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Why video producers should send professional invoices
As a video producer you know how to shine the best light on your subjects. It takes a combination of technical expertise and artistic sensibility, along with great management skills. After all, you are in charge of a whole team, and it’s your responsibility to make sure they are all working toward the same vision.
Many clients have no idea of all that goes into the making of a three-minute promotional video, let alone a feature length production. That’s why you need an invoice that clearly explains everything you do, along with the associated costs, so your clients understand what they are paying for.
Besides being polished and professional, your invoices should also look as good as your work. A well-designed invoice reflects your image as a creative and instills credibility and confidence in your reputation.
- Look through the variety of templates we offer in different designs and colors, and select the one that fits your specific video project
- Download the free invoice template in the format you like, such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s free!
- Add your business name and contact information – this is important for getting paid, but also so clients can easily contact you for future work!
- Insert your logo, website address, and if you like, links to your work
- Add in your client’s name and contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it on at the top
- Add the date of the invoice and the payment due date
- List all services provided and descriptions of each, along with the appropriate hourly or flat rate
- Add and subtract lines to customize the format to your needs. Every video project is different, so don’t forget to add in any additional services needed for this job
- If you are including a discount for a loyal repeat client, or as an incentive for a new client, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are receiving an exclusive, lower price
- Calculate the total price of the project, including applicable tax, and list the total at the bottom of the invoice
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- Always add a personal line at the end – it shows you were totally invested in the project and enjoyed working with the client
- Save a copy of the invoice – and then send it off to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your film production clients?
If it’s a small project, some video producers ask for payment upon completion, especially if it is a regular client. If you do this, send your invoice along with the final video to make sure you are paid as soon as possible.
But if the video will take several weeks, or even months to complete, it’s not unreasonable to request partial payment up front. After all, you are running your own small business and have a lot of technical equipment to maintain, people to pay, and materials to buy. You can ask for a percentage of the estimated cost up front, with the remainder due upon completion, or you could send in monthly invoices.
Whatever payment cadence you choose, make sure to reflect that on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final “cost” has been paid to date.
Invoicing tips for professional video producers
If you travel for the project, make sure you include all your travel costs in your invoice. Clearly indicate whether you are billing by the hour or mile, and include all travel related costs, such as hotels and food. Make sure to attach your receipts.
Many expenses can crop up while you’re filming, so include an expense report along with the applicable receipts when you send in your invoice. Explain exactly what each expense is for so your clients know why they are being billed.
If the work you’ve done involves licensing of your video, include all the pertinent information on your invoice and mention that the client can refer to your contract for more information.
Include a ‘payment due’ date
Encourage on-time payment with a clear indication of when you expect payment.
Accept a variety of payment methods
Technology has changed the world, as well as the way we pay for products and services. Consider including payment options such as e-Transfers, direct deposits, and other online payment methods to make it as easy as possible for your clients to pay you.