From Inquiry to Project Start: How to set up a process to save time & impress clients

This is a long one (but important!) so grab a glass of wine or coffee and take notes!

You have your website, you have your services, and now you start getting client inquiries from your snazzy contact form.

What to do next?

When I first started I had absolutely no process in place- I did it all on the fly. This meant that with each client inquiry, I was spending incredibly wasteful amounts of time. Responding to the potential client, asking a bunch of questions about what they’re looking for, describing to the client the process, explaining their different options, and finally stressing over what to quote based on all the various information given to me over several days, across different email threads. (That was a long sentences. Because it was a long process.) And in the end, not always getting a yes.

So much wasted time and effort that it almost made me cringe when a new email inquiry came in. Crazy, right? Those are the happiest emails we are supposed to get!

And even when all went smoothly and the client booked, since I had no process in place, the rest of project went exactly the same way. Back and forth questions, waiting days to hear back from the client while I twiddled my thumbs for an answer because of course- without the answer I was blocked from moving on.

As soon as I put together a clear, repeatable process, my entire business changed.

  • Each project took half the time (meaning I could take on more clients and more $$$ in my pocket)
  • My clients fell in love with me quicker when they saw how prepared and organized I was.
  • My clients were happier in the end after feeling like I finished their project in light-speed time without too much stressful work on their part.
  • I had all the information I needed up front and no longer wasted time being blocked waiting for a response from the client.

If you can relate to any of these issues, this post is for you. I will outline the different processes I have put together and why. Hopefully if you try them out they may work for you too.

As I am a web designer/developer, I will of course be using specific things to this field as examples. But the general ideas work for any kind of freelance service business.

Packages

When first starting out, I knew that every project is different, every clients desires are different, and therefore the work involved and fee would be different.

So I didn’t put packages on my site and instead asked simply for a list of things the client needed and I would create a custom quote for each project. This works for some people, and it may work for you. But for me it certainly did not for the majority of requests I get.

The reality is that not everyone that asks for a quote may want to work with you and you may not want to work for them. The majority of requests that come in are basically the same. Most people want and need the same things.

Once I figured out what those things were (as well as the things they may not know they need, but I do), I packaged them up into a general category.

Of course sometimes people need a little more than what is listed, and at that point doing add-ons and adjusting the quote works just fine.  But having a baseline to start with makes all the difference. For the client and for you.  Because most clients don’t really know what they want or need and prefer it when you tell them.

So the first step in developing a process is making your packages. It could be just one, it could be 3 (that’s a topic for another day), but at least get a package outlined and on your website.

Basic Client Intake Form

Whether you put a form on your site (I use Typeform because it’s free and easy) or have one ready when someone first contacts you, a simple questionnaire is essential to understanding immediately whether you are a good fit for the client and if they are a good fit for you. **I do recommend putting it on your site, why waste time with an extra email?

Imagine a situation where a potential client briefly describes what they need and you say yes right away to get started. Then you find out their dreams are way bigger than you have the skills of creating/have time to create/or want to create?

I was always scared of this happening, but now my system prevents that.

The first intake form should speak to these issues and get them clear up front.

Some question ideas for this form:

  • Name, last name, website
  • Business and reason behind wanting my services
  • What package are you interested in
  • Do you have a deadline
  • Give examples of other sites you are inspired by or hate
  • Futher comments that will help me understand the scope of the project

You can see my intake form here.

So as an example for me, the most important questions I want to know upfront are whether or not it is a redesign and what kind of style they are drawn too. This gives me an idea of how big of a project it is and whether or not my style jives with theirs. Plus if they point out really code intensive development site as an example, I can explain immediately that the project may be out of the scope of my packages and a custom quote is needed.

Action Step: think about the first questions you always have for a client and what you most want to know up front and get those in your intake form.

Once the client has decided on a package and is ready to book

This is the point where putting together a streamlined and clear process will completely effect the rest of the project experience. The best way I have found to make it clear to the client about what happens next and to set the tone going forward (as well as save me a lot of time) is to have pre-made PDF documents that I can send to each one.

Yes, it takes some time to get these put together once, but more than worth it when just needing to click attach/send with each new client.

