You would think writing an invoice should be a simple exercise. Ask for a dollar amount, send the invoice to your customers, and get paid.
It turns out writing invoices is a little more complex than that in this day and age. People and businesses deal with a lot invoices these days, and they want to have a better idea what they’re paying for.
So for a quick lesson on writing invoices, we’ll concentrate on two points: establish and explain.
Before you write one single word or number of the invoice, there’s an important step to take. Your customers don’t want surprises when it comes to getting a bill. They may like little surprises that make them smile, like extra product, but not when it comes to paying money.
So before you start on the invoice make sure every single charge is clear to the customer. For instance, if you’re a freelance writer and a company hires you to write two blogs and a press release, be clear to them how much everything costs. Don’t just say “blogs are around $50 or so and press releases could be so and so.” Be very specific.
If there’s a pricing difference depending on work involved, go into detail about it. If a 500 word blog post is one price and a 1,000 word blog post is another price, let them know. The last thing you want to do is try and sneak around pricing – it could land you in hot water, and at the very least the company won’t work with you again. No surprises!
For the actual invoice, you want to be as specific as possible. Again businesses and people don’t have time in this busy world to ponder what you’re charging them for. If they get an invoice in the mail that seems generic and confusing, they’re going to call you about it, possibly angrily. Even if you laid out everything in advance like the above point says to they still want you to remind them why they’re forking over money.
Try to use the same description on the invoice as you did when you arranged the deal. If you talked with the business owner about writing “two blog posts on Girl Scout attendance in the Southeast region, 1,000 words each” then put that on the invoice. Be as detailed as possible and they’ll have no room to complain.
Also, try to avoid confusing language. Extremely technical jargon doesn’t always go over well when dealing with other people’s money. Even if the client is well-versed with the language used in a specific field you’re never certain who will get the invoice. Instead of the business owner on the phone you could be forced to deal with a confused bookkeeper.
If creating invoices is too much of a hassle, considering the amount you have to deal with, why not let us help? Head over to WePay Invoices and customize your own invoices in minutes. You can even set them up to recur weekly, monthly, or however often you want so you never have to deal with them again!