Clever Contracting for Freelancers

If you’re a typical freelancer, you’ve probably googled “sample contract” or “contract components.” You probably did it AFTER you got burned by a client. Sad. While having a tidy contract is a great business tool there is a process PRIOR to the written contract. This week at Cohere Coworking Community, we focused on the client/consultant relationship and that first, critical meeting.

In short, we got the tools we need to avoid terrible clients, seal deals and stop giving away the cow for free!

Beth, Marlo, Skippy, Matt, Julie, Sarah Jane and (Angel)

I’ll tackle the summary of contracting in 3 posts:

  • Today: Define what contracting is
  • Tuesday: The contracting meeting/checklist for successful contracting
  • Later on: Elements of a contract

Marlo Derksen was our teacher and he is an executive coach, organizational development expert and professional trainer/facilitator…basically a dream boat in loafers for a group of motley freelancers. By the end of the session, we affirmed that he should, in fact, name his business “Sensi-pants Consulting” because of his ability to understand how you are feeling at any moment.

Marlo took us through an abridged version of Peter Block’s “Flawless Consulting” process. Did you know that your initial meeting with a prospective client should answer just 3 basic questions in under an hour?

  1. Who am I?
  2. Who are you?
  3. What are we going to do together?

So what is contracting? The primary value of a contract is that it provides CLARITY. The contract can be verbal or written but should contain Mutual Consent & Balanced Consideration.

Mutual Consent: both people enter in to the contract of their own free will

Balanced Consideration: both parties get something of value out of the transaction-in an ideal world, the value is equal :) If it feels unequal, perhaps you should be Raising Your Rates!

Stay tuned for part 2…coming soon.

Marlo can be reached at marloderksen(at)comcast(dot)net.

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