4 essential (and easy) invoicing tips for freelancers
You don’t have the luxury of a steady paycheck. As a freelancer, your survival depends completely on invoices getting paid. That means there’s a cold hard truth to your freelancing career - it’s at the mercy of your customers. All it might take is one overdue invoice to put you into negative cash flow for the month, or one customer to go belly up without paying you to sink your career completely.
Just like that, it can happen. Risky, isn’t it? Thankfully, you can remove the stress from invoicing and reduce risk by taking control of the invoicing process. It means doing things like vetting your customers and setting up automated reminders, but it’s worth it. It’ll give you more time to work on what you love - and it’ll help ensure you get paid on time.
Here are our essential tips to help you invoice like a pro:
1 - Research your client before working for them
Getting to know your client before you work for them offers reassurance they’ll pay you.
Make sure your client has a registered company number, trading name and directors who are traceable to the business. This ensures you work for a legal entity, not a trading name of a business that hasn’t paid anyone for months.
You can go one step further with Solna.
Solna combines invoice information with credit data to give you intelligent actionable insights. This allows you to safeguard your business by assessing the creditworthiness of your customers.
2 - Send your invoice onto the right person/ department
You’d be surprised by how many invoices don’t get paid because they’ve been dumped in the mailbox of the wrong person. Many freelancers are guilty of this, so don’t feel too ashamed if you’ve been there too.
You can avoid any such issue by asking for the email address of your client’s accountant or the person who pays the bills before you start the project - even if it delays the project until you get the information you need. It’s that important.
If it turns out the person who pays the bills is your contact, make sure they understand what your payment terms are. This will create a sense of urgency.
Read our blog post on invoice payment terms and what to include to create invoices that grab the recipient’s attention.
3 - Integrate a payment platform into your invoices
Want to get paid on time? Your clients will probably pay you immediately if you make it super-easy for them. You can do this by integrating a payment platform into your invoices.
All you’ve to do is include a direct link to a platform such as PayPal or Stripe (Solna has Stripe integration built in - it’s fast and easy to integrate). When your client clicks the link, they’ll be redirected to a payment page that’s accessible on any device. The page will be linked to your invoice with the correct amount filled in for the client to pay.
Clients will have the opportunity to pay with a debit or credit card. This is a more convenient payment method than BACS for some. Why not give it a try?
4 - Automate the process with an invoice management tool
Most freelancers aren’t natural accountants. As you take on more work and your freelancing career flourishes, you’ll find quite quickly your time is eaten up by work. Invoicing will become a second priority in your quest to meet client deadlines, which isn’t a good scenario since you need money to put food on the table.
Enter invoice management tools. These automate time-consuming aspects of the invoicing process, such as sending reminders out to clients and notifying you when you receive a payment. Automating the invoicing process won’t guarantee you get paid, but it’ll certainly assist you in managing the process that makes it happen.
This is a godsend for freelancers because it turns traditionally complicated invoicing processes into simple ones. With just a few clicks, you can send out invoices and leave the process to software.
It really is that easy. At least, it is with Solna.
Create invoices in a flash, automate your cash flow, and reduce your exposure to risk with the first invoicing software to be powered by credit score data. Oh, and it’s free! Sign up to Solna, and start invoicing like a pro!