Here are the documents I send as soon as a client is ready to move forward:

Website Planning Guide

 

Website Planning Guide

This is a visual PDF guide to all the different aspects of a website. Header, Layout, Fonts, Colors, etc. I show examples as choices and point them to online resources for further investigation. This saves me a lot of time having to explain all the different decisions they will have to make about their website.

No matter what kind of freelancing you do, I’m sure you can think of some specific visual details to put together to help explain the process to your client.

In-Depth Questionnaire

Website Planning QuestionnaireThis is a fillable PDF with every possible question I could have from them about their desires & needs along with all the boring technical stuff. I also refer back to the Planning Guide in the questionnaire.

For example: In the Planning Guide I will show them different options for their header (name/tagline, photo/name, etc) and in the questionnaire I ask them to choose one of the options from the Guide or list something different.

This helps give them direction and makes the tech terms easier for them to understand.

Some examples of items I list in the Questionnaire:

  1. All login information for any account I would need access to.
  2. How many pages they will have and their names.
  3. Which pages in the menu bar
  4. Menu bar below or above header or if other
  5. Desired page layout for each page (examples in the Guide)
  6. What feeling do you want to portray
  7. Who is your competition and what do you like/dislike about their websites.
  8. Who is your target customer and what do they like.

Etc, etc….I think I have over 30 questions in mine!

Does this seem like a lot to the client? Probably. In the beginning I feared they would be turned off by the amount of work on their part. But the reality is that there IS a lot of work on their part. They will answer these questions at some point, it’s better for both us to have them sorted out up front and not across a million emails during the process.

I tell them I’m always available to hop on the phone to discuss any question in further detail and for the really awesome clients that want me to make the majority of decisions, they can tell me that too.  But that is rare.

Process Document

This is a PDF where I outline step by step what happens in the entire project process. This is just a numbered list, but makes clear what happens when.

Some things I include:

How To Get Started

The first thing I ask is that they looked over the guide and questionnaire and decide when they will have that, along with all content and images ready for me.

This is KEY. I don’t start the project until everything is given to me.

I received an email question from a lovely reader and it explains perfectly why:

My very first client has been a bit of a nightmare…She is super sweet but she couldn’t decide what kind of website she wanted.. she went from super simple to I want people to be able to upload things… 

Plus she’s a procrastinator, she contacted me in early April and it’s almost November and she can’t get her content together…it just drives me crazy to be working in bits. She will send me an email about the fonts and two weeks later a list of services. Meanwhile I lose momentum and even forget how I was building the site in the first place…

People do not have a clear idea of what they need or want so they hand their content by bits and pieces until it’s no longer practical or profitable (or even motivating) for you to keep working on the site. This is why I ask about your workflow. How do you get clients to start and end a project on a given schedule?

Clients need deadlines and they love processes. They might not say so but it is true. Whether disorganized or not, every client appreciates knowing what they are supposed to do and when.

If you start a project on the fly, you risk it dragging on forever.

The simple solution is to outline it upfront and stick to it. Don’t start a project until you have everything you need.

In the beginning, when you don’t have a lot of freelance work, you may think  “I might as well start, I have nothing else to do and the sooner I start the sooner it will be over and I can get paid.”

But in the end it is not worth it, I promise. And there are better ways to get paid (read on…)

So make sure the client and you have everything you need before you get started.  I go as far as to ask them for their desired start date (based on when they can have everything to me) and request that all items are sent 1 week prior to that date. If they aren’t ready, we’ll push back the start date.

BONUS: Grab the Freelance Process Cheat Sheet to learn the 6 steps in your process you MUST automate and the tools to use to do so. Get it FREE!

Getting Paid

Everyone does this a little different and there is no right or wrong answer. But make sure you are setting your payment schedule to reduce the risk for both of you and to make it as fair as possible for the work you are putting in.

getting paid

I make sure this is listed in my process document and make it clear to the client how this works and why.

Personally I ask for 50% before starting and 50% when the project is done or within 30 days, whichever comes first. This ensures that I am getting paid regardless of whether the client is dragging their feet with their side of the work. This also puts a timeline in their head and makes them feel like they need to get it done before the 30 day payment or I could technically just run off with the cash 🙂 I hope they don’t actually think that, but psychologically I think it has an effect.

And if they are booking in advance (for those lovely months where I am actually booked out) I ask for 25% non-refundable booking deposit. This ensures I’m saving my time and brain power for the serious ones and allows me to count on future income to some extent.

