Editor’s Observe: Since this submit was initially printed again in 2015, FreshBooks has rolled out newer variations. This submit has been up to date in 2024 to replicate perks, ideas and tips accessible for the most recent FreshBooks platform — which is what you’ll get when you join a free trial at this time.
Should you had been paid for each hour you spend working in your freelance writing enterprise, you’d be wealthy.
However whenever you work for your self, there’s quite a bit you’ll want to do to preserve what you are promoting working easily. Administrative duties like invoicing, protecting observe of funds, consumer administration and bookkeeping can eat up a great deal of time — and also you’re not paid to do them.
The extra effectively you possibly can handle these duties, the extra time you possibly can spend on paid work. And when you can automate a couple of issues, even higher.
Enter FreshBooks, the freelance author’s time-saving and money-saving dream.
It’s possible you’ll already be accustomed to this on-line invoicing software program that makes it simple to ship invoices and obtain funds. However do you know FreshBooks may prevent a boatload in invoicing charges? And that it could allow you to keep on high of what you are promoting bills? Or that there’s a time-tracking characteristic?
Learn on to find out how you should utilize FreshBooks to extra effectively handle what you are promoting and release time to deal with paid freelance writing work.
1. Observe your time
Whether or not you’ve gotten shoppers on retainer, are paid a flat price per undertaking or invoice hourly, it’s all the time a good suggestion to maintain observe of how a lot time you spend on every consumer.
Why? Since you might be logging extra time than you thought. And when you realize precisely how lengthy you’ll want to full a selected job, you possibly can higher consider the initiatives you tackle and charges you cost.
For instance, chances are you’ll assume you want two hours to put in writing a weblog submit, however by monitoring your time you uncover it takes three. Say you’re being paid $50 for the submit. Which means you’re making $16.66 an hour, not the $25 you thought — an enormous distinction.
Monitoring your time when you’ll want to be doing precise work might look like a drag, however the FreshBooks app for iPhone, iPad and Android makes it tremendous simple. Simply choose your consumer and undertaking, then begin the timer — or pause it whenever you want a break — and also you’ll be properly in your technique to time monitoring bliss.
FreshBooks can be suitable with a number of desktop widgets equivalent to ChronoMate for Mac OS-X and Toggl, so you possibly can observe your time even whenever you’re offline.
FreshBooks additionally makes it simple to notice which of your providers you’re utilizing for any given undertaking. As an illustration, maybe you’re a contract author who gives running a blog, copywriting, and web optimization providers. Noting which of those abilities you’re using on every timer you set will help you uncover which of your providers is most profitable — and thus, which features of what you are promoting to speculate extra time and power into.
Professional tip: To set your freelance writing charges, it’s useful to know precisely how a lot time you spend on each single facet of what you are promoting. To get a deal with on how a lot time you spend doing stuff that doesn’t usher in money, create a brand new consumer: your self. Then observe any time you spend on advertising and marketing, enterprise improvement or administrative duties.
Having a full 360-degree view of the place your time goes might be eye-opening. It’s possible you’ll notice it’s time to lift your charges as a result of you’ll want to account for that unpaid time you’re dedicating to what you are promoting every week. (Want a bit of extra encouragement? Try FreshBooks’ e book on methods to cost what you’re actually price.)
2. Improve your possibilities of well timed cost
Each freelance author fears the unpaid bill. To assist keep away from this uncomfortable state of affairs, every bill ought to remind shoppers of the cost phrases you agreed to in your contract. (Should you don’t have a freelance writing contract, it’s a good suggestion to begin utilizing one.)
FreshBooks has completed the heavy lifting right here and analyzed what language for cost phrases works greatest. They discovered that being well mannered, telling shoppers precisely what number of days they need to pay and including curiosity for late funds enhance the probability that you simply’ll be paid on time.
Professional tip: It’s possible you’ll not have the identical cost phrases for all shoppers. You’ll be able to edit the default language on every bill to make sure the phrases you and a selected consumer have agreed upon are appropriate.
3. Handle your incoming funds
“I like protecting tabs on all my shoppers to ensure they pay on time,” stated no freelance author ever.
Once you’ve obtained handful of invoices out for cost, it may be onerous to maintain observe of when every cost are due — and which shoppers might have missed their deadlines to pay.
With FreshBooks, it’s simple to maintain observe of who owes how a lot and after they owe it — all it’s a must to do is click on on “Accounts Growing older” on the backside of your house display to generate a full report.
Professional tip: You’ll be able to arrange your FreshBooks account to routinely ship a reminder to shoppers who’ve missed their cost deadline. Arrange a late cost notification, personalize your message and shoppers will obtain a mild nudge in the event that they unintentionally neglect to pay.
4. Calculate bills and tax deductions
Come tax time, you higher imagine you possibly can deduct each $5.50 almond milk latte (properly, technically half of every one) you sipped whereas doing consumer work out of your favourite espresso store. Use FreshBooks to trace what you are promoting bills all year long and even add pictures of receipts in case the IRS needs them later.
Whilst you’ll need to be diligent about logging and categorizing every expense all year long, this may come in useful whenever you want it most. FreshBooks will calculate the precise quantity you’ve spent in every class, making it a breeze to fill out these pesky tax kinds.
Professional tip: Do you’ll want to submit bills to a consumer? No drawback: FreshBooks makes it easy to mark an expense as billable, so you possibly can bill it to your consumer down the road.
5. Professionalize and personalize your invoices
There are a couple of different small issues you possibly can to to customise your invoices and showcase to shoppers how amazingly organized, skilled and wonderful to work with you might be.
Should you’d like your invoices to look a bit extra skilled, merely drag and drop so as to add your emblem. You’ll be able to even select from a wide range of preloaded templates, colours and fonts to provide your invoices some pizzazz.
Use the notes part to begin constructing a great relationship with a brand new consumer. A brief-and-sweet thank-you be aware by no means hurts. In reality, FreshBooks claims that together with a well mannered “please” and “thanks” will increase the possibilities of your bill being paid.
Have a consumer who communicates another approach than e-mail? You’ll be able to select to export your bill as a sharable hyperlink as an alternative of sending it by means of the FreshBooks consumer, which lets you ship it whichever approach your consumer prefers — which could allow you to receives a commission in a extra well timed trend when you work for somebody who doesn’t attempt for Inbox Zero.
6. Pitches, proposals and pricing
Customisable proposals and pitches give your shoppers all the small print, supported by photographs and attachments. Scope it out, define their wants and the way you meet them, the press ship and win that enterprise.
With in-app commenting, on-line approval and eSignatures, Proposals assist your shoppers take motion. Align timelines and simply convert Proposals to Invoices to avoid wasting time billing.
In progress, seen, or accepted. You all the time know the standing of a Proposal. Shopper questions? Reply proper in FreshBooks. Want an previous Proposal? Observe all of them in Shopper Profiles.