How to Create an Invoice for Freelance Work
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on freelance invoicing—a critical aspect of your business that ensures you get paid for your hard work and expertise. Whether you're just starting on your freelance journey or you're a seasoned professional looking to optimize your payment processes, this guide is for you.
We'll cover everything from creating professional invoices to setting up efficient payment systems, managing late payments, and leveraging invoice software to save time and reduce errors. With our expert tips and best practices, you'll be able to streamline your billing, improve cash flow, and maintain positive relationships with your clients. So dive in, and discover how to create invoices that reflect the value you provide and ensure timely compensation for your services.
Consider investing in an invoice generator or an online invoicing system like Blinksale if you want to invoice your clients regularly. We've generated a free PDF invoice template and a free Google Docs invoice template to help get you started!
How to Create Your First Freelance Invoice
Creating an invoice for your freelance work might seem intimidating at first, but it's actually quite straightforward. Truth be told, the challenging part is the work you put in for your clients. Now that you've completed that, it's essential to ensure you get paid for your efforts. Remember, your invoice doesn't need to be overly complex. The key is making sure it looks polished and includes all the necessary details and information.
That being said, here's how you should create and manage your invoices:
1. The Invoice Header
When crafting your freelance invoice, start by prominently featuring both your full name and your business name at the top of the document. Select a font that is both legible and professional-looking, ensuring that your name stands out clearly for your client. If you've designed a professional logo to represent your business, include it in the header to enhance your brand identity. However, if you don't have a logo, there's no need to worry—it's not a necessity. To draw attention to your identity, use a bolder and larger font size for your name or business name, setting it apart from the rest of the text on the invoice. This helps in reinforcing who you are and aids in brand recall for your clients.
2. Contact Details
Your contact details are the next thing you should include in your freelance invoice. In the very first paragraph, mention your mailing address, phone number, email address, and website. This information should be displayed just beneath your freelance business name. To make it much simpler to read, type the information on numerous lines, as seen below:
1781 Welch Ave
Niagara Falls, New York(NY), 14303
3. Contact Information for the Client
In your freelance invoice, the next detail to highlight is your client's contact information. Clearly specifying the recipient of the invoice means incorporating essential details about your client such as their name, postal address, telephone number, email, website, and any other relevant contact details. This step is not merely procedural—it's practical. In instances where you need to follow up on payments, it becomes incredibly useful to have all this contact information easily accessible within your invoice. Taking care to include comprehensive client contact details in your invoice is a wise move for any freelancer.
4. Invoice Number
It's crucial to assign a unique number to each invoice you generate. Think of this number as a special tag that helps you quickly identify and organize your billing documents. The format of this sequence isn't the key concern; consistency is. By maintaining a consecutive numbering system, you sidestep any confusion when issuing your invoices.
Start with, say, #001 for your initial invoice and progress incrementally to #002 for the next, regardless of the client. Assigning these sequential digits is more than a formality – it's a practical tool that simplifies tracking the payment status of your invoices, ensuring that you always know who's settled up and who hasn't. This system not only brings order to your billing process but is also a mark of professionalism that your clients will appreciate and respect.
Embrace the ease of modern technology by selecting straightforward invoicing software such as Blinksale, designed to handle the numeration automatically, leaving you to focus on what you do best.
5. Invoice Date
Make sure to include the date you sent your freelance invoice to your client. The 'date prepared' entry is a crucial detail as it serves as a reference point should there be any delays in payment. We'll delve deeper into its importance within the section discussing payment terms.
6. Due Date / Deadline
Make sure to include the payment due date. It is totally up to you to set a deadline. However, most freelancers and invoicing systems employ a Net 15 (15 Days), Net 30 (30 Days), Net 45 (45 Days), or Net 60 (60 Days) schedule. You may also include a note in your invoice that states "Due upon receipt," which indicates the receiver is obligated to pay the invoice as soon as possible.
Furthermore, this should not be the first time your customer has heard about the deadline. When you agree to perform work for your client, you will sign a contract agreement outlining your and your client's expectations.
