The most important aspect when you become a free lancer, is how to go about dealing with freelance invoicing. If you want to take your freelancing career very seriously, then you must have to know how to issue a billing statement to your clients by way of an invoice. This has been grossly overlooked by freelancers when they are just starting out because they are more preoccupied on winning more projects and learning as much money as they can. But as time goes by, one would come to the realization that issuing an invoice is a good way of projecting a good image to a client. Not only that, you are conveying the message that you are treating the endeavor professionally.
Freelance invoicing comes in the form of free and paid services. In the former, scores of free templates are available to download online with a variety of designs to choose from. They are mostly done in Microsoft Excel or Word formats where you can do the editing of the entries. Most of these templates are simple in designs which, in my mind, should be the case in order to avoid confusion on the part of the recipient, who in this case is your client, because of so many entries in the document.
When you have finished entering the data into the document, and after examining further that all the entries are correct, then it's time to send the service invoice. Be warned that you can not send it in its current format which is in Microsoft Excel. You have to save it in a PDF file and after which you can make it as an attachment in your email. This is possible with the use of a PDF converter but the Microsoft Excel 2007, which I'm currently using, has that functionality already in place.
Usually, the paid services start by giving trial offers. You can use their services free of charge but it comes with some restrictions. One of these is the limitation of being able to send only a few invoices each month. If you are a free lancer with many clients, then the free membership is not the way to go. In a paid membership, you have the luxury of tracking the time you spend on the project which can be included in the invoice when you are billing the client. In addition, it can handle your invoice payments with credit card or Paypal integration.
Summing it all up, freelance invoicing is one of the nicest ways to handle your freelancing career. It will make you appear as professional and your clients will know that you're taking the whole thing very seriously which is good for them. If you're operating as a single entity, then the free templates will be enough to handle your affairs, but if you're a business contracting of several employees, then the paid membership is the best alternative.