Other Process Details

Some other details to list in the process document:

  •  How many revisions you will do and what happens if they need more.
  • Typical working hours and when to expect a response to an email (I tend to respond to emails late at night and on the weekends, but I let them know that although this happens, not to expect it as I do have to set boundaries as they should!)
  • What happens if they want to add anything extra in the middle of the project.
  • What I work on first, second, last (so they get an idea of the behind the scenes stuff they don’t see).
  • What happens when I finish (how do I hand over the work, what else will they receive from me, when will they receive the final invoice).

And that’s it!

I put together these 3 documents once for a package and can use them over and over again. I simply send it to the client immediately after they express desire to book with me, and when the project start date rolls around, they hand everything over and it’s my turn to get to work!

Of course, there are always new questions that come up, and email exchanges about details. But having everything together, in one place cuts down on a lot of that and ensures the project gets off to a timely and productive start.

How To Make These Documents

There are a few options for making pretty pdfs, some paid, some free, depending on your skill level and what software you already have on your computer. Or you can just stick to an editable document like Word.

  • Microsoft Word
  • iWork Pages (Mac)
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Indesign

For fillable PDFs:

If you are proficient in Adobe Acrobat or Indesign you can make your PDFs fillable with those tools. If you want to go as simple as possible and stick to Microsoft Word, I recommend using someone on Fiverr.com or Upwork to add-in the fillable areas under your questions.

No matter what kind of freelancer you are…

web designer, graphic designer, photographer, copy writer, videographer….etc, taking the time to set up processes (preferably in pdf documents that you can use again and again) will save time usually wasted on email, speed up the turn-around of each project, and help show your clients you are the pro they hope you to be.

 

And remember. Your process goes beyond just the intake form. For more help in setting up your entire A-Z freelancing process, download my FREE Freelance Process Cheat Sheet. It covers a few more of the steps you need to streamline and automate and some online tools to help you do so.

If you do find this useful, let me know in the comments and share this post on Facebook or Twitter, so I know I’m on the right track!

-Leah

Leah Kalamakis Leah Kalamakis is the founder of The Freelance To Freedom Project and a web designer/developer for brilliant entrepreneurs. When she’s not hanging out in the FTF Community, you can find her people watching on the streets of NYC. Come say hi on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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FREE FREELANCE PROCESS CHEAT SHEET
The 6 steps of your process you need to automate and the tools to use to do so.

Get it now!

{ 68 comments… add one }
  • Leah,
    WOW!! Thanks so much for sharing your process!! This is a super helpful post for freelancers and I am so very grateful for your generosity. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to streamline my processes as well. You nailed this!! I would be very grateful to see how you chose to layout your documents. I love how organized you are 🙂 Do you also use on online scheduling tool for consults?
    -Kristy

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Oh I’m so glad it’s helpful Kristy. Once you have it in place you realize that although a bit of work up front, you could no longer live without it. I don’t use online scheduling as I find most of my clients prefer to consult via email first. It’s usually me that wants to chat on the phone to make sure everything is clear in which case we decide on a time via email. But if I see more consult requests coming in, it’s definitely the first thing I will setup as it is another good way to cut back on the back and forth emails. Thanks so much for your comment!

      • Kristy

        Thanks Leah!! So, I have a follow-up question if you don’t mind. In your process details document…is that the same thing as your contract? I notice some overlap in process details and stuff you would normally put in a contract. Or do you put it those details (like # revisions, payment terms, etc.) in both documents? Just to clarify expectations and CYA?

        • Leah Kalamakis Leah

          Great question! No, I have a separate contract (that does include some of the same things, not all of it) but also talks about the specifics that is included in their quote or package. Will be talking all things contracts & legal next week so stay tuned!

  • So much good advice… thank you for sharing! I am realizing that I need to get some processes in place and you have given me a good place to start. Appreciate it!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      You won’t regret it, seriously. Changes everything. Just take this as an outline and sit down and sketch out everything that happens and all the questions that come up after an inquiry and you’ll knock it out in no time.

  • Leah,

    This is a sterling article with very clear guidelines and explanations. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. You have convinced me to dedicated the time to set up that process for my business, too.

    All the best!