If your client does not pay on time, you can refer back to this deadline and, if required, the date set.
7. Options for Payment
If you want to be paid quickly, you must provide numerous payment options. Your clients will appreciate you even more if you include numerous payment options on your invoice. You must specify whether you would like to be paid in cash, check, credit card, payment methods such as PayPal, Stripe, ACH, or all of the above in your invoice.
If you work with a company regularly, they may provide direct deposit to their bank accounts. However, it is more probable that you will be required to produce an invoice to request payment each time you complete a job.
Blinksale can help you accept all of the popular payment methods that will help your client pay quickly and easily!
8. Payment Conditions
Along with the payment timeframe, you should state if you impose a late fee for invoices paid after the due date. Some freelancers employ this method to ensure that they get paid on time. A late fee is typically 15% to 20% of the total invoice fee. If you use a late fee, we strongly advise you to notify your client at least once or twice that the invoice they gave you is past due. That way, you'll give customers the option of paying it without incurring any fees. While you must get compensated, you must also maintain a good relationship with your client to ensure they are willing to work with you on future projects.
9. Line-Item Breakdown
Include a breakdown of the services you've provided. The client will then understand exactly what the invoice is about and what products or services they are paying for. If the client hired you for a variety of services, make sure you include them all. Each product or service should be broken down into line-items on your invoice. Being clear with what you're charging for will ensure your client feels they got value from your services.
10. Amount Due
It's essential to clearly outline the total payment required on your invoice including any applicable taxes. You want to ensure that the amount owed by your client is prominently displayed. If you're itemizing your services, assign a specific sum to each entry and tally the aggregate cost at the end of the invoice. Emphasize the grand total so it stands out, providing a straightforward and error-free payment process when it's time for settlement. Consider legibility for all clients, including seniors who may have difficulty with small print. By enhancing and enlarging the font of the total amount, you aid in ensuring they can effortlessly identify the sum and pay you the correct amount.
11. "Thank you note"
The thank you sentence comes last but not least. This is where you will add a personal touch in order to keep your client happy. It should be located under the comments section or thank you notes section. In that space, provide a thank you letter. The "thank you" note section is an excellent area to insert further information or reminders.
What Is the Best Way to Send an Invoice?
If you write your invoice by hand, we strongly advise you to convert it to PDF format. That way, the receiver will be unable to change it. As an attachment to your invoice email, send the invoice PDF file to your client.
When sending an invoice through email, remember to include the invoice number and amount in the subject line. This will make it easy for you and your client to find it. This will also enhance the likelihood that you will be paid on schedule.
If you want to elevate your brand and get paid quickly, you may also utilize an invoicing system such as Blinksale.
How Should You Follow-Up After Sending an Invoice?
Crafting a sleek invoice is simpler than you might think, particularly with the array of online invoicing tools at your disposal. The real challenge lies in ensuring that your invoice gets paid promptly and in-full. A proactive step to take is to gently nudge your clients as the payment deadline nears. This can be smoothly done by dropping them a friendly email, checking in on their satisfaction and asking if they need further assistance. It's a subtle way to jog their memory about your outstanding payment. Should their reply skirt around the topic of your invoice, it's perfectly fine to follow up with a polite nudge, confirming receipt of the invoice and offering clarity should they have any queries or issues with the payment request or the services rendered.
Blinksale makes it easy to remind your clients about upcoming or past-due payment dates!
How Can Blinksale Help You With Freelance Invoicing?
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the invoicing process? If so, it might be simply because you haven't discovered Blinksale yet. Our super simple invoicing solution provides a wide array of features for just $19/month. Blinksale offers the flexibility to completely customize your invoices, enabling you to set up recurring payments and notifications for your peace of mind. With the ability to create sleek, professional invoices and automate their delivery at your chosen times, this tool will notify you the moment you receive a payment, streamlining your workflow like never before. It's time to experience the ease of billing with Blinksale—why not give it a try today?