We’ve gone over how to get paid what you’re worth as a freelancer before, but it’s important that we double tap on one of the most important, but not always intuitive aspects of the freelance life: invoicing.
You’ve just completed your hard work, and for the first time ever someone’s finance department has asked you to ship an invoice.
*blank stares and heavy breathing*
Not to worry though, invoicing is a simple process that ensures you get paid and the client has a crystal clear record of what is owed and expected of them.
Key Components Of An Invoice
Despite their being various software platforms and advice online about making your invoices as fancy and “professional” as possible, you really only need these 9 core things for a legitimate invoice.
- Your Name (or Company Name)
- Address (or Company Address)
- The name of the client your billing to
- A number or unique identifier for the invoice (example INV-A1)
- Date issued
- Due date
- Description of the deliverables
- Payment methods and terms (check, Paypal, etc)
- Amount Due
How To Send An Invoice For Your Freelance Work
Once you’ve assembled all the necessary information, you can create a Google Doc, Microsoft Word Doc, spreadsheet, or any other word processing tool you’d like to create the actual invoice itself.
For a quick and simple guide to copy, I recommend downloading this helpful freelance invoice template from Wave.
Once you’ve created the invoice it’s time to send it. The first thing you’ll want to do is convert your document into a PDF so that both parties are less likely to alter it once it’s been finalized.
From there, you’ll send the invoice via email or if you’re really old school (and don’t mind the stamp costs), by snail mail. It’s key that you give enough time in advanced for them to recieve and process the invoice internally before your expected pay period so you don’t experience any delays in payment for your freelance work.
Once you’ve received payment i’ve always considered it best practice to send one last follow up email thanking them for their business and confirming that their payment has landed in my account.
One last thing, consider a freelance Invoicing Software To Automate All Of This
Yup, I said it.
You don’t have to manually create invoices every time, for every client, each and every month for forever. Not only is that tedius, but remembering when to send them out can cost you money if you forget.
Thankfully, there are many great companies that have put in the work to completely simply and automate invoicing specifically for freelancers.