New Freelancer

  • Five Myths Stopping You From Going freelance

    This year, I’ve passed my ninth year in freelancing. Over that time, I’ve heard a lot of myths about going freelance.

    Some are comical – “don’t you just watch Jeremy Kyle all day?” (I’d rather poke my eyes out than watch that coffee-breathed anger management-candidate, ta).

    Some are understandable – “Isn’t it hard to find new clients?” (yes, it can be, but I love a challenge – and the thought of having to go back into an office and see my productivity half is all the motivation I need”)

    Some are just shocking “Do freelancers work for free?”. No. The mortgage company doesn’t suddenly give you a pass on payments because you work for yourself.  

    So, I thought it was time to bust some myths.

    Freelancing doesn’t give job security

    Given the amount of redundancies we’ve seen over the last decade, you’d think the old concept of job security would have seen a shake up. Job security in reality is about 30 days for most people – the length of your notice period.

    The beauty of freelancing is that you can negotiate your own contract with clients, so you can include a notice period with them (for ongoing contracts, for fixed contracts you can take deposits and regular payments). If you have multiple clients, you’re actually spreading the risk, instead of having all your eggs in one basket.

    It takes work to keep your client pipeline topped up (I have a guide for how to do that here), but freelance work can be more flexible, more fun and more lucrative.

    Freelancers don’t earn much

    More than once, I’ve come across people who believe freelancing is working for free. NOPE. Well, unless you count the times when people are hoodwinked into working for free for ‘exposure’.

    In fact, I know quite a few freelancers who now earn more (after tax) than they did in their full time jobs. If you work hard, and you don’t become restricted by the money = time approach, the sky is the limit.

    That said, it’s also important to note that not everyone who is a freelancer is motivated by money. In fact, money is often 3rd or 4th on the list, behind passion, flexibility and having control.

    Working from home is lonely

    Sometimes it is. Sometimes you have a tricky day with a client, and all you want to do is let off steam with a colleague. Sometimes you’ll see photos on Instagram of people out for Friday drinks. Sometimes you’ll engage the postman in a conversation that’s uncomfortably long.

    But being freelance doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Firstly, come join the Freelance Lifestylers Facebook group, as quite a few meet-ups are organised (along with the usual daily chit chat). I also spotted someone organising Friday night drinks in London, so you can still have a social life when you’re self-employed! Co-working is another option, where you work alongside others, but on your own business. You can even try Jelly, monthly co-working meetups, if you don’t fancy the commitment of booking a desk. Try organising weekly Skype calls with another freelancer too – I check in with Daire Paddy every Tuesday morning.

    I’ll have to deal with lots of finances and accounts!

    You will have to deal with your finances and accounts. But it’s not as scary as you think! Each January, you’ll need to complete your Self-Assessment form. A lot of the accounts tools online, like Freeagent, will automatically fill a lot of this in for you.

    You’ll need to keep a check of your expenses. most of mine are online, so I keep my receipt emails in a sub-folder and I use Wave which imports my bank transfers so I can match them to my business transactions. Put away 25% of your earnings for your tax and NI, and you should end up with a little left over after you’ve paid your bill. Finally, don’t be scared to ask for help. You may want to hire a bookkeeper or accountant in your first year, and HMRC are actually really happy to help if you call them (as long as it’s not late January).

    It’s really complicated to start up

    The most common thing I hear from new freelancers is “I don’t know where to start!”. That’s why I’ve put together The Freelance Lifestash. The Freelance Lifestash is packed full of tools, resources, templates and tips to get you started and building your freelance business – including The 30 Day Freelance Lifestyle course, which takes you through the first 30 days of starting your freelance business. The Freelance Lifestash is only £20 a month, with new and exclusive resources added each month – interviews with experts, new templates, tool walkthroughs to make your freelance life easier.

  • Five people every freelancer needs in their life

    freelance support network

    Edit: This is a blog post from 2011, updated in 2018. 

