft Office, they are free and you can edit them in Excel directly.
Through a Software
There are many cloud invoicing software available online. The main advantage with them is – they are cloud based, which means you will never lose an important invoice.
Secondly, they handle everything. From emailing your clients, to making sure the payment has been done.
If majority of your clients pay you through PayPal, then you could create invoices directly from PayPal’s website. This way its easier for the client to pay you directly, since PayPal sends a payment link, and you will be assured that you did mention the correct payment details.
I have sent many PayPal invoices to clients, and I have noticed that these get paid much faster.
This is another software that I used recently to create invoices, and it turned out really good.
While there are many invoicing tools in the market, not all of them are free. Some charge a fixed monthly fee, while others only allow users to send fixed number of free invoices. Whereas, with Invoicely, you can send unlimited number of invoices.
While many like to send invoices in Word or Excel format, I recommend PDFs because they are not easy to edit.
How often should you send invoices
As often as you can.
If you have clients who pay you on a monthly cycle, then you should be invoicing them by the last day of every month. The sooner you get your invoices out, the sooner you will get paid.
While invoicing software can help track payments, if you are sending manual invoices you might want to save a reminder on your calendar for the same, and send follow-up emails when the payments have been delayed.
How do you invoice your clients? Have you faced any invoicing issues as a freelance writer?