A Detailed Guide for Freelance Designer Invoice
How to Invoice as a Freelance Designer
For freelancers, the act of invoicing should not be delicate. It is essential for freelancers, especially designers, to set up an invoicing system for proper invoicing, ideally, they should have a freelance designer invoice.
To set up a professional invoice, start by first selecting a preferred template or design a new template and follow these useful steps to ensure that the invoice looks professional and presentable to every customer.
To make the invoicing process simple, solutions like MixBit are packed with different template designs and other excellent features to help your invoice look good and also help you get paid quickly.
Here, we’ll look into:
- Selecting a template for invoice
- Consider an upfront payment
- Check essential details with a customer
- Filling up necessary details
- Following up the invoice
- Selecting a Template for Invoice
Choosing an excellent looking invoice template or layout requires you to pick an invoicing software. For freelancers, there are ways to draft invoice templates, maybe through Word document, Google Docs, Excel, PDF, as well as other offline programs. FreshBooks have lots of templates that will interest you.
As a designer, showcasing your ability isn’t bad. Always add your brand logo or a clear header. Selects a visible font and background color that rhymes with your brand logo to avoid a color riot. Every invoice you draft to a client should be clear and understandable.
Consider Upfront Payment
While you’re with new customers, do not hesitate to ask for an upfront payment before you start the job. If you’re waiting to get paid after completing the task, your payment may be delayed, or you don’t get paid at all.
Some invoicing software can allow you to include your payment policy, maybe demanding up to 50% of the total project fee before commencing the project. This policy is not new in the design industry.
Let the customer be aware of your payment policy beforehand; sometimes, invoices are due after 30 days. It is left to you to extend or reduce your payment date, depending on how you run the business.
In some cases, you have to exercise patience because of the customer’s payment cycle. Some large firms can only pay you after about two months, for instance.
Check Essential Details with a Customer
It is very important that you do not mistake or guess any of the customer’s detail. Make sure you ask the customer for the right details so as to avoid a delay in payment. Customers are always watchful of any information that is unclear on an invoice, and it gives them an excuse to pay late.
You can ask the customer what name they want to appear on the invoice, when a customer sends you a purchase order, ask where you’ll be sending the invoice to. You can also ask what name they want on the invoice. Ask how they want to receive the invoice, maybe by electronic mail or other means.
Filling up Necessary Details
As a freelancer, you should try including your business name and address, your customer’s name and address, fax number, invoice number, and other essentials. The inclusion of tax number is only advisable if your state allows you to collect sales tax. You shouldn’t forget other details like:
- Customer’s P.O. number
- Full description of services offered and price
- Payment terms and policies, including the date payment, is due
- Late payment penalty, if applicable
- The word “invoice.”
- Necessary bank details if you’re receiving a payment check
- Indicate if you’ve received an upfront payment
- The total amount you’re collecting from the customer.
If you have included all those details, your invoice is ready to be sent.
Following Up The Invoice
Once you receive a payment from a customer, record it. To ensure that you follow up on paid invoices, delayed invoices, or avoid any invoicing related issue, You must have invoicing software to help you simply and execute the tasks. It will be stressful and awkward always to chase customers before they can send in payments.
When you set a due date, and you don’t get paid, you should start reminding the customer of their debt. Send an email to keep them notified on an outstanding payment, after some time, and you have not heard from them, call them on the phone to ask when they’ll be paying you, or reach an agreement.
How to Invoice as a Freelancer
As a freelancer, working for customers and getting paid in due time is up to you. The only way to make sure you get paid as you complete a customer’s job is through invoicing.
If you have discussed how you’ll carry out the job with your customer while negotiating, you can put all the quotations and cost into an invoice and send it to a customer.
The invoice sent means you have completed the job and are expecting the total amount on the invoice, as discussed earlier while negotiating.
A Freelancer Invoice should typically contain:
1. Contact Information
Always make sure you add your name or preferably your business name and complete address. Your phone number and email should also be included so a customer can reach you. If you have a business or company logo, add it to your invoice so it can be unique to the customer.