    A good support structure is so important when you’re a freelancer, or you’re self-employed, particularly when you’re starting out. Having that freelance support network structure can help you get through the tough times, give you the inspiration you need when you’re starting a new project and help you celebrate your successes.

    I’ve come up with five types of people you need in your support network, who I’ve described below. What do you think? Any you would add?

    The Supporter
    The Supporter is the person that is always there, through the rough times and the good times. This is likely to be your partner, parents or your oldest best friend. The Supporter always has your back, and stops you feeling out of control when everything gets a bit much. They might not know your industry or understand your job, but they’ll understand how important it is to you.

    The Energiser
    The Energiser is the person that has a bundle of enthusiasm for your new idea or project, and helps motivate you to really push forward with it. In the company of an Energiser, you might find yourself trying or doing things you’d never normally have the guts to try.

    The Critic
    While The Energiser is a great friend to have, it can often be dangerous to listen to them alone. Which is where The Critic comes in. This is usually someone a little older and wiser, who can give you positive criticism  of your project or plan, to help you spot any flaws early on. My Dad usually fulfils this role, although previous employers and colleagues are also often Critics.

    Approaching The Critic with a project close to your heart is one of the scariest things to do, but you’ll appreciate their honesty long-term.

    The Alien
    The Alien is the person in your group that has nothing to do with your industry, and doesn’t really get it. You need an Alien in your group for two reasons.

    • On a professional note, if The Alien doesn’t understand your project or plan, you know you need to work on making the pitch or business plan clearer. Same goes for a blog post or design. Having that outsider eye can help you see how the perception of your project will be to everyone else.
    • On a personal note, spending time with The Alien usually means you don’t talk about work much. Which, as discussed in a previous blog post, is always a good thing occasionally. Talking shop all the time can be boring for others. I’m totally guilty of doing this at times. It’s only when I see the husband’s eyes glaze over that I realise I need to change the subject.

    The Role Model
    The Role Model is, unsurprisingly, the person you aspire to be in five, 10 or 20 years time. Whether you’ve got yourself a mentor or coach, you’re in touch with an old employer you admire, or you’re aiming to take over the family business, a Role Model can be a well of information and advice.

    You can find lots of lovely people that fit these categories over in the Facebook Group. Come join us! 

    Recognise any of these in your support group (or recognise yourself)? Got any more to add? Let me know in the comments.

  • The Ultimate Guide To Getting Started As A Freelancer

    freelance

    Want to quit the rat race and go freelance, but not sure where to start?

    Get started with this guide for freelancers-to-be to make the change from worker bee to Queen bee!

    Being freelance is a wonderful way to do the work you love, where you want (as long as there’s wifi!), and with who you want.


    But what is freelancing? 

    According to the dictionary:

    “A freelancer is a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.”

    Some freelancers call themselves consultants, self-employed, business owners or entrepreneurs. There are a lot of terms thrown around, but the basis is the same – they work for a variety of clients on a self-employed basis.  

    Did you know… there are 2 million freelancers in the UK (statistic from IPSE’s Freelance Workforce) 1.77 million work freelance in main jobs, and a further 234,000 work freelance in second jobs​​​​​​​.

    Getting started as a freelancer is exciting, but also a little terrifying! It can be hard to know where to start, and a lot of freelancers-to-be are nervous that they’ll get something wrong or miss something and get into trouble. 

    This guide is here to ease you in! 


    The Ultimate Guide To Getting Started As A Freelancer

    From setting up your business with HMRC, to nailing networking, I’ve got everything you need to get you started.

    • Step 1: Plan, Plan, Plan
    • Step 2: Registering & Finances
    • Step 3: Marketing
    • Step 4: Networking
    • Step 5: T&Cs and Contracts

    Step 1: Plan, Plan, Plan

    The important thing to do before you start your freelance business, is to get planning! Having a plan before you dive in is essential, and will help you stay focused on those tricky days when you lack motivation.

