Elements of a Contract

When you work for yourself as a freelancer, few things can be as unnerving as figuring out how to write a contract. Over the last week, we’ve outlined what a contract is and the initial meeting checklist. We have all of this information because of Marlo Derksen. The Facilitator Extraordinaire who introduced us to Peter Block’s book, “Flawless Consulting.”

Whether it’s your first project or your fiftieth, take time to review that your contract has these key components in it.

  1. Intro: states who the client and the consultant are (their names)
  2. The Product you Will Deliver: this is a good place to be specific about what deliverables you’ll be giving them and with dates if that works for you
  3. Support you Need from the Client: specify what you need from them to be able to start or complete the work. Perhaps it’s passwords to their systems or online profiles. Maybe you need one point of contact in their company, etc. This is also a good place to talk about how many revisions you’ll do and the cost for extras.
  4. Time Schedule: you can include this up with the Product you Will Deliver step or do it separately here.
  5. Confidentiality: if needed
  6. Payment (price and method of payment): Lay out your project rate or hourly rate and spell out if there are terms like “50% up front” or “full payment required before final files are sent.”
  7. Ownership of Your Work: who will own what after it is produced
  8. Feedback Required: ask for a testimonial (good or bad) about your work or final copies of your work to place in your portfolio.  Yes, you can actually write this in to the contract!

There are other elements you can include and we liked the Agreement for Professional Services as a starting point sample contract or this site for free tips.

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