Need a Consulting Contract Template?
If you’re an online entrepreneur, be it a blogger, a small business with a website, a freelance writer, or a social media consultant, you probably work on verbal agreements. In the old days, people would shake on the deal once they had agreed on the terms. Today, we talk on the phone, via emails, or instant messages. We’re often working with strangers and leave our business up to faith. It is nerve racking on both sides. One side is waiting for tasks to be completed and the other side is waiting for their hard earned money. Few people ever ask for a written contract.
As social media consultants with, The Play Connection, we often work through UpWork which has some safety measure in place, but even then, we’ve gotten duped. Sometimes, the client has no idea that they are cutting you off. Other times, they hurry in and change passwords so you can’t work any more and then they cancel the contract. I’ve had contacts cancelled on Monday, when I’d yet to put my hours in for the weekend. It’s usually a result from the client realizing, they can’t afford to pay you any more. Sure, most clients are reasonable people. When you explain the situation, they will allow you to send them an invoice. However, there are others who are skilled at deceiving freelancers to get free work and/or free consulting.
My biggest issue has always been giving away free consulting. The client and I will agree on what needs done for their social media, how much they can afford, and how much time is required, but then they’ll want to talk about on the phone for a few hours or worse still, twenty back and forth urgent emails. When I turn in hours that are over the time agreed for social media management, there’s push back. “We didn’t agree to that much time for the week.” Right, but we went WAY over that time with back and forth on colors, wording, etc. Reasonable or not, a lot of people don’t see that as an invoiceable charge. They think it should be included, it should be a freebie. And emails.. Well, I’ve actually had people tell me that those emails only take a few minutes of my time and they shouldn’t be charged for email correspondence. I’ve even had more than one client tell me that they thought we were just friends talking on the phone. Um no. I have plenty of friends, thanks.
I’m a sucker for a sad story. I’ve learned the hard way. If you have several clients and you’re emailing with all of them every day or even a few days a week, that leaves little time for actual work and less time for you to have personal time. Your knowledge is valuable. Don’t give it away for free. You must have a consulting agreement in place, signed by both parties, or you are putting yourself and your business at risk.
Been there done that, more than once! Recently, I discovered a great contract consulting agreement template for 2018. Don’t underestimate your time and worth. Be prepared when the client wants to add additional work or they just want to talk about for more time than you’ve allotted. Be prepared if they decide to lock you out and end the work early without paying.
As a small business owner, you also need the terms laid out in an easy to understand manner so that nothing is left to confusion. Often, start up work takes longer than weekly management, have you considered that when making your budget? These things and more should be considered in advance. A contract, helps insure that the client and the freelancer are on the same page. No matter what side of the work you’re on, you need to protect yourself and create a consulting contract.
Are you looking for a social media manager? Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll come up with an action plan to help you achieve your goals.