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How do you invoice clients with varied projects?

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Hi all,

I've been developing my relationship with a new-ish client that hired me initially for blogging, and have also been helping out with marketing strategy & other things, too. We're planning to work together on various other writing projects going forward, in addition to regular blog posts.

I suggested to them that we establish on a monthly basis exactly what work I'll accomplish the following month, and quote per-projects rates for everything, which they said sounded good.

I'm not sure if this is the best arrangement, but I mainly wanted to avoid invoicing hourly, and for us to both know what to expect for each invoice.

I'd love to know exactly how other freelancers invoice for this type of client. For example... Do you come up with per-project quotes for every new piece, or do you agree on some kind of standard pricing tier for everything (like by word or something)? How often do you invoice? How does your process go for assigning work, proposing quotes, and working out an agreement? How often do you do these things? When it comes to invoicing, how do you combine regular work (like a regular blogging schedule) with periodic one-off projects (like press releases or whatever)?

Please share your wisdom! 🙂

4 thoughts on “How do you invoice clients with varied projects?”

  1. I quote everything per-project. If they want multiple projects, they’re simply broken down into line-item project rates, with a total quote for the week, month, or whatever it is at the end. The pricing is standard in that I charge a set rate for different word count ranges for my most common projects, like blog posts. Web copy, white papers, etc. vary a bit more so they get custom quotes.

    I invoice up front, but if they want a monthly contract I leave it up to them if they’d rather pay for the whole month up front or get invoiced at the start of each week. Most prefer to pay the larger monthly amount to minimize paperwork and avoid possible delays week-to-week, which initially surprised me.

    If the invoice is for regular work plus some one-off projects, I simply tack the one-off projects into next invoice for their regular work. There’s really nothing special about how I handle that unless they’re a monthly client and they want a one-off project in the middle of a month or something. Then they’d get a separate invoice for that before I start on the project.

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Jenn!

    Okay, that seems like the most logical way to me. Glad to know I’m on the right track

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  3. If I’m quoting per project then I’ll invoice when it’s complete – I’ll ask for a deposit up front if I’ll incur costs in doing the work.

    If I’m quoting an hourly rate, I’ll invoice every 2 weeks.

    If it’s an open ended project, I find it’s easier just to bill for the hours worked. That way the client has proper incentive not to drag things out endlessly. Whenever I quote a flat rate it’s always based on an estimate of how long it would take me anyway.

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  4. Have you considered a monthly retainer. If you have a rough idea of the time into it, it might work well for you. Just a thought.

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