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How to Create an Invoice

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There is nothing in the world like getting paid for your first writing gig. But- wait, how do you get paid?

While it is possible that many of your accounts have an automated payment system, or perhaps even pay their providers with an online service, you will find many clients will need a hard copy invoice in order to get you paid. Luckily, creating one of these is very easy.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Stick with what you know. I don't know many writers who can't use Microsoft Word and/or Publisher in their sleep, so consider using one of the templates provided with these software systems to create your invoice.

  2. Brand it. You want this employer to remember you in the future should they have any other writing positions available. If you have a logo, or even a certain font, quote or layout that is unique to your particular service, consider using it on your invoice. At the very least, you must include your name, address and other identifying information in the header of your invoice.

  3. Provide the details. The main body of the invoice should detail the service your provided. If you completed the service via an hourly rate, be sure to enumerate the hours worked. If you completed a per page or per word project, provide those details, too. Basically, you'll want to detail exactly what you did, how, and for how long.

  4. Draw it out. Include a per charge column that cites your rate (i.e. cents per word or dollars per hour), and then draw it out to a total charges column. This not only helps eliminate math mistakes or typos, but it also provides the client an easy way to estimate the cost of hiring you for future work, too!

  5. Bold the total. Make the grand total easy for the accounting department to find...maybe you'll get paid all that much quicker!

  6. Cite your terms. Hopefully these won't be a surprise to your client, as terms are generally discussed ahead of time. Whatever you agreed to, gently remind your employer by adding a one-two sentence blurb under the total due. Example: Total due net 10 days.

  7. Proofead. And then proofread again! Now is not the time to space out and lose a potential future account. Make sure your invoice is as perfect and flawless as your project before you turn it in.

  8. Get paid. Celebrate your success!

Tips:

  1. More and more freelance employers are willing to pay via online money management systems. In fact, some insist on it. It is probably in your best interest to know the ins and outs of electronic transfers, paypal and other virtual pament processing options.

What You Need

  • Template
  • Original terms of payment
  • Calculator

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