Here's a proverbial question for you creative hustlers: do you need a contract for every project? Even the "small ones" like share-a-skill gigs with business besties?
The cover your assets answer? Yes!
Even if you prefer the term agreement over contract, like myself, have one. An agreement with a client or co-collaborator is not only an essential starting point to make project kick-off offish - it is also protects your expertise, time, and profits. Read on to see the top benefits of having an agreement for every project and grab two free resources to get you started. The Freelancer Contract (thanks to And Co and Freelancers Union) is an industry standard client agreement template that's free and can be customized to each of your projects. The Savvy Collective Collaborate Email Pitch Bundle is a collection of email pitch templates that you can use to create business shifting partnerships with brands, influencers, and your network.
Cover Your Assets
If your creative business thrives on client work, having an agreement in writing will benefit both you and the client. Key points to outline in the agreement: the scope of work, deliverable timelines, ownership rights of the work, payment details (amounts and schedules, kill fees, revisions, e-v-e-r-y detail). This will outline what is expected of you and what you expect from the client - on time, in scope, and on budget. Your client will be happy to hold you accountable to what you have outlined in the agreement, and even happier when you've delivered the experience agreed to. You will be happy to stay in scope of the work you've agreed to do and get paid on time. Win, Win.
Look Uber Profesh
A client agreement can also be a key asset to your business reputation. Starting a project with a solid, signed agreement is professional - and that's definitely the look you're going for. Trust.
When you are collaborating with another business owner on a project, a collaborative agreement can keep things running smoothly. Just like a client contract, this agreement will outline what is expected from each co-collaborator to complete the project successfully. This is all about acknowledging the value of expertise each party brings to the table and respecting each others time, efforts, and resources. Particularly when money is not exchanged (if you are, say, skill bartering) writing up a simple agreement to outline what is being exchanged and the date it will be delivered will be a great way to form accountability in the arrangement. When money will be exchanged (if you are, say, collaborating with a creative on complementing services to deliver client work), an agreement in writing will cover your assets and avoid any business bestie break-ups. See point #1 above. Mkay?
Now, on to the free resources to help you cover your assets, look uber profesh, and collaborate successfully.
Collaborate Email Pitch Bundle
Sign-up for free access to the Savvy Collective Library and download your copy of the Collaborate Email Pitch Bundle. This includes tried and proven-to-get-you-noticed email pitch templates that you can use to: pitch a for-profit collaboration with a brand, pitch a collaboration with an influencer, and promote your product or service within your network (in a totally non-spammy, casually cool way).
The Freelancers Contract
The good people at And Co and Freelancers Union put together a S-O-L-I-D freelancers' client agreement which you can snag here.