Are you still revising invoices in 2021? We gotta fix that.
1 Choose a typeface that is clean and exemplifies who you are as a brand
I personally use a Courier-esque font that looks like a typewriter. To me, it is as classic as it is intentional and reading it on a page comes easy. Like a telegram or a train-signal it signals that important information is being conveyed and in a short manner. I personally have a soft spot for the Helvetica family as well. The lines are incredibly clean.
Choose a font that speaks to you and won’t be too funky for the client. The last thing you want is someone trying to translate wingdings to get your check to you on time.
2 Select a color scheme and stick to it
While classic black and white is timeless, it’s also not very eye catching. If you’re submitting invoices to a company that receives them from hundreds of interpreters, yours being a pleasantry to the eye is sure to pull attention right where you want it.
Since 2002 the American Psychological Association (APA) has published findings in color and memory retention; citing that colors which naturally appear in nature do more to appeal to our senses and boosts memory. It’s an additional ‘tag’ of data you can provide when hoping your clients remember you the next time they need an interpreter.
3 Think readability
I often preach in lecture that your billing process has very little to do with you and I stand by it. What I mean by that is that you should always be considering that billing centers around the person receiving the bill. Strive for an invoice so legible and easily understood that questions need not be asked. Every invoice you send should feel like a compliment when it arrives on the paying parties desk. Nobody is ever delighted to receive a bill but if you can make it an easier process for them, imagine how much more they’ll look forward to working with you in the future.
4 Be concise and correct
Most larger companies hiring interpreters have requesting parties (the person asking for the interpreter) and the department responsible for paying for it called ‘Accounts Payable’. Those departments may communicate heavily but chances are they’re both in their own lane. This means, you’ll need more emphasis on the context of which your bill arrives. When billing for a meeting, consider adding the project title, the name of the department and in some cases the address of the location where the work was performed. This reduces the risk of the client’s representative ever needing to reach out in the future, causing a delay to an invoice.
5 Include payment terms and methods
If you prefer credit cards but will accept paper checks, add that to the bottom of the invoice. While most larger companies won’t throw a credit card transaction out unless necessary, many of them are free to do so which can mean the difference between payment at 30 days or 15. You can always include a link for payment or a Zelle handle at the bottom to emphasize you accept it.
If you have a late fee, you can choose to include that as well. With some of our more poorly behaved clients at Flamingo Interpreting, we include that in the tab. It’s important they know we mean business, good business.
For more information on branding, invoicing and all things freelance head over to Flamingo Interpreting where you can book a consultation with Grey or register for the next cohort of Foundations in Freelance.