Why? We at Social Media Pro hear heartbreaking stories – on a weekly basis – from real freelance social media managers, who either never took the time, effort and money to invest in a good contract, or left out important details in their contract. These stories detail payment disputes, communication issues, non-payment issues, scope creep and much much more.
We are of the opinion that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
In today’s article, we give you 7 contract tips to get you started with creating a solid and iron-clad contract.
*NOTE: We are not lawyers. While it may be fine for you to draft your own contract or use a contract template found online to start, always have an attorney look over, edit and approve contracts before signing it and sending the contract to a client.
Learn From Other People’s Contract Mistake!
Clients who don’t pay.
Business owners who pay late.
Shady business deals.
At any time, you, even as a freelancer, can get caught in the middle of a dispute.
As stated before, the best way to avoid issues with clients is to prevent issues from developing. A solid and detailed contract is a must for any freelancer.
Why make the same mistakes other freelance social media managers have made?
Learn from their mistakes instead; create a contract, or rework your contract today if the 7 contract tips we've outlined below are not currently part of your contract!
7 Helpful Contract Tips for the First-Time Freelancer
One of our Facebook group members asked the following question a few months back:
“What is something you left out of your contracts with your first clients that you (learned through experience to) include now?”
It’s tempting to take on a new client who just wants to ‘test the waters' with you. We get that. It's exciting. That first contract might be for one month only, or a 3-month period.
Some new social media managers never even sign a contract for that first trial period at all. (Don't risk it!)
However, the more experienced social media managers advocate for at least a 6-month contract, preferably a 12-month contract, making sure this time frame is prominently written in the contract.
This clause will give both you and your client peace of mind and continuity, which is a big deal in social media as social media management is more of a marathon than a sprint! Results will take some time to show; data needs to be gathered over a period of time and 30 or 90 days is often not enough to show significant growth!
2. ‘End of Contract' Clause
Your contract should absolutely have an exit clause! It is up to you to decide what those conditions are for yourself, and your client. Whichever way you write it up, make sure both of you can end the contract within reason. At the same time, this protects you when a client wants to end your working relationship ‘yesterday'.
Here are some ways to add this clause to your contract:
“30-Day notice required to cancel”
“Creative differences are grounds for dismissal”
“Failure to pay for services rendered is cause for immediate cancelation of the contract”
Therefore, add your preferred communication method to your contract!
Be specific about how many one-on-one meetings you will have each month, specify the length of planning meetings and if they are in-person or virtual! Be as specific as you can be and outline all other communication; include your business hours in your contract.
While not every freelance social media manager has an NDA with every client, you should look into creating one to protect both yourself and your client! It’s a good idea for those working with sensitive materials and in certain industries, such as the medical industry and start-ups just to name two that come to mind.