– Before accepting a job, be sure to have the scope, schedule, expectations and details of the project in writing. The fees to complete the project, terms of payment, and expectations regarding communication with the consumer should also be in writing. Having a clearly defined project and knowing the consumer’s expectations will help you to satisfy your consumer – and possibly receive additional freelance assignments from them and others!

– Find out when and how often the consumer prefers to be contacted about the status of their project. Keeping your consumer/client in the dark is not a professional way to conduct business. Likewise, you will irritate your consumer if you contact them too often. Keep them informed but do not become a pest.

– Give the consumer an estimate of how many hours it will take to complete the project. Setting a maximum number of hours may also be necessary.

– Be prepared to supply work samples and professional references.

– Keep a copy of the contract that you and the consumer have agreed upon.

Suggested items to include in a contract between the freelance professional and client:

– What is the timeline for the project? How is the final project to be delivered to the consumer?

– How often does the freelance professional need to give a status update of the project?

– What are the details/expectations of this project? What elements need to be included in the finished project to meet the consumer’s expectations? Clearly defining project expectations protects BOTH the consumer and freelancer.

– How does the freelance professional and consumer prefer to be contacted and at what time? (example: Home phone between 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.., email, face-to-face)

– Fees and costs: Will the freelance professional be paid hourly and at what rate? Will the freelance professional be paid a flat fee?

– Is the consumer responsible for paying for needed supplies such as paper, ink, telephone? Is the freelance professional paid when the
job is completed or in weekly/monthly?

· Keep in mind, if the consumer expands the scope of the project after the contract has been signed and agreed upon, a new contract should be written to reflect these changes.

· If a contract is created, both parties should sign and keep copies for their records.