The photo organizing industry is growing and people need your help more than ever before. A survey of photographers from earlier this year showed that most professionals are feeling optimistic about business growth in 2022 and have been able to remain steady in their output of work.
This means that there should be plenty of work for those offering photo organizing services. In addition to the professional industry picking up, there is also likely to be an increase in individuals requiring your services in a personal capacity. Travel is on the cards again, as well as events like large conferences, weddings, parties, and more.
All of this means that it’s time to get your invoicing up to scratch to ensure your photo organizing business grows with the rest of the industry.
Here’s what to include on your invoices to look professional and ensure you get paid without any delays or hiccups:
1. All Of Your Company Details
One of the most vital parts of an invoice is your company details. The person receiving the invoice needs to be able to quickly and clearly identify who the invoice is from.
It’s no good assuming they’ll know who the invoice is from because you handed it to them, or because you attached it to an email from your business. What happens if your client saves the invoice for later payment, and then can’t remember who sent it to them?
You need to put your company details right at the top of the invoice in a prominent position. You must include your company name, address, and contact details. You should also include your company logo, which you can design with tools such as Wepik that allow you to make a free logo online, and make sure you use the colors and fonts consistent with your branding.
2. Your Client’s Full Details
The next step is to ensure that the invoice is addressed to the right client. This helps you to see at a glance who the invoice should get sent to and who you should be following up with if payment isn’t received. It’s also reassuring to the client because they can confirm that the invoice is meant for them.
Make sure you include their company details if you’ve rendered your photo managing services to a business, as well as the name of the person responsible for the payment. This could be the person you dealt with for the job, or it could be someone in the accounts department if you’re dealing with a large company. If you’re sending an invoice to an individual for work you’ve done on family or other personal photos, include their full name and, if possible, their address.
3. A Unique Invoice Number
You need to have a way to track your invoices and the payments related to them. The best way to do this is to give each invoice you create a unique number. This can be just numbers or you can make it alphanumerical. Whatever option you choose, you need to keep your tracking system consistent with all of your invoices.
Consistency is crucial because you may invoice the same for several different jobs at different times. You need to know which payment is connected to which invoice, and without a tracking number, this can become an admin nightmare—something that a photo organizer should know to avoid!
Ask your clients to use the tracking number as a payment reference to help you easily mark your invoices as paid.
The simplest way to create a tracking system is to start at number one with your first invoice and keep counting up with each invoice you create and send out. If you want, even more clarity on invoices, you can assign each client a code—letters from their company or personal name—and add that to the number sequence each time.
There’s no specific way you have to do this. Just ensure that you never repeat a number or a code on two invoices.
4. Clear Payment Terms
One of the main reasons payments get delayed on invoices is due to unclear payment terms. As the person sending out the invoice, it’s up to you to ensure that your invoice is clear and that there’s no way for the person reading it to get confused about when or how much to pay.
You need to clearly state the date of the invoice and the date that payment is due. You can either give a specific date for payment or state that it’s due a set number of days after the date of the invoice.
You also need to be clear on any discounts for early payments, or if there are any penalties for late payments that you apply.
Last but not least, provide the methods of payment that you accept. The more options you’re able to give, the happier your clients are likely to be. Popular payment options include cash, credit card, internet transfers, PayPal, or Apple Pay.
5. Line Items And Prices
Finally, you need to be clear about what the customer is paying you for. Line items are the individual parts that make up the total for your invoice.
For photo organizing, these items could include the initial sorting into categories, scanning or digitizing of older photos, and uploading the images to the cloud. Prices for each line item can be set based on the number of photos you’re working with or the number of hours you spend on each section.
Having this breakdown of what the client is paying for allows you to quantify your rates and helps the client to see what they’re getting for their money.
Set Up A Template For Ease Of Use
The best way to get all of this right is to set up a self-employed invoice template with clear areas for each of these different elements. With your template ready to go, you simply need to populate each area when you are ready to invoice your client. You can even set up templates for each client if they have recurring payments, as this will make your life even easier.
When you’re clear and concise with your invoices, it will become so much simpler to ensure that you have happy clients and you get paid on time. This is one of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your photo organizing business.
Sydney Evans is a self proclaimed photophile and a content writer for various online photography outlets. She covers topics ranging from creative compositions, photography techniques, as well as advertising and promotions. In her free time, she carries a camera over her shoulder and takes snaps of subjects she finds fun and have deeper meaning.