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Why you need to break down invoices for your private clients

To bill your private clients for your work, you’ll send off invoices. I recommend doing this at the start of each cycle, so you’re paid upfront before you carry out the work, but some will do the work and then invoice. This isn’t about that debate right now. It’s all about breaking down your writing invoices for your private clients.

This is one of the most important things to do. You’ll be tempted to just quickly put the invoice together, lump all the work as one, and send off the invoice. Some clients will pay that, but not all will. Clients like to know where their money is going.

Be transparent in your invoices

Just recently, a client I’ve had for the last two years questioned an invoice I sent. It was broken down, but the client didn’t see that. That’s okay, I didn’t mind breaking down the invoice again. It was extremely easy to do so because I’d already broken down the invoice first.

I was able to say why he needed to pay X amount of money for the upcoming work. Some was for the next set of articles to write, while another section was for extra work I’d done during the previous month.

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With the breakdown, he was able to see what he was paying for and why it was more than he initially wanted to pay. There was no argument when he realized where the exact amount was coming from.

Transparency is essential. By being transparent, I was able to avoid a row with my client. He didn’t feel ripped off or cheated, and I didn’t have a stressful time getting my work paid for.

How do you breakdown your invoices for private clients?

Breaking down the invoice is a simple process for me. For the most part, I send my invoices through PayPal because I work with clients all over the world. It’s just easier this way.

So, I can create an invoice in the system and then use the “Description” section to lay everything out. The details that I put here will depend on the client. Some clients want the individual articles written down line by line. Others are happy me putting the month the work is for and bulking those groups of articles together. When I do it by month, I’ll add a second line for the extra work done the previous month. It usually likes something like this:

  • November 2019, 20 articles for the month
  • October 2019, 4 extra articles written

I can then use the PayPal invoice to add the cost per article, add the quantity, and the site does all the math for me.

Invoicing private clients

There have been times that I’ve done the invoices in a Word document. This is for when clients pay me via check, as some local ones do. The layout is very similar to the PayPal invoices.

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Being transparent is the best thing in the world of online writing. Private clients need to understand the work you’ve done for them. It’s only fair. After all, you’d want to know what you’re paying hundreds of dollars per month for, right?

How do you layout your writing invoices? Will you change for your private clients? Share your thoughts in the comments below.