The 4 best practices for freelance invoicing as a freelancer

The 4 best practices for freelance invoicing as a freelancer

This article entails 4 best practices for freelance invoicing as a freelancer. One of the many reasons why people tend to adopt the freelancing system is due to the high income potential. With most freelancers earning a significant amount than their counterparts in the regular employee working system, the lucrative prospect of the freelancing system has enticed many into the modern working system.

However, a prevalent problem facing the work system is the financial challenges incurred during various client dealings and income management. Most freelancers face the problem of chasing their clients for their pay after rendering services, with some even being underpaid poorly for high, quality services.

This is a contributing factor to their ‘broke’ lifestyles even with the extensive work they perform in contrast to other freelancers in the field. This claim is further backed by surveys by the Independent Economy Council which indicates that as much as 75% of freelancers claim to being untimely paid by clients.

To overcome this financial problem, freelancers need to adopt the concept of invoicing to effectively manage finances regarding the freelance system. Invoicing entails the process of sending detailed bills to clients (new and old) highlighting the pricelists of services you render. This process is highly beneficial as according to research, most freelance experts who are highly successful in the system highly regard invoicing, spending as much as 25% of their time on the administrative tasks involved in invoicing alone. Some of these administrative tasks include managing bills, drafting necessary paperwork, budgeting etc.

An highly efficient freelance invoicing strategy offers a whole range of benefits to the freelance system. Some benefits of freelance invoicing are:

1. It saves time and efforts
2. It prompts swift and timely payments by clients
3. It reduces stress of financial anxiety experienced my most freelancers.
4. It makes it easy to track payments and manage finances
5. It builds and maintain professionalism in the freelance world.

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With the above highlighted benefits, the advent of invoicing into the freelance system will be of a greater advantage to freelancers in the modern world. Therefore it is essential to understand the basic rudiments of invoicing to ensure a successful freelance career.

The 4 best practices for freelance invoicing

In this article, we would be discussing the best strategies to employ in freelance invoicing. These are;

1. Crafting a professional outlook

The first thing most client notice about your freelance invoicing is the professionalism in its  style. This is notably the major decisive factor as to whether your work will gain credibility in the minds of your clients, hence the overall style and appearance of your invoice should reflect your professional brand. 

To craft a professional invoice, you can research various templates online to get a glance of how professional invoices are being designed. You should research for the specifics that invoice of your particular niche in the freelance system requires from credible sources. This will provide an inspiration for your own unique invoicing methodology, keeping it organized and professional.

Additionally it’s important to ensure that your invoice  is created in such a way that it is clear and easy to understand. It should also provide your clients with the right information about your brand. To do this, the invoice must be able to highlight necessary fields and cover many details.

Some of these are listed below.
– your brand name
– your address and contact information
– invoice number
– due date for payment
– business logo
– your list of services
– necessary client information (for necessary paperwork) etc.

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It is important to note that including these specifics might take up your time and it might be helpful to employ the services of a skilled graphics designer or an invoice generating software to save yourself the stress of crafting an invoice from scratch.

2. Determine and Set Clear Payment Terms

A good invoicing methodology must always indicate clear payment terms on the invoice. Before we move further, you might be confused as what payment terms entails. Payment terms are clear, specified service agreements and conditions between freelancers and clients indicating basis, mode and amount of payments for services.

When your invoice doesn’t include clear payment terms and is filled with loopholes resulting from bad invoicing strategies, it gives your clients the impression that you are unprofessional and clearly inexperienced. This might result into delayed payments, underpaid earnings, improper discounting strategies and even no patronage at all from prospective clients.

Establishing clear cut payment terms before taking up any contract with clients will help to prompt swift payment, prevent conflicts and maintain a professional invoicing procedure. It is for this reason that your payment terms should be clearly stated with solid wordings that indicate seriousness and professionalism of conduct.\A good invoice with clear cut payment terms should be able to indicate the following

1. The due date for payment
2. Additional fees for late, overdue payments
3. Incentives for early or full payments
4. Accepted payment methods

3. Make a fixed invoicing schedule

As a freelancer, you are a one-man army as you would have to undertake all business activities alone with no supervision from anyone. For this reason you need to develop a fixed invoicing schedule to improve your freelance invoicing skill.

Creating a invoicing schedule connotes the act of sending invoices and bills in a timely manner usually after the completion of a project or contract. The prompt billing system of a fixed invoicing schedule will aid effective management of finances. It will also help to display your level of professionalism, helping to remind clients to keep track of incurred debts.
Additionally, though this step of sending invoices in a timely manner will help curb late, overdue payments. It is important to only do so at the appropriate time clients have the resources to pay debts.

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This is because sending invoices too early can lead to clients forgetting about you while sending invoices late will result in long overdue payments. Hence, you should allow your clients enough time to sort out their finances and budgets before sending invoices, for them to be able to pay appropriately.
In this modern times, there are many software and tools freelancers can leverage to create and send invoices quickly to target customers. This will help overcome the problem of invoice generation and the stress of sending it to clients without any delay or lapses.

4. Setting late payment reminders

As a freelancer the major challenge you face is the constant delay payments which can affect your cash inflow and overall finances. To curb this, you should establish a system in your contract with clients that will aid the follow up of  overdue payments. To the set of customers that  pay late, over time you should emphasize the importance of punctuality, by politely reminding them of their debts. This might be in form of emails, phone calls or even text messages.

Some invoicing systems even come with sophisticated tools like late payment reminders that can be sent to clients right from your platform in just a click. These tools will prompt swift payments from clients in no time

Additionally for ‘unique’ clients that seem to always delay payments or make late payments, in the payments terms of their invoices, penalty fees should be included for long, overdue payments. This additional fee should jolt them back to their senses, making them pay more swiftly.

Israel Otoijamun

Israel Otoijamun is the founder and CEO of GigHQ.xyz. With years of experience in the digital space, I have earned a lot from freelancing, both on Upwork and fiver, thanks to my digital skills. My goal for creating this platform is to help digitally skilled people earn a living through their skills online, irrespective of their location and background. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have enquiries. E-mail: israel@gighq.xyz. ✌️

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