    Shankar Poncelet

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Thank you Shankar for the kind words! I’m glad it was convincing as I really want others to experience to freedom of time and stress processes can create! Thanks for your comment

  • Hi Leah!
    I just want to give you a big Texas THANK YOU! I’ve been procrastinating working on my own site, packages, etc. using the excuse that I’m too busy with clients (which I’m totally thankful for). I’ve had in my head what I need to do but your post/list has made it much easier and I’ll be using it as I start on my site design, packages and the works. I do have a pdf that I use (which has helped) but your process makes much more sense and I’ll use it as a guide to help me get a more streamlined process. Thank you again, you have the greatest posts and are such an inspiration! 🙂

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      That makes me so happy Janet! I too procrastinated for a long time, but it’s soooo worth it, so just get it done lady! I’ll be checkin’ in on you 😉

    • janet

      PS: Yes, I’d love to see your docs, if you want to share. Might help me with things I’m not thinking about. Also? Another question lol! Do you find it better for you and/or your clients to share the docs you send them in a link from your site, dropbox or just email? THANK YOU again! 🙂

      • Leah Kalamakis Leah

        I tend to send the initial docs as part of an email but they send it back as a shared dropbox folder with all content and images. But there are definitely different ways to explore and that is another area I plan on upgrading soon. Amanda below talks about her experience using Basecamp and there are some other great software programs as well that can take care of the full project management.

  • Excellent information and beautifully presented. In the process of setting up similar systems, a friend once referred to this kind of thing as ‘Freelancer Bootcamp’ ==> which sounds funny and yet so many of us tend to put the cart before the horse. MUCH needed and very helpful, thanks so much!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      “Freelancer Bootcamp” Love that! It can definitely feel like that at times!

  • I love that you have gotten visual in your pdf’s to your clients. Using graphics can really help the client understand your meaning. I’m launching soon and have been thinking alot about process lately. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Yes I totally agree. It cuts down on so much unnecessary explanation! Good luck with your launch!

  • Great post, Leah! I have a VERY similar process with a few exceptions (that have been a BIG game changer for me).

    I used to bill at 50/50 like you mentioned but I found that for me it was better for a 25/25/25/25 “progress” payments. It has two great benefits, for the client it’s a little less stressful to make lower payments and for me it helps break out the income I receive over time so there is always money coming in, decreasing any financial stress of being a freelancer. So typically it’s 25% deposit, 25% logo approval, 25% web design approval, 25% upon completion.

    Also, for the client “homework” (worksheets, passwords, etc) I started using Basecamp to manage projects and I have a template project with all the “To-Do’s” & fill-able docs set-up for everything I need to get started. So when I book a new client, I just duplicate that template project, make any small adjustments for their specific project and then send them an email through Basecamp for them to set-up their user/password and that’s it! It’s all in one place and no emails back and forth for gathering items I need from them. Basecamp also allows me to assign to-do’s with due dates and then it will automatically send an email reminder to my client as the due date arrives. It’s lovely. : )

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Thank you so much Amanda for sharing your process. Yes- 25/25/25/25 is a great system too, and for bigger projects (or if the client requests it for financial reasons) I do the same. But for any project I expect to get done in under 30 days, I find 50/50 to work well for me. And yes, I bet Basecamp is amazing. I haven’t yet found too big of a need, but I’m sure taking that next step will make a huge difference as well. Thanks again for sharing, I know my readers will find it super useful!

  • Thank you!
    This will be my number one priority: get a system.
    As I was reading I realized how silly my little quotes have been. I work completely unprotected and I could wind up in a very problematic situation if I don’t clarify the process, the deliverables and expectations so it would be great to take a look at your docs if possible.
    Thanks again!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Hey Luisa- Yes, and next week I’ll be talking all about contracts and stuff not to miss with that because unfortunately you will need it at some point and better to have stuff set up right from the beginning.

  • What a superb post Leah! Thanks for sharing. It’s very timely for me because I’m at that stage where all the emailing back & forth is getting too much. I’m starting to introduce systems and processes so this will be a great help. The other benefit to doing this of course is that should your business continue to grow, having systems in place makes outsourcing or using a VA that much easier without sacrificing the customer experience.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Yes, great point Alistair. I haven’t yet thought about hiring an assistant but I imagine the time to come around soon and you are absolutely right, handing over a process to them will make a huge difference in training time.

