There’s an art to the perfect invoice, especially when it comes to being a memorable freelancer. Start personalizing your online invoices; you’ll get paid faster and you’ll strengthen your relationships with your clients.
Don’t think of an invoice as an afterthought — something that comes only after a project ends. Think of invoices as important communication tools that reinforce your freelance brand and your professionalism. Leave them with a good “last contact,” so that it’s not, in fact, your last contact with them. This follow up, if done well, can garner you more assignments from your favorite clients.
Reinforce Your Brand
Sending a well-designed invoice brands you as professional and is one way to increase recognition by your clients amid a hefty inbox of documents. If you’ve branded yourself, you’re more likely to be at top of mind next time your clients need to assign a task to someone who fits your expertise.
Showcase your skills.
Use your invoice as a showcase for your skills. If you’re a freelance writer, your invoices should be clean and free of typos. If you’re a designer, show off your design chops.
Reflect your tone.
Every brand has a voice. So be yourself. If you’re more of a suit-and-tie operation, don’t present yourself as a backward-baseball-cap startup, and vice versa. Be as formal or as informal as you like, so long as you remain professional and true to your brand.
Don’t underestimate good design.
Work with a designer to determine the best colors, fonts and pictures or logos to use that will convey the sentiment you want to promote with your brand. A design professional can give insight on how to make your personalized invoice eye-catching and visually appealing.
Itemize and organize.
Itemizing your invoices shows clients you’re organized. It also shows them exactly what they got for their money. Be clear about the total and the different ways they can pay you. Being friendly and direct goes along way to build professional rapport.
Mention the Client by Name
One of the simplest ways to add personalization to an invoice is to use the client’s name throughout. In his classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” business coach Dale Carnegie wrote about the effect using someone’s name in conversation has on getting that person to pay attention to and be receptive to your message. Even amid a cacophony of noise, one’s name can clearly be recognized and draw attention.
Include the name of the invoice processor and the company name on the invoice. If you have a manager, include his or her name as well. These subtle additions show the person you’re sending the invoice to that you have an established relationship with parties at the organization, which instills a certain level of respect toward you and your work.
Add Valuable Messaging to a Comments Section
The comments section of an invoice is an ideal place to address the client by name. This is also a space where you can convey your thanks. Be relevant and concise.
Use the comments section to:
Thank the client for the work in a unique way. Mention your most significant takeaway from the project or why you enjoyed working on it.
Express a call to action to give you more business. If you’d genuinely enjoy working on similar projects for the client in the future, say so and ask for the business.
Include a helpful link. If working on the project relates to a blog post you have written or read include it. This shows you have a pulse on the industry and that your skills are applicable.
Send a referral. Finding quality freelancers can be challenging for your clients. If you are among a client’s trusted writers and you know a graphic designer who would be a good fit for them, put them in contact. The freelancer will appreciate the work, your client will be thrilled, and the good rapport could result in more work for you. It’s a win-win-win.
Personalize Your Invoices Easily with Intuit QuickBooks
If you’re ready to enhance your online invoice system with personalization to boost your brand and improve your client relationships, QuickBooks Self-Employed makes it easy to get started with step-by-step instructions.
Experiment to find your ideal format. Add the design and messaging you want. And even use the software on your mobile device to send an invoice online, any time, from anywhere.
Use the responses you get from clients to optimize future invoices. Tips you shared in the comments section that garnered an email response from a client can be updated to fit different industries you work in. A referral you sent that worked out for one project may be perfect for another. When you use a software tool that allows for quick updates, instant personalization can keep you current with clients and deliver the most valuable information.