Superhero Invoicing: 7 Tips How to Do It

The freelance industry has evolved from its humble roots. Professionals were hired and worked directly through one of several dedicated freelance platforms in the past. Some of these are still around and include Upwork, 99designs, and Freelancer to name a few.

However, freelancers often strike out independently and develop a practice. One of the core features of doing good business is delivering a quality invoice to the customer. A client, customer or a receiving party needs to be sure on what they are paying for and how they can do it.

Even so, getting the clients to pay for the delivered goods is often a chore. Let’s take a look at several pointers and guidelines which can alleviate that and help you write invoices like a superhero in the future.

Superhero Invoicing Tip #1: Personalize your blank invoice

Before you start writing the details of your contract, make sure that your invoice is pleasing to look at. Too many invoices look like standard technical documents or bank checks without a soul to them.

As a freelancer, you are allowed some leeway in making sure that your documents stand out. Whether you are a designer by profession or not, try putting your logo, branding elements and visual decoration on the invoice itself.

Memorable visual and content elements stick out in a positive way. People are more prone to get back to you if their visual sensibilities are pleased. Follow this logic with your freelancer invoices and you should be on your way of getting a response much sooner.

Superhero Invoicing Tip #2: Be honest and professional

The worst mistake you can make as a freelancer is to underestimate the intelligence of your clients. Instead, try to act as a professional and present the facts to them as they are.

Start with chronologically listing the chain of events that brought you to this point (in short bullet points). Paint a picture of your project in broad strokes and show them that you are keeping tabs on everything in doing so. Mention any revisions, hardships or sudden changes you had to go through during the project’s development.

It’s important to be transparent with your clients and also not to undersell your reason for being hired. You did your job well, and now is the time to put a bow on the project by delivering their payment invoice in a succinct and professional manner.

Superhero Invoicing Tip #3: Address your client personally

There is no point in using distant terminology when addressing your clients. After all, the work you have done together has brought you to the point of writing the said invoice.

Address your client by their first name or a nickname (if you are close with them). Use lingo in your writing in a very limited capacity – just enough to put a smile on their face for a moment.

James Daily, blogger at Brainished spoke about client-freelancer communication:

You should strive to set a friendly and positive tone with your client ASAP. Once you do that, they will be easier to convince of your ideas, project feedback, and subsequent payment invoice.

Get your client to lower their guard by reading through your personalized message before presenting them with the final price tag.

Superhero Invoicing Tip #4: Mark your price and payment methods

With all the technical info present on the invoice, you can’t blame the clients for not seeing the final payment report. Make sure that the payment report is clearly broken down and marked on the invoice so that it cannot be overlooked. Don’t leave anything out and take your time to break each number down to individual actions, work hours and outsourcing (if there was any).

Amanda Sparks, blogger at TopDownWriter talked about client payment methods recently:

People will come up with numerous ways to pay for your services. It’s important to be open-minded and to meet them halfway if you want to build a solid and lasting relationship.

Once that’s done, you should give several payment options to your client instead of one.

Superhero Invoicing Tip #5: Remind through calls to action

CTAs can be used in invoices just like they are used in content marketing. They can be very effective at making sure that your client acts on what they just read as soon as possible. For example, a call to action can be placed after the payment report to invite them to reach out to you and confirm that they have read the invoice.

Alternatively, you can include the CTA to ensure their long-term loyalty in future projects and to have you in mind as their freelancer of choice. If you don’t know how to write “Call to Action” effectively, you can reach out to several writing platforms for help, including Canada-Writers and BestWritersCanada to name a few.

You can even write the outline of your CTAs and invoices personally and then reach out to these services for additional editing help. Do what you can to ensure that your clients respond to your invoice by writing effective CTAs.

Superhero Invoicing Tip #6: More than one delivery method

As a freelancer, your job is to be in touch with your clients. However, your clients will rarely have the same mindset so you should prepare for the worst.

Sylvia Giltner, Chief of Customer Relations at ResumesCentre recently spoke about her communication methodology:

I always cover my bases with multiple communication channels. That way, I can reach my client at any time if I need to – and they can do the same as well. This is especially important when the project approaches its final stages and the payment day comes near.

Develop a routine in which you send multiple copies of the same invoice through different channels. Use email, social media profiles, office address, and other methods to deliver your invoice in a timely manner. That way, your clients will never be able to say that they “didn’t see” your very important document.

After all, they already received the agreed content from you as their hired help. It’s only natural that you should be compensated for your effort and expertise in the same way. Don’t rely on a single channel of communication and make sure that you can reach your clients in multiple ways if push comes to shove.

Superhero Invoicing Tip #7: Offer a loyalty bonus

Lastly, a good way to finish your invoice is to offer a small loyalty incentive to your client. This can be anything from a discount coupon to a small cookie or a flash drive with their files on it. A gift as insignificantly cheap as a cookie or a chocolate bar can go a long way in building a positive attitude toward you as a freelance professional.

This can speed up your payment process and make the client feel more obligated to finish the contract in good spirits and pay you on time. It can also bring the client back to your doorstep in the near future if they are satisfied with the work you have done for them. Build your brand through loyalty incentives and the word of mouth will spread on its own.

Conclusion

Writing invoices as a freelancer is a matter of practice. Try to infuse as much personality, care, and information into each invoice to make it stand out as a real invoicing superhero.

After some time, you will notice small details and mistakes which you made beforehand. Experience this process first-hand and learn as much as you can about freelance finances and invoice writing as you go through your career.

James Scott
James Scott, an independent blogger, CEO at writing service Essay Supply and professional marketer Columbus, Ohio. He has more than 5 years of marketing experience and is passionate about professional and agile team management. Even the smallest member of the team can change everything, so a wise manager should do his best to deliver the best working experience for everyone. Connect me on LinkedIn!
James Scott

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