As more and more young professionals find empowerment and growth in the world of freelancing, invoices are a critical piece of that “how to turn your passion into an income” puzzle.
Aside from your labor and end product, invoices are the most important part of your business–without invoices, you don’t get paid. Many freelancers feel stuck when it comes to the bookkeeping end of their jobs and opt for simple freelance invoice templates. The problem is that many of these generic templates don’t suit every industry or product.
Don’t let payments and accounting intimidate you. Invoicing can be simple and easy with the right invoicing resources. Let’s talk more about invoices, what they are, how to create them, and how to issue them to clients.
What Invoices Do
An invoice is a document that details the products and services a vendor is charging a client, along with terms and conditions, and how to pay for said products and services. Invoices do several things:
Mitigate Price Negotiations
You should have already set a contract with your clients explaining your rates and how you charge. Your invoice should reflect your policies and rates that were agreed upon before you completed your job. With detailed accounts of the rates and quantities, clients won’t delay payment with questions about charges or unclear fees.
Explain Your Terms and Conditions
As mentioned above, you should have already explained your terms and conditions to your client, including any penalties or late fees for late payment. Your invoice can include a section that reiterates this, and should indicate you have completed all agreed-upon tasks and projects.
Guide Clients on How to Pay
Your invoice should detail how clients can pay you for your services. If you prefer cash, check, wire transfer, or card, detailing how you need to be paid will help clients pay you faster.
Detail What You Did
Your invoice serves as a receipt, in a way, of the work you’ve completed. Some freelancers bill by the project or end product, some by the hour. However you decide to bill, your invoice details it item by item so clients know exactly what they’re paying for.
How Invoices Work
There are many ways you can submit your invoices. Some contractors will draft invoices on the spot at the end of a job when they are face-to-face with a client. However, in most cases, you aren’t in-person with your client once the job is done. Here are some ways to submit an invoice remotely:
- Mail: You can always print out your invoice and send it via mail. This process takes longer, but can be useful for some clients who may not be as tech-savvy.
- Email: This is how many freelancers choose to submit invoices. Simply convert your invoice to a PDF document and attach it to an email to your client. Don’t forget to explain why you’re sending this email and include “invoice” in the subject line. We’re not as fond of this option, because often, these invoices fall into a client’s “spam” folder and get lost, delaying your payment.
- Invoicing software: This is the most secure and streamlined way to submit your invoice. Invoicing software will generate your invoice, send it to clients, send notifications and reminders to both you and your client, and confirm when the client has paid. Many freelancers use Invoice Ninja for invoicing services.
How to Create an Invoice
Invoicing software is the fastest, easiest, and most secure way to conduct all of your invoicing. These services can help you draft quotations for video production, customize your invoices with your brand’s logo, and even remind your clients to pay. When you’re starting out as a freelancer, you can feel as if you’re on your own in the Wild West. With invoicing software like Invoice Ninja you don’t have to do it all alone!