  • Robyn

    Hi Leah, great post. Is a graphic designer the right person to help me create all the graphic, header, etc?

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Hey Robyn, yes if you want to pro it up than you can hire a graphic/web designer for just those elements or someone to put it all together for you as I have done for some clients. Otherwise you may be able to figure it out on your own- using just some basics like fonts/colors and images and insert them into a word doc or mac pages.

  • Sally

    Leah, I can’t tell you enough how helpful your blog posts are! And I’d love to see the process documents. It’s all this ‘behind the scenes’ stuff I struggle with, and your process sounds like a dream 🙂

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Awesome Sally- I’m so glad to hear I’m on the right track!

  • Leah,

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Did you read my mind? Last night I woke up at 3a.m. thinking about ways I could streamline my workload to get more done, earn money faster, and free up time to begin working in earnest on recurring revenue streams.

    I love systems once they are in place, but have a hard time making the space to set them up…which is why this post is so brilliant and generous of you!

    I will most definitely be sharing this post with people I know could use the sage advice.

    Best,

    Eleanor Beaton

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      It must have been on a lot of minds as I had several emails asking me about this just in the last week! So happy it’s helpful. And I know, it’s getting them in place that’s the hard part 🙂 Thanks for sharing Eleanor!

  • Thank you so much for this post! I posted on your FB page, but I had to say thanks again 🙂 I would absolutely LOVE to see your documents! I think that it would be a huge help to me, since I am just getting started with actual paying clients. Thanks again!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Yes, I saw Desiree- I’m so thankful you’re hangin’ out on the Facebook page!

  • super great! uber helpful! thanks for sharing Leah!!!

  • Can I get a “hell yeah!” Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I too have several of these types of forms / questionnaires in place. But what I absolutely loved about this post was the ‘development process’ doc. What I loved in this doc (from what I could see) is that you put the onus on the client to pick their start date based on what you had available. I find that I’ve worked backwards – I have tried to put it on them to decide when they have to have and I tell them if that works for me. I like your suggestion better. That way my time just became more valuable. You have also inspired me to ‘pretty-up’ my design questionnaire — and not starting a project until I have all of the bits. I have to agree with you – that’s been a frustrating deal for me. It’s like learning to drive a standard for the first time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Yes Janice, it’s all about boundaries. And of course I do work around their deadlines if they have any, but it’s up to them to get their side of the work done first!

      • Leah, love this…I was fortunate to start reading your blog BEFORE I started freelancing, so you spared me a ton of anguish 🙂 Thank you!

        I’m curious about scheduling, though: how do you let clients know what start dates you have available? Do you send them a calendar, or just a list of dates? And are there set dates (like, every Monday) that you will start a project, or is it just “anytime after March 23rd” etc.? Thank you!

  • Thanks for this! I love getting a look inside of other freelancers’ process. I’m still cleaning mine up, but I’m proud to say that I have most of this down!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      That’s great to hear Tanea! Good work!

  • Damn! This is VERY PROPER.
    This has been great. Thanks Leah! <3

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Proper, haha. I like that! (although I don’t consider myself a very proper lady in general)

  • Lucie D'Alessandro

    You just saved me a ton of time, thanks Leah! It was super helpful to see your process as I’m in the process of starting my own business – always love to learn from those who’ve already done it! P.S. Love your interviews too – same goes; love reading about people who’ve taken the jump and seeing how they do it. Lucie x

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Hey Lucie! So glad it’s helpful and you’ll be able to keep it in mind while launching your biz! Glad you enjoy the interviews as well!

  • Hi!

    I am so late in reading this (I’ve had it on my to-read list since you published it!) but I just wanted to say thanks for posting it! It’s really helpful for me to be able to get a peek at what another web designer is doing.

    On payments – I require a 50% deposit and then 50% before transferring the site to the client’s server, but I hadn’t considered adding the 30-day part as you have. On one hand, it would be great to have the payment. On the other hand, though, I’m afraid that if I were paid the whole 100% and they are STILL dragging their feet, then I will not feel motivated to finish the site when they finally get their act together since I’ve already been paid. Have you ever had that situation come up – you’ve been paid 100% but the site still isn’t finished?

    And have you had much protesting from your clients when they realize you want their content and images before the project begins?

