Invoicing! Invoicing tips is actually such a cool topic for freelancers! That’s because this is where the work turns to cash. This is where all of your effort turns into something tangible… money! Exciting times.

But if you’re new to freelancing, it can be confusing and stressful. It was for me. I wanted to get invoicing right. After all, it’s the point when the client must pay you. Money will obviously be on their mind. If you drop the ball when invoicing, they may feel you’re incompetent. Even if your work has been excellent, they may focus in on your lack of invoicing skills and second guess giving you work next month. So no worries if you find invoicing to be a bit intimidating. The following post will help you gain confidence.

Don’t Overthink It

When I first started freelancing, I used QuickBooks. Talk about overkill. It took me 15 minutes to create my first invoice because the software is so powerful. It was way more than I needed. Basically every freelancer should begin with a freemium product like Due’s product and buy the premium version once the money really starts flowing.

You can invoice via PayPal but because of fees, I try to avoid it as much as possible. Even if the fees are being charged to the client – that’s just money they can’t use to run the business that keeps me paid. So I don’t like anyone having to pay hefty fees.

Keep Track of the Work You’ve Done

Be organized. Saying you’re not organized is not an excuse.

Keep track of the work you’ve done and everything it entailed. This means keeping tack of the exact type of work, when it was submitted, who to invoice, when to invoice, what format to invoice, etc. Successful freelancers are organized.

Have Everything in the Cloud

Gotta love the cloud. By keeping everything in a cloud, your documents will remain secure and will be location independent (like many freelancers want to become). This is handy since you can access your documents anywhere there’s an internet connection – no matter the actual machine you’re using. You can of course store the documents locally as well.

PayPal, for Better or Worse, Is Usually the Best Option

I’ve spent many-a-moons trying to find a global alternative to PayPal. There are some. But most clients want to stick with ol’ reliable – PayPal. The last thing you want to do is make a client irritated during the final stretch. So PayPal is usually what everyone uses. It’s okay. Just expensive. And kind of frustrating that it hasn’t been replaced by a faster, cheaper system. The payment world needs a shakeup in this regard.

Know When to Invoice

While most clients want to be invoiced at the end of the month, it all depends. Some clients like the 1st and the 15th. Some clients like you to invoice them right away – and they pay right away. Remember, it’s important you don’t mess up this final step. It’s often said that people remember the first impression of someone and the last impression – the middle stuff gets forgotten.

As a freelancer, this may actually mean that most of how a client remembers you comes down to the moments when you pitch the work and when you invoice. You’re wise for wanting to know more about invoicing. Good luck!

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William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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