How to write an invoice for freelance work

Here on the Gigway magazine, we think it’s vital to provide information on the gig economy. We want to create a space for freelancers to learn, grow, get hired and get paid. We want to ensure all you have to do is focus on your skills, doing what you do best. Although the invoice process is 100% automated on our platform, if you are invoicing for services, we wanted to make sure you had the best tools to create a perfect invoice. So it begs the question, how to write an invoice for freelance work? Get hired, do an amazing job, invoice for your valued services and then enjoy that pay day! 

What is an invoice?

So what exactly is an invoice? An invoice, can be referred to as a sales invoice, is a document sent by a product or service provider to the company or person using that product or service. The invoice establishes an obligation and an understanding on the part of the user to pay, for the goods or services provided. The invoice is a written verification of the agreement between the buyer and seller of the goods or services generally submitted after the good or services have been received but this is all verbally negotiable. In this case, the freelancer provides a service to the user. It could be social media management, content creation, SEO services or maybe the full stack development of an app or website. 

How to make an invoice: Here’s what should the invoice include

  1. A professional header

Place the name of your company and the company logo at the top 

  1. Your contact information

Make sure to include your company details such as your company name and address, your contact information and perhaps you tax number or VAT if applicable.

  1. The client’s contact information

Include your clients full name (if you have a personal contact), otherwise simply the brand name. As above, add in the address, telephone number and email. 

  1. Invoice number

The invoice number is extremely important, even if its notial for you, as in #1 or #001, this number will be used in your clients accounts. 

  1. Date prepared

When did you create or submit your invoice? Make sure to invoice that. 

  1. Due date

When would you like this invoice to be settled by? Whilst being mindful of legal obligations and expectations to clear an invoice. 

  1. Payment Details

Make sure you specify your bank details to make it as easy as possible for your client to pay you. If you offer paypal transfer or other similar services, before sure to add these details too. 

  1. Payment terms

It’s important to specify the payment terms if you have outlined these. I.e. The invoice must be settled within 30 days. Perhaps you have pre arranged partial payment or a payment pal?

  1. Breakdown of services

What services have you performed? Title it in a short and succinct manner, Ie “Social media management”, then detail what you did i.e. creating social media content, scheduling and management of all social media platforms. 

  1. Amount due

How much do they owe you, our favorite part! 

How to send an freelancer invoice

There are numerous methods on how to send an invoice, there are many push softwares too but we opts for the old fashioned way! A simple invoice. 

The most important part of your invoice email is the subject line, it’s got to be clear and snappy. You might be able to speed up the payment process further by adding the invoice number for example. Ask your customer’s accounts payable department how they’d like you to set out the email title to ensure efficiency.    

In the body of the email, you don’t need an elaborate message, keep it simple. 

Here is an example: 

Subject: Invoice #001234 From Gigway- Due May 30th 2020.

Good Morning, 

Here’s [invoice number], from [business name], which is due on [date]. Thanks so much for your business. Let me know if anything needs amending. 

Thanks and have a great day

When to send a freelancer invoice

It’s common to send invoices when the service has been completed. If you’re working on a big project, you might send interim invoices for the work done to date. If you are on retainer (regular working contract), you’ll send a recurring invoice at regular intervals.

It’s important to think about your personal cash flow when you create a billing schedule for your clients invoices. If you send all your invoices on the same day every month – and they get paid around the same time generally. But this only works if you can manage your cash flow.

You could always consider invoicing weekly rather than monthly. Or, if you do odd jobs, ie a little SEO here and a little copywriting there, , send invoices as soon as the work’s done as opposed to monthly.

Chasing up your freelance invoice/ How to Ask for Late Payments Professionally

What if it goes past due? It’s awkward but it means you’ll need to prompt your customer. Be polite but act quickly if you don’t want bad habits to form, it’s about establishing respect and boundaries and not being combative. 

Here is what you can say when the due date is approaching: 

Please remember that [invoice number] is due tomorrow. You should have everything you need to process it, but let me know if any questions come up.

When it’s past due, try something like:

[Invoice number] was due yesterday but we don’t have any record of payment. Please let me know when we can expect it.

Or better yet, you could make a phone call to your contact or the accounts department. 

We totally understand this is the most uncomfortable aspect of completing  a job. It can be awkward for you, but it’s awkward for them too. You don’t need to say a lot, clarity is what is key here.  Tell them what invoice is late and let them do the talking, on the phone or on email. Also good practice to ensure you have a paper trail of your dialogue, ie an email acknowledging receipt of the email. 

Our top three tips for freelancer Invoicing!

Be clear

Set out the criteria for the job and the deliverables. That way, you and your contact are communicating effectively about how to progress. 

Get a contract

Make sure both parties sign a contract agreement. Even if it’s just for a one off project, it’s vitally important the terms are agreed upon. You deserve it after all, quality work deserves clear communication. 

Consider using a service to make the whole process easier

Like Gigway. Gigway is a Stockholm-based freelancer platform matching companies with specialists within media, marketing, design and tech. Hire, chat, report, contracts, salaries, payments – in one platform. Let us worry about clients, Gigway is a marketplace for freelance gigs. Sales are tough, we know. With Gigway, we do the sales for you. Earn money from your skills, gig recommendations are provided in the mobile app and it is up to you to get chosen and negotiate the price! Gigway will support you and manage your payment.Work from anywhere, Gigway provides on site-gigs and remotes gigs, depending on customer, project and timing. We believe in the possibility to work from anywhere in the world.