As a freelancer, you are not officially subjected to the protection, rights and duties provided to employees of corporations. You are mostly on your own, and so your contract is one that will provide you with the value and protection you need in your relationship with your clients. Here are three things you need to make sure you include in your contract to ensure you enjoy a journey free of frustration, misunderstandings and unvalued time. Refer to these contract templates to apply them.
Scope: What you will be doing, and not doing
Including the exact details of your project scope makes it clear to you and the client of what exactly will be your duties (what you should be paid for), and what is beyond them (what you are not paid to do). This will prevent the client from randomly adding new tasks into the project, ones you did not agree on previously and would negatively affect your work schedule. Unpaid extra work should not be on your task list. If the client insists, let him know that this extra work can be discussed separately and priced separately as well.
Deadline: Prevent delays early on
The deadline is a very tricky and critical element of the contract, because it sets you both on a track of equal expectation as to when the work will be handed in. Sometimes, it is you who sets the deadline, yet most of the times, the client may decide to set the deadline himself. In all cases, make sure the agreed upon deadline is clearly stated in a clause in the contract to ensure you are both on the same page early on. This will prevent misunderstandings and conflicts between you two.
Revisions: Not unlimited!
As a freelancer, you will get to work with a variety of clients, some of which would be (annoying) perfectionists. They are known as “picky” clients. Such clients are known to request several revisions that can add hours and effort on your back. In the contract, make sure you specify how many revisions are provided for free, and when do they become subjected to additional pricing. This would make sure there is clarity for you and the client and prevent you from working endlessly with no recognition or return. Both time and frustration are saved.
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