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Get Paid: guide to invoicing as a freelancer

How to create and send invoices as a freelancer (and deal with non-paying clients).

Published : January 3, 2023

Author : Sam Baldwin

Invoicing is not the most interesting part of freelance life, but it’s a necessary task to ensure you get paid on time. Being organized and prompt can help freelancers reduce headaches and maximize their earnings. Here are a few tips to help you approach invoicing as a freelancer:

1. Create a freelance contract

Set up a standard agreement with all your clients, detailing the services you provide, how much you charge, and when payment is due. This helps the client understand what is expected and provides clarity on the details of the project. Use our free freelance contract template to quickly get started.

2. Establish clear payment terms

Make sure that you negotiate payment terms beforehand and agree on a timeline and payment method upfront. This will help protect you if a client fails to pay.

3. Issue your invoice

Once the project is completed, make sure you invoice the client quickly and accurately. Include the client’s information, the services you provided, and the payment term. You can create an invoice using our free invoice template.

4. Follow up for payment

Being prompt in chasing up payment is essential. Send a polite reminder if the invoice remains unpaid after the due date.

5. Keep organized records

Create a filing system for all invoices, both unpaid and paid, to help minimize administrative tasks. This can also help you track any irregularities in payment and follow up appropriately.

How to create and share your invoice

You can use Craft’s invoice template to create and share an easy-to-understand invoice with your client. Keep all invoices in a single folder so you can find and refer to them quickly in future.

Free invoice template

What to do if a client doesn't pay your invoice

If a client fails to pay your invoice, it can be a frustrating and disheartening experience. It is important to remain professional and take the following steps:

1. Send a polite reminder: send the client an email or call to politely remind them of the due date and the terms of the agreement. In most cases, this will prompt the client to pay. 

2. Specify a deadline: If your polite reminder doesn’t work, follow up again, specifying a clear deadline.

3. Be persistent: don’t give up if a client doesn’t pay your invoice. Continue to follow up at regular intervals until the payment is received.

4. Create an escalation process: if they still don’t pay, set up a timeline for reminders and notify them that you will escalate the situation if you have not received payment for a certain date.

5. Take legal action: if all other options have failed, you may need to take legal action to get paid. Depending on the size of your invoice, this could be pursuing a ’small claim’ or, for larger amounts of money, consider hiring a lawyer or debt collection agency to help you recover the payment.

It is important to take these steps in order to ensure that you get paid for your services as a freelancer. Keep organized records of all invoices and communication to be able to track payments as efficiently as possible.

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