Tag Archives: freelance invoices

Sometimes You Have To Tell The Client NO

Joe-Wallace-Vinyl-Collector-and-authorby Joe Wallace

I love my clients. I have just the right amount of them, the projects are diverse and interesting, and I have good rapport with them. Over the long haul, there have been suggested changes, tweaks, alterations to the work flow, content, the usual course corrections that come with any long-term relationship.

And like any long term relationship, there are suggested directions that turn out to be bad ideas, and some that are just plain untenable from the start.

In my early days as a freelancer, I used “the customer is always right” motto until it became apparent to me that, even as a writer (as opposed to a writer/editor/sound designer/social media promoter, blah blah) the clients often turn to me as a subject matter expert and informal advisor–even when they don’t realize they’re doing so. That’s about the time I started saying no to ideas that don’t work, are too ambitious, or just plain bad.

In a sushi bar in downtown Chicago this week, I overheard two lawyers talking shop. Some of the best-ever advice for freelancers came from my shameless “accidental” overhearing of the following paraphrased statement.

“I tell them two things: I say, ‘this is my role and in my professional capacity I will tell you A, B and C about what you’re asking. Now I’m going to step outside my role as your professional and I’m going to tell you what I personally think about this scenario based on my prior experience with it. I do this to let you know that in my professional capacity with you, I’ll give you the advice you need–but I’ll also tell you off the record whether it’s practical in the real world.’ ”

I’ve done quite a bit of that myself, albeit in less direct ways–but I’m starting to think I should take my cues from a lawyer in a sushi bar and start couching it in those terms.

–Joe Wallace

How to Create a Freelance Invoice

how to write an invoiceby Joe Wallace

Some freelance jobs pay a flat rate, others pay by the hour, some pay by the word. Regardless of how you get paid, unless you have an agreement in writing stipulating otherwise, it’s a very good idea to submit an invoice for the work completed.

This is helpful in two ways; it reminds your employer that you have a paycheck coming (never a bad thing) but it’s also a way for you to build in a layer of protection for yourself in case of any dispute over the volume or details of work submitted.

It’s so easy for your busy employers to forget or overlook little details (including the paycheck itself) in the rush to meet deadlines and satisfy clients, but the invoice is a freelance tool you can use to keep the wheels of progress moving. Here’s what you should include in your invoice: Continue reading How to Create a Freelance Invoice