How to Invoice Your Client and Get Paid as a Freelancer

Go Back to Course Outline I. Introduction You’ve just delivered your first milestone to your client and now you’re ready to send an in...

Go Back to Course Outline

I. Introduction

You’ve just delivered your first milestone to your client and now you’re ready to send an invoice, get paid, and enjoy the fruit of your labor.

Let's review the process of how we get here.
  1. Find a client. Which we will discuss on the succeeding videos based on the job.
  2. Create a contract.
  3. Send An Invoice.
  4. Get paid.

II. Service Contract Template for Freelancers

Let’s proceed in creating a contract. But why do we need it? Why is it important? And how to create one?
  • While some websites will already protect you when working with a client such as Upwork, there are instances when you will be needing a custom-defined contract. For example, when a client comes from a referral.
  • A contract protects you in case anything happens that affects your ability to deliver as discussed.
  • What should be the content of a contract?
    • Scope of work - be very specific with the scope and date of delivery. And don’t over commit. Don’t promise something you know you can’t deliver.
    • Payment plan or schedule - it defines the date of when you should receive the payment for the deliverables and what payment method should be used.
    • The number of revisions - back when we were starting a design and printing company one of our biggest mistakes was that we didn’t put any limit in revision and some of the clients ended up taking advantage that there were some instances when we edit a wedding invitation 7 times.
    • Additional charges - the price agreed should only be applicable to the scope of the contract. Any work beyond that should be estimated and billed separately.
    • Premium fee for rush jobs - if a client wants to rush a project, be sure to add a premium fee.
    • Guarantee - let the client know the limitation of your liability in case the project results in something unexpected such as 3rd party damages.
    • Copyright - in a software development project. The client automatically owns the code but in some cases, both parties may agree to open-source the code.
    • Cancellation/Termination - in case of something unexpected. Be sure to define how you can walk out of the contract legally.

Disclaimer: I cannot be held liable for any ramifications for the use of this template. Be sure to consult a lawyer or expert on this subject matter.

III. Invoice Template for Freelancers

Now that we have a contract template. It’s now time to create our invoice. There are many tools that can be used to create an invoice. If you search the words “best invoice creator” in Google it should return dozens of websites.

The one I’m particularly using is Paypal Invoice, as it lets me create an invoice within Paypal and send it to my client. If the client has a Paypal account then he/she can make the payment within Paypal and you should be able to receive the payment in real-time. Otherwise, the client can pay through bank transfer and you can manually update the status of the invoice so that it will be recorded in your invoice history.

In case you don't want to use Paypal Invoice, I have created an invoice template in excel that you can download it here.

IV. Payment Methods

And finally here are some payment methods that we can use.
  • Paypal
  • Electronic fund transfer or bank to bank.
    • Locally most banks like BPI and BDO supports bank to bank or interbank transfer
    • Xoom - some time ago a client of mine from Singapore is using this method as it’s cheaper for them. The payment is directly transmitted into my local bank in real-time but I can only withdraw it after 3 days.
    • Western Union, LBC - these bunch are similar to Xoom. You can visit their respective websites for comparison.

V. Tips for Getting Paid

  1. Make it easy and create a pay now button. With Paypal you have PayPal.Me where you can receive payment instantly using a personalized link.
  2. Give the client multiple payment method options to pay. Some clients don’t want to use Paypal because of the fees, so make sure to do some research on what alternative payment methods a client can use from his location.
  3. Set alarms on when to follow up. There are times when the client is just busy or the accounting department is a tad slow, be patient and send a gentle reminder.
We will stop here. I really hope that this course will find its way to those looking for answers on how to get started with freelancing or remote work. Especially now (Feb 2020) when diseases are highly contagious in public places. In the next video, we will take a look at the technical requirements of working from home such as computer specs, how to pick a computer and additional tools.


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