I love being a freelance writer. I truly do. There is very little I do not like about the job, and even those things are very minor annoyances at best. It is a job I enjoy doing and it’s work that I am proud of and passionate about. I honestly can’t see doing any other type of work that would make me this enthusiastic about working.
And as you’ve been expecting, there’s a “but” to that sentence: the signed written agreement. People get weird about having to sign a dated agreement. Clients act as if by signing a piece of paper that literally says “I am going to write the thing and then you’re going to pay me” that I’m somehow tricking them into purchasing a car.
The signed agreement is necessary. As a freelance writer I am my company. I am my boss. I am my employees. The work I do is in a Word document and then emailed. My works does not leave much of a paper trail and every transaction, even from those I have worked for already in the past, carry with them the small possibility of someone getting over on me.
I have not even seen the majority of my clients. 99% of my job is done via receiving an request from my website, discussing the terms over email, and then me completing the job. It’s a fast process; I would venture to say much quicker than hiring someone to perform a service at your house even. In a matter of hours I have the job done. And if I don’t have something in writing holding them responsible for payment, what’s to guarantee that I’m getting paid for my work once I hit “send”?
If you have not used a freelancer before, please understand that signed agreements are not used because we think you are untrustworthy. We do not ask you to sign a contract because it’s the wild west and you’re clearly looking to screw us. We do it because we’re professionals and we need that safety net should something happen. Conducting business online contains a lot of variables. We’re just trying to element one of them.
If you take your car to the mechanic they’re going to review what you need, go over the work and how much it will cost, and then they make you sign an agreement. They aren’t worried that you’re going to peel out of the parking lot with smoking tires as Anthony comes running out covered in motor oil waving a wrench and shouting “AW MAN, NOT AGAIN!” They do it because they are professionals and any type of service should come with a written agreement signed by both parties. It keeps both sides honest.
If you are a freelancer and you are not at minimum using a signed agreement you really ought to. You may not have encountered a problem yet, but it’s honestly only a matter of time. I make everyone sign an agreement before any work starts, and I mean everyone: college students looking to have a paper typed, the owner of the company looking for content pages, a sole proprietor looking to launch a new website, everyone I am going to be doing work for.
Written agreements seem to have a negative connotation, and people need to understand that they are very positive things. By you signing the agreement you are legally stating that you agree to the terms of work and payment. When I sign it I am legally agreeing to the work. It’s the closest equivalent I can have to a firm handshake with eye contact.
Don’t be afraid of the written agreement. Embrace the contract knowing that a professional like myself is actually looking out for your best interests by having you sign it. With it completed I now have the confidence to work on your academic, creative, or professional business writing gig and you now have the confidence to know that I am going to do the best job possible.
Contact me today for your writing needs today. Yes, there will be a written agreement, and it guarantees fast reliable service you can trust.