On the other side of the invoice, include your customer’s name or their preferred business name, address, and emails too. If there’s a person in charge of the invoice review in their company, add the person’s name.
2. Invoice Number
Regardless of whether you generate your invoice manually or you use invoicing software, an invoice is best tracked with an invoice number.
As a freelancer, if there’s a mix up about payment or you have to check a previous invoice you once issued to a customer, an invoice number will help you find out the invoice, and you can follow up on any transaction made as regards the invoice. With this, your work will be organized.
3. Date Issued and Payment Due Date
If you need a reminder that the date you issue an invoice is when the payment date starts, here it is. You should endeavor to include a date on every invoice you send. If you have a wrong invoice number on the invoice, the issues date will help you clarify the invoice.
The payment date should be added, and it should start counting from the date you send out the invoice. Do not expect a customer to remember a verbal agreement when you can put it down in writing. The payment date is also dependent on what contract or payment terms have been discussed with the customer.
4. Description of Service and Items and Cost
When you are about sending an invoice, the most important detail on the invoice should be the description of service or goods bought. Here you should list out each service or goods bought with their quantity.
The price of each good and rate of every service should be added as well as the total payable amount of all goods and services.
5. Payment Methods
To make customers pay you in time, you should have different payment methods so that at least one or two will be convenient for the customer. Also include the necessary information needed to make the payment.
If you receive a check payment, add the address the check will be sent. Emails should be added if you accept PayPal funds, or bank details if you accept bank transfers.
With the use of payment software, you can accept many payment methods.
6. Additional Print
If you charge extra fees for overdue payment or give discounts for payments made before certain dates you give customers, state the terms clearly and additional print at the bottom of the invoice for the customer to understand.
This aspect of the chapter includes helpful tips for freelancers when invoicing:
Freelancers are mostly independent in their businesses; as a result, independence comes with some responsibilities on their path. Delivering the best service to customers is one of their responsibilities, and getting paid on time for the job is another. To get paid, sending invoices to customers is also another responsibility, here you’ll find some tips for invoicing as a freelancer.
Before embarking on a project with your customer, go over every detail of the contract, the amount agreed, and the required duration you need to carry out the project. One of the obvious reasons why freelancers don’t get paid is because the invoice is different from what was agreed with the customer in the course of the agreement.
You are required to go over the terms of the contract and check for:
- Agreed payment due date
- Agreed deadline for the project
- Agreed methods of payment
- Ensure that every record of the initial contract is kept to help you when generating the invoice.
In some cases, when your customer has to deal with other freelancers like you at the same time, you are required to work smartly. Provide a clear explanation, describing every detail of service in the invoice, and add correct contact information, date, and the date payment is due. The customer can read the invoice and understand better what they are paying for.
To make things easy for you and the customer, discuss your price and payment terms before proceeding. If you want to be paid upfront, inform the customer about your policy, and if there will be changes in billing structure when the project has commenced, let them know before you start the project.
If you discussed the contract over a phone conversation or via text, send the customer a document, explaining all that has been discussed to avoid issues.
While you’re creating the invoice also, state every detail, and describe all your services. If your customer needs another person to access your work for approval, it will be easy to clarify things.
When you’re working on a big project, and some of the expenses have to come from your pocket, include that in your invoice and explain it. For payment overdue, if you charge an extra amount, include it in your invoice. For taxes applicable, include them as well. Make sure you understand freelancers’ tax rules.
As a freelancer, it is required of you to always communicate with your customers. When you send them an invoice for payment, make sure they can reach you whenever afterward for some questioning or missing details.
To get your customers to pay you, present the invoice in a friendly approach. You can add “thank you” notes at the bottom of your invoice to show that you appreciate them.
When the due date for payment approaches, continue with the friendly reminders. You can as well ask if any part of the invoice looks confusing to them so you can clear them. With this type of reminder, the customer will be eager to pay you.
You can make your work look professional with invoicing software. It does not only simplify the task for you, but it also helps you work smartly and standout in the midst of competitors. Invoicing software will also save extra cost and time and also keep a record of every invoice you issue out, with proper follow up. The system is easy to operate also.