Freelance work is a liberating way to make a living. But when it comes down to it, getting paid for freelancing can sometimes be a hassle. Having a professional invoicing process in place is key for this line of work. Our sample freelance invoice template provide you with the perfect framework to send off professional-looking invoices that get paid quickly and consistently.
How to use this invoice template
Our freelancer invoice template is simple, intuitive, and free to use. Perfect for freelance writing and freelance designers alike, it is fully customizable to your specific needs. Once downloaded, you’re ready to go:
- Simply add your name and contact information at the top.
- Add and remove lines as needed—the nature of the project will dictate what you need.
- Remember to be as detailed as possible.
- Send it off and get paid!
What freelancers need to know about invoicing
What should be included on an invoice for freelancers
Since you alone are responsible for your invoicing, be sure your individual terms are spelled out clearly within the invoice. An example invoice for freelance work may include:
- Your name and contact information
- Your client’s name
- Invoice number
- Date of invoice issuance
- Work order number or job code number
- Payment due date
- Current payment status
- A description of your work or services rendered
- Number of hours worked on a particular part of the project, followed by the hourly rate for each, and finally, the total amount (hours x rate) for each service or portion of the project
- A line for the subtotal of all costs
- Optional: a line for any applicable discounts you may offer
- Project notes, which are a great way to include additional information on the project or write a personalized note of thanks to your client
- The price you’re charging, including applicable tax
Given the individualized nature of the activity, a freelancer invoice template can take many forms. If the project is being billed as a simple flat or hourly rate, the invoice may reflect that with a similarly simple format. If the project is more nuanced, it’s important to note this consideration in the invoice. A project that required a great deal of research will be billed with that in mind. For clarity, it’s important to let the client know the different aspects of the project they’re being charged for and how they’re being billed accordingly for these services to produce the finished product.
When to send an invoice
The ideal time to send your invoice may vary from client to client, or on a project to project basis. Generally, you want to send your invoice when you know the client is satisfied with the work you’ve provided. Many freelancers like to follow a system across the board for every client to keep things simple—the busier you are, the more important this will become. Just keep in mind that when you’re starting out, there will be some trial and error involved in finding what works best for you.
Invoicing at the start of the engagement may not be well received by all clients, especially if you don’t already have a relationship. However, in the case of a new client or large project, it isn’t unreasonable to require partial payment before your work is completed.
Invoicing upon completion of the project is common in freelance work and helps to foster a sense of trust between you and the client. As your relationships with clients develop, you may see your invoicing process adapt as well.
Invoice like a pro
Freelancing is essentially outsourced work. Clients who reach out to freelancers are outsourcing business to them as an extension of their own company. So it’s important for you to appear professional and experienced if you want to gain the trust of your clients and earn repeat business. Invoicing like a pro will ensure you get paid like a pro—quickly and efficiently. These tips will help put you on the right track.
- Be clear and detailed – the service you provide may often be difficult to measure. Clarity and specificity in your invoicing can do much to show the client not only what they’re paying for, but why they’re paying for it.
- Keep things simple – nobody likes to pay bills. You can help your client and yourself by making the whole process as simple as possible. Lay out all payment options you accept on your invoice so the client doesn’t have the chore of figuring out how to pay.
- Shorten your payment terms – today’s world moves fast, so don’t worry about coming off as pushy when setting your payment deadline. If you follow tip #2 and make it easy to pay, your clients will have no problem settling the debt ASAP.
If you really want to streamline your invoicing process, you should consider automation.
Invoicing tips from business owners like you
As a freelancer, you are your own business. And that’s a beautiful thing. But that independence also leaves you to learn good business practices without anyone’s help. So we’ve compiled some tips for crafting your invoicing process to exude professionalism and ensure prompt payment.
- Be personable – clients want to work with freelancers who are easy to work with. Make sure you don’t neglect politeness in your quest to appear professional. Remember: there’s nothing better than a referral, and there’s nothing worse than a bad reputation. You want to do your best to make sure your client has had a good experience working with you. That way they’ll gladly pay you and keep their business rolling your way.
- Be flexible and reliable – as a freelancer, you’re in an excellent position to be flexible. You don’t have to answer to anyone and you have the freedom to adapt on the fly. You can do well to take advantage of this when designing your invoicing process. Clients love to see a freelancer working to make their lives easier even after the project is completed. Catering to your clients’ preferences is a simple means to ensure repeat business.
- Personalize your invoices – many freelancers find subtle bits of personalization in their invoices really help to foster long-lasting relationships with clients. If the client knows you’re taking their needs personally, they’ll more likely commission you in the future. Since you alone are preparing the invoice, this is any easy step to take and one that pays off handsomely.