Ask FreelanceSwitch: Repeat Clients and Increasing Your Workload
In this issue of Ask FreelanceSwitch, we look at repeat clients and increasing your workload. Ask FreelanceSwitch is a regular column here that allows us to help beginners get a grip on freelancing. If you have a question about freelancing that you want answered, send an email to email@example.com.
I often do ongoing design projects with repeat clients. With repeat clients is it best to have a contract for each project, or just a simple agreement with a list of deliverables?
Most of my clients are actually on-going projects, where I’ll come in and work on their blogs without a set end date. Asking them to sign a new contract every month just won’t work out particularly well. So I write the initial letter of agreement we use to set up a project to include my ongoing rates and to cover the long-term.
If we’re talking about a whole new project on top of what I’ve already agreed to do, I write out another letter of agreement. Letters of agreement work the same way as contracts and legally function as such. I do think it’s crucial to get each project in writing with the client’s signature on it. Having to sign something seems to remind most clients that they’re dealing with a professional. Of course, on top of that, if the worst happens and you need to go to court over non-payment, you have an agreement in writing — which counts for a lot.
I’m looking to increase my freelance workload. Any practical advice on how to do that?
Marketing is almost always the answer to how to get more work as a freelancer. The more people out there that know you exist, the more likely you are are to get work. In particular, you might consider taking a look at exactly what type of projects you want to take on and think about who often has such work.
For instance, a copy writer who wants to land more work writing website content should consider going to as many web designers as she can and doing whatever it takes to make sure those web designers are recommending her to their clients. A graphic designer wanting to work with non-profits should be going to organizations that help non-profits (many counties or municipalities have such an organization) and offering to work with their members.
No matter who you are or what projects you want to work on, there’s probably a person or an organization with connections to multiple projects at once. Finding those key points where you can access many projects at once can make it easier to land more work, quickly.