You gotta get paid. Period.
If you’re running a side hustle, odds are that things can get a little out of order. Even if you’re not pulling in enough jobs to justify paying for a program that tracks your services and payments… but you still need to deliver professional looking invoices to your clients and keep track of every dime that comes in and goes out. Here are some tips on invoicing.
Outline your payment terms clearly
Make sure that you have solid answers for the following questions, and that you communicate these things with your clients in writing before you sign a contract.
- When will you invoice? Most people send an invoice upon project kickoff. Some wait until the work is completed
- What are your payment terms? After you send the invoice, how long do your clients have to pay you. 30 days are very common terms. You can calculate your terms from date of invoice or date of project completion-- date of invoice is usually the easier of the two.
- What happens if someone doesn’t pay on time? Will you add a penalty to invoices that are not paid on time?
Include a detailed description of the services provided
Make sure that all services are outlined. If you bill by the hour, this is the place to outline the exact number of hours used to complete the project. If you bill for a completed project in full, outline the specific pieces completed in order to wrap the project.
Accept more than one type of payment
Checks are fine, but they’re a little outdated. Plus it majorly behoves you to have electronic proof of every payment that you receive. Get modern and accept PayPal or Credit Cards.
Make it look legit
Don’t send a word doc or some generic-looking invoice. You’re a creative, damnit. Make sure that your invoices are branded. Even better, have them show a little personality. Here are some great invoices from creatives we love.
Keep serious track
You need to track not only the clients who owe you money, but the money that was paid throughout the year. You also need to remember to invoice on time. This will be of paramount importance come tax time.
Get help if you feel like you can’t handle the tips above.
Here are a few sites that provide free invoice templates:
Here are some services that handle your admin for you entirely and some places to find freelancers (like you!) who can take care of billing, invoicing and even scheduling for you.
So, cool. Now you know how to create an invoice. But what if you don't have any clients yet?
Creative Community Director at Snapfluence.
There is often a pen stuck in my hair.