In my recent podcast interview with Caitlin Pearce of Freelancers Union, we outlined 3 of the reasons why creative freelancers don't use a contract when engaging a client.
You don't have a lawyer.
You are afraid of legalese.
You think a contract will scare your client away.
I've heard the 3rd reason a lot in my conversations with creative professionals of all types.
Many creatives actually have a contract,
but they don't use it.
Why? They are afraid the client won't want to sign it or that it will create a barrier to getting the work. I asked Caitlin if she sees that too.
"Unfortunately yes," she said. "Particularly in some industries where there's more of a hand shake culture, as in the television industry. When freelancers try to insist on a signed contract, the hiring party just says, “Well, we'll go to someone else that doesn't need this." So that is a very real risk.
"That's why we want this contract mandated, to try to set some standards around the work. You want to work with clients that want to have good business practices, so it will be a positive experience, even beyond getting paid on time.
"Also, we want to change the culture around freelance work and give it more respect and more standards and we think that having a clearly stated contract with payment terms is a great first step to do that."
P.S. This podcast episode is sponsored by Twenty20.com -- get your free 5 photo trial of stock photos that don’t suck here.