The music business is notorious for being difficult to make a living. While it's fun to perform in front of a crowd, making sure you get paid and tracking your income can be a chore.
It's important that you treat your creative work as a business — after all, that's exactly what it is. You deserve to be paid for your work, whether it's a music performance at a local venue or a recording session with a music producer. Providing your clients with accurate and professional invoices will streamline your payment process and improve your reputation.
Skynova's free invoice template makes it easy for musicians to create customized invoices for their gigs. Plug in all the data from your jobs into our free music invoice template and generate an invoice for your clients in minutes.
Once you've plugged in all the important information, sending invoices to clients with our easy-to-use software is effortless. That's less time spent on billing and more time spent on making music.
As a musician, you can use Skynova's invoice template to customize invoices and track your income. When creating your simple invoices, here are some of the common components that you'll likely include.
As you write your music invoice, one of the most important pieces of information you'll include are your band name or stage name, the name of your client, and both parties' addresses. This information should be formatted in a way that is easy to read and located on your invoice. You don't want your client to have any confusion about who the invoice is from and who it's for.
In this same section, consider providing additional contact information, such as phone numbers and email addresses, for both you and your client. This will create an open line of communication and make it easy for them to reach out to you with any questions about the payment owed to you.
Before filling out your invoice, ensure your client's information in your files is accurate. You don't want to accidentally send it to the wrong party or the wrong address.
Every invoice billed to clients should have its own unique invoice number. This number should be easy for your clients to find and identify. This number will be used as a reference when they submit their payment. By including this invoice number, you'll know what the payment is for.
Use an invoice numbering system that works for you. There's no one set way to create these numbers. Consider basing your first invoice number on the date of the job you completed or the name of your client. On subsequent invoices, Skynova's invoice template will automatically sequence the number.
There are two important dates that should be included on your invoices: the invoice date and the due date. Including these dates will streamline the payment process.
The invoice date is the date that you generated the document. Your due date will let your client know when their payment to you is due.
It's important to let clients know about your payment policy upfront. Let them know you require payment within a certain amount of time, possibly seven days, 15 days, 30 days, or longer depending on what makes sense for your business. Again, it's important that you're upfront with clients before doing business with them (and make sure the terms are written in a contract).
As a musician, you'll need lots of gear from instruments to sound equipment. It's not likely that you'll be asked to purchase any special equipment ahead of specific gigs — what you already use will work fine or the venue or music studio will have anything else you might need. In case you are asked to purchase specific items for a job, include the cost of these special supplies as a line item on your invoice. Make sure your client understands upfront that you plan to bill them for these items.
Your invoice will also include a line item for the cost of your labor. This could be written in several ways. If you're working in a studio as part of a recording session, you'll probably bill your client by the hour. For a gig at a local concert venue, though, you'll probably bill them a predetermined flat fee.
You'll have worked out pricing and rates for your work in advance with your client, so there shouldn't be any surprises. You'll have to do the math to make sure the total amount you're charging them is correct.
If you're giving clients a discount for your work for any reason, be sure to make note of this on your invoice as a line item. Carefully write out the complete amount being discounted from what they owe you. You want your client to understand that this discount has been applied to their invoice.
Sometimes, discounts are an excellent marketing tool. You can use them to draw in new clients or retain those you've previously worked with.
Add up your cost of labor and supplies, including any discounts being offered for your work, to come up with a subtotal for your invoice. Then, include any applicable taxes or other fees to calculate the total amount due.
At the bottom of your invoice, include a "Notes" section where you can communicate anything out of the ordinary with your client about the payment they owe you. You might decide to use this space to remind clients that you've applied a discount to their invoice or your payment terms. Anything you think your client should know about your work and their payment to you that doesn't fit elsewhere on your invoice should be written in this space.
Let your client know how you want to be paid. Include all forms of payment you accept: credit card, check, cash, or PayPal. Let them know how they can send these payments to you, either digitally, by mail, or in person.
Skynova's invoice template generator will change the way you do business. Submit accurate invoices to clients quickly and easily and get paid for your musical skills faster than ever.
Though our template generator provides you with the tools you need to invoice and accept payments, here are a few additional tips and best practices for you to keep in mind as you handle your billing.
By communicating your payment terms clearly with clients before you start working with them, you're ensuring there won't be any confusion or miscommunication when it comes time for them to pay you for your hard work. The terms of your work and anticipated payment — such as rates, payment due dates, and the type of work you're doing — should be agreed upon early on and included in a contract signed by both parties before any work is done. This will make working together a lot easier.
If you're working by the hour at a music studio, you likely won't ask for a deposit for your work. It is normal to request partial payment upfront ahead of performances. If you've secured a booking on a specific day, ask for a deposit (up to about 50% of your rate). This ensures that you get some payment in case an event is canceled. To make deposit requests easier, Skynova has a customizable deposit request template.
To make it easier for your clients to pay you for your hard work and talent, offer to accept a wide range of payments. If you're playing a gig at a bar, you might find that a venue will prefer paying you in cash. Meanwhile, a more formal event or studio session will probably prefer paying by check. Provide many options so that each client can determine their preferred payment method.
As you grow your music career, rely on Skynova for handling all of your accounting needs. Our small business platform is ideal for a musician working various gigs.
Our all-in-one system makes it easy for you to invoice clients and track your income. Our customizable invoice template makes it easy to tell your customers how much they owe you and when and how you'd like to be paid. Our platform allows you to streamline your bookkeeping in one seamless space.
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure you're meeting accounting standards. If you have questions about best invoicing practices, consult a business expert.