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      If leaving out the 30 days payment is working for you, then I’d say just stick to it. If however, you do often have projects dragging on- then it is definitely something to try. I know what you mean about being worried that it could effect motivation and had that fear myself. But so far it hasn’t been a problem for me. If the client has been super responsive and things aren’t dragging on, but the site is going to be ready on day 35 or 40, I of course don’t need to be a hard ass & send the invoice exactly on the 30th day. But this does give me the option contractually if need be. Of course, these are for smaller sites whereas ecommerce or membership I usually pick a longer period. I love being able to launch a new site and share it on social media, and help promote my clients work- so that is motivation enough for me to keep consistent even after I’ve been paid. But like I said, it hasn’t happened often mainly because of the fact that I try and get everything I need before starting. I haven’t had any questions or protesting from clients to that at all. They want to be directed and I think they understand that I can work better and more effectively having all the elements from the beginning. I think all these processes are things that can be tested. Look at your business and find the areas that are frustrating to you or time-wasting and implement new systems and see if anything changes. If not- try something else! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  • Wow! What a great post! Thank you. It can get so messy without a system… Great timing as I’m now designing this process for my new site. Thank you!! 🙂 is Adobe Indesign the only way to create fillable PDFs?

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Hey Vero- You can do fillable in Adobe Acrobat as well. There might be other programs I’m not aware of but a quick google search doesn’t come up with much. It’s really such a small thing that if you don’t have the programs, it’s more money & time efficient just to outsource it!

  • I would LOVE to see your documents 😉 I am (and have been for a while now) knee-deep in process development. My business started out of necessity 8 years ago and I feel like I’m still scrambling for a better process. I would love to see yours and pick your brain some more! Thanks!

  • Hi, this has given me some really useful ideas to have a clear process from that initial inquiry. Thanks, Kirsty

  • Brilliant suggestion, Leah. I’m going to create some pdfs for my client explaining the photography booking process, and how to best prepare for a shoot.
    Thank you! 🙂

  • And this folks, is how it’s done. Kudos to you for sharing your system. I especially love the 30 day clause, I have been doing 50 down 50 on completion but I had one client drag a process out for 7 months!! Will be implementing the 30 days ASAP Any advice on getting all clients to actually fill out the documents? I find with small business owners they are often so busy that it’s hard to get all the info up front. Thanks!

  • varuna

    Thanks soo much! This is really helpful tips.

  • Hi Leah,

    I feel very blessed to have found this article. Each interaction with a new copywriting client is a bit different from the last, and I really need to get a better system in place. We do waste time on emails! I can’t wait to get the intake form on my website. Thanks again!

  • Awesome post!! I’ve been considering how to streamline my processes for new clients – thank you!

  • Ann

    Hi Leah, This is the best post I’ve read for web design freelancing and getting organized. Everything is right on the money! Although I have some of the same processes in place, I learned some new tricks – always a great thing! I love the 30 day clause. I’ve always done 30% down, 30% after the design phase and the remainder at the end of the project. If a project goes longer than 3 months, especially on those more complicated sites, I will often set up an mini-retainer and after receiving the 30% down, I’ll spread the remainder of the total costs out over each month. This helps stabilize the business. An additional process sheet that I’ve used has been one that outlines how to prepare and submit copy for the site. Clients have loved that one. It empowers them to really feel confident in knowing how to proceed. It also helps me be more efficient because it makes my clients aware that the copy may need to be tweaked somewhat so that we can take advantage of the best SEO practices. (This is for smaller clients who are writing the content themselves and need help, not for those who can afford a copywriter, of course.) Thanks again! Great post!!

  • Hi Leah,
    Thanks for sharing this info, very helpful.

    I love the idea of given such tight stipulations on payment, I feel the same way, it would definitely keep the client motivated to keep work flowing. I was curious, the booking in advance deposit. Is that an additional 25% nonrefundable or it is taken out of the total project cost?

    Thanks!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah Kalamakis

      Hey Angie! The deposit it usually out of the total price but it’s all a way of phrasing it so whatever works best for you!

  • Thanks for sharing Leah! It makes total sense to get these things nailed down. I’ve got to get to work.

  • OMG this is sooooo helpful. I just started my freelancing and I didn’t know where to start! I’m totally using your tips like 100% 🤣 Thanks so much. What do you recommend to use to create a contract? I’m struggling with that part

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