CONTRACT! CONTRACT! CONTRACT! : Freelancing 101

Anyfactor
4 min readNov 20, 2020

CONTRACT! CONTRACT! CONTRACT! Why you shouldn’t take a job without having the client sign a contract and agreeing to your terms even if it pays less than 5 dollars!!

Contract!! Contract!! Contract!!

This is the stupidest mistake I keep making. I have been told a million times already have the client sign YOUR CONTRACT AND YOUR TERMS, regardless of the situation or the payment involved.

I keep getting burnt and I am going to force myself for EVERY engagement to ask the client to sign a contract regardless of the situation, the complexities, the time, manner of conversation (casual or otherwise) and of course the money.

A contract will save you ALWAYS*. Freelancing is a buyers market and bad reviews cost a lot. You must protect yourself immediately after you have started talking with the client and before even you have started working on the engagement.

Here is how I got or getting burnt for not having a contract.

Payment Fees

Yeah…Totally believable

This really bothers me that some clients deduct transaction fees from my payment. I asked to be paid in X amount, not X amount (minus) transaction fees (minus) forex fees (minus) Paypal auto invoice fees etc.

But clients play dumb even though they load the fees on you and take that discount of you. A contract means you have the ground to tell the client that you deserve exactly in the net agreed about amount regardless of whatever!

Payment Method

Time after time after the completion of the work I have heard this -

Do you have a Venmo?

Do you take BTC or crypto or Dogecoin? (Yes, I have been offered dogecoin)

Even though I was explicit in my instructions, many clients will pull these shenanigans after job completion.

BE STRONG ABOUT YOUR WORTH

Don’t give range options. I will work “7–10” hours.

The client will always assume the most favorable condition for them and will rarely concede to the range. If you are going to give any form of the target just give the minimum amount on the contract, but on a non-contract or “non-vouchable” situation give them a range.

I will do “X” for “Y”. And hold strong about that.

AGAIN! Be CLEAR about payment terms

  • When do you want to get paid?
  • How do you want to get?
  • Within what time you want to get paid?
  • What currency do you want to get paid in?
HAVE THEM SIGN & AGREE WHEN THEY ARE BOUND TO PAY UP!!!

Clients will tell you, “Oh payday is usually at the end of the month, so…”

Now guess what, you have done the job in the first week of the month and your rent is due. “Client’s accounting issue” is not your freaking issue!! You set the term and you set that terms WITH A FREAKING CONTRACT!!!

Contract helps to limit your responsibilities

You have heard that classic joke right? You have a CS degree and your aunt asks you to fix her printer.

Well, that is the same thing with clients. You know you have delivered on the job, you know it freaking works!

But clients are like your aunt, Karen, they assume by taking the engagement you are bound to infinite responsibilities. They will keep asking you to do stuff that is beyond what you think you have agreed to do.

YOUR CLIENT IS PROBABLY NOT YOUR FRIEND.

Your client can be friendly but he/she/they only will talk to you on the basis of the engagement.

“Oh boy, I have no friend but this guy who is paying me to work for him is the only person I have talked in weeks…so, he is my friend.”

This actually happened to me. The only people are friendly to me are client and they are just being professional. Yeah….

No you f****n dumbf***k, be pathetic in your social life but not in your professional life.

“Can you do this?” is equal to “DO THIS because I am paying you to DO THIS”. And at that moment you should ask yourself,

“Was I supposed to do this for the job I am getting paid to do?”

Post delivery service

If you haven’t had the client signed YOUR contract you are essentially their B***H. You don’t know the extent of post-delivery service! “This doesn’t work on my machine?” or “The job you have done isn’t functional”. And the double whammy is that the client suddenly becomes unresponsive after that message.

Guess, who is getting a bad review now? ME!

You are f****d at that point. You are supposed to “help” the client “any possible or reasonable way”. But as you have not asked the client to sign your terms that “any possible way” becomes “any way possible/impossible/reasonable/unreasonable”

Contract!! Contract!! F****n Contract!!

This post barely scratches the surface about contracts. I have made this mistake one too many times and continue to make this mistake because I keep thinking the engagement is -

  • minor
  • casual
  • quick
  • cheap

DO NOT DO THIS!! Have them see and SIGN your terms!

Follow me on twitter where I am currently ghost banned

Or reddit where I talk about nonesense

Or be a f****n champ & hire me https://www.anyfactor.xyz/

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Anyfactor

I rant about programming, freelancing and other stuff. www.anyfactor.xyz | @anyfactor