When I started as a freelance designer in 2012 I’m going to be honest, I basically gave away my blog designs and I started on Etsy. As my portfolio grew, my rates went up and I moved to my own site and stopped selling my services on Etsy. When that time came I had to find a new way to invoice clients on my own. Paypal was the first payment system I used to invoice my clients. It was something I had used for years from buying and selling online, I already had an account and I was just comfortable with it.
Then over the course of the last few years I strayed. I tried several different ways to collect payments like Freshbooks (love) and Wave (don't love) and a few others that I can’t remember off the top of my head. But recently I came back to my tried and true method: Paypal. Truth be told, I don’t invoice clients a lot these days. I’m working on diversifying my income and moving away from doing design work for clients so I decided it was silly to pay a monthly fee when I could do it straight from Paypal with just the transaction fee (that every payment processor will charge you).
If you haven’t tried Paypal for invoicing yet, do it! It’s simple. It’s free of a monthly subscription fee. People know the name and trust it.
Paypal has a ton of advantages you might not know:
- You can send branded invoices (aka you can use your logo)
- You can accept credit cards
- You clients don’t need a Paypal account to pay you
- Paypal has financing options (great if you have higher priced products or services)
- You can use it to keep track of your paying customers and clients
- Use Paypal Here to accept payments in person using your phone
- You can add payment buttons to your website
- You can add a donation button to your website
I’ve talked to other people who have been invoicing clients for years and didn’t know that your client doesn’t even need a Paypal account to pay their invoice!
What you need to know about getting paid with Paypal:
- There are no subscription fees!! Only pay fees when you get paid.
- There are transaction fees and they are 2.9% + .30 per sale
- You can withdraw money to your bank account, by check (for a $1.50 fee) or by using your Paypal debit card. (I recommend moving the money to your bank account to keep your business accounting organized.)
Before you send your first invoice:
- Set up your logo and business information settings
- If you have set pricing like an hourly rate, service packages or products, you can add them as “items” so that you don’t have to type in the information each time you send an invoice.
How to Invoice Clients with Paypal
Log in to paypal and hover your mouse over the “Tools” dropdown menu. If you see it, click “Invoicing”, if not click “More Tools” to find it.
P.S. The “Tools” menu is customizable so if it’s not in your “Tools” menu just click “All Tools” and you can add “Invoicing” to that drop down for easy access by selecting the little heart on the “Invoicing” option. Cool, huh?
Once you’re in the Manage Invoices section click “Create New Invoice”.
Fill in all the necessary information. At the very least you’ll need to fill in:
- Due date (if it’s not today’s date)
- The email address to send the invoice to
- The information on the items or services being billed on the invoice
- The terms & conditions
Once you’ve filled out the invoice make sure you click “Preview” and look it over. Isn’t it pretty? If you followed the directions at the beginning to insert your logo and information it should already look great and make you look like an old pro.
This is exactly what your invoiced client or customer will see so look at it closely and make sure it looks right.
That's it! See? It's pretty simple and look at that beautiful invoice up there with my design logo.
What are your favorite ways to invoice your clients? Have you given Paypal a shot or do you prefer other methods?