Freelancers all have a story to tell about nightmare clients. They are either unreasonable with their requests, or fail to pay. At one point or another you are sure to encounter one of your own.
However, you can avoid this happening by making sure that you have everything in writing. You may not think that you need one, but try to remember that your freelancing career is not a hobby but a business. Your home office printers, workstation and state of the art computer may make you look professional, but having a contract makes it less likely that you will be taken advantage of.
There are some things that you have to have in your contract to make it very clear how the work will go and how you will be paid. In this article, we will go over how you can write up the perfect freelancer contract.
What the project includes
One of the worst parts of freelancing is when a client decides to pile work on when the project was already agreed upon. There is a term that many freelancers are familiar with called scope creep. This is when the goal post keeps moving and your client has burdened you with request after request when the project should have been done already.
You can avoid this by having the scope of the project clearly outlined in the contract. When the client signs it, they are agreeing that these are the limits and going past them changes the contract. You are not obligated to take on anything that is not already agreed to by both parties.
This even includes realistic deadlines as some people don’t understand the amount of work that goes into what you do. They may have unreasonable expectations as to when the work will get done.
How much will they pay
The next most important thing to have in the contract is your pay for the project. Some clients feel the need to haggle when the project is finished, and they have agreed on the price. Usually, they will pick apart the work and find things that were not done to their satisfaction so they can lower the agreed upon rate.
Have it clear how much the main project is and even add in things that will cost them extra if they are to ask for work that is not in the project scope.
People do change their mind and projects can take some detours. This is normal and should be accounted for in the contract. Give some room for flexibility by adding how many changes to the contract the client is allowed to make before they run the risk of the price increasing or the deadline changing.
There should also be a related clause in which the client has to make you aware of any milestones that they are not happy with when asking for revisions. In other words, they can’t tell you at the end of the project that they are unhappy with the work. There should be plenty of opportunities given for them to voice their concern while there is time to make changes.