    Have a think about:

    • What you want to do?
    • Who your ideal customer is?
    • Where you’ll find them?
    • How much time you’ll have?
    • What you’ll need to earn to cover bills?
    • What resources you’ll need?
    • What your expenses will be?

    Useful Resources

    Identifying your Super Customer – The Girl Means Business

    How To Be A Part-Time Freelancer – The Freelance Lifestyle

    Six signs you’re ready to make the leap to freelancing or contracting – Talented Ladies Club


    Chapter 2: Registering & Finances

    Don’t tell anyone, but HMRC are actually really nice to speak to – as long as it’s not the end of January when Self Assessment payments are due! Registering your business isn’t as tricky as you’d think either. In this section, you’ll find out more about how to register your business, and how to get off to a solid start financially.

    The HMRC has a great guide to registering as self-employed to get you started. If you have an accountant, you can ask them to help you with it. The important thing is that you do it before 5 October in your business’s second tax year. You could be fined if you don’t.

    Useful Resources

    How Do I Register As Self-Employed – The Money Haven

    The best invoicing and accounts software and tools for freelancers – The Freelance Lifestyle

    The A-Z of Freelancing: Invoicing – The Freelance Lifestyle

    Bookeeping for Freelancers – Virgin Startup

    Freelancers, should you set up a business bank account? – Freelancer News

    A Field Guide To Freelancer Finances – Freeagent


    Chapter 3: Marketing

    Building a freelance business means embracing a little more visibility and marketing to get your name out there and bring the clients in. In this section you’ll learn about different ways to market your business.

    9 Often Overlooked Ways to Market Your Freelance Business – Men with Pens

    8 Tips for Effectively Marketing Your Freelance Business – Social Media Week

    The One Email You MUST Send As A Freelancer – The Freelance Lifestyle

    10 ways to boost your biz on a budget – The Freelance Lifestyle

    How to Market Your Freelance Business Better – Freelancers Blog


    Chapter 4: Networking

    Want to get work in fast? You need to network! Whether it’s face-to-face or online, getting out there and meeting people is how you can develop business relationships quickly. But don’t worry, as an introvert I know this can be scary – I’ve got your back!

    Five things to consider when choosing a networking event – The Freelance Lifestyle

    Getting started in networking – The Freelance Lifestyle

    Shhh, quiet: an introvert’s guide to networking – The Guardian

    Use this easy hypnotherapy exercise to beat your fear of networking – Talented Ladies Club

    How To Network Online as a Freelancer – Ben R Matthews


    Step 5: T&Cs and Contracts

    Setup your business, marketed the hell out of it and found a potential client? Hold up! Before you dance off into the sunset with your bill payer, you need to get some T&Cs and contracts in place. Read on for some useful tools for this.​​​​​​​

    Protect yourself with these contract samples – Crunch

    What NOT to do with freelance contracts – Contracter UK

    The Freelance Contract – and.co


    Ready to start taking your freelance business seriously? Come join The Freelance Lifestash, an essential stash of super-practical resources, trainings and templates for freelancers who want to take their business seriously (but still have fun), with weekly group coaching sessions in the private Facebook group!

  • Five Ways To Unwind And Relax As A Freelancer

    When I worked in an office, in a full-time job, I spent most of the day feeling anxious and on edge. Being an introvert, working in an office (an, horror of horrors, an open-plan office), and I remember getting into my car and breathing a sigh of relief to be in my own space. I could only really relax once I was on my own.

    So, you’d think working from home would mean I’d be relaxed all the time? Right?

    HA!

    Here’s the flipside. Working from home means it’s hard to stop working, turn off and step away from your work. In the office I couldn’t wait to escape, but now I’m at home, it’s much hard to have that cut off time (e.g getting into my car and relaxing). Relaxation is so important, especially as you are your busiensses’s most important resource, and you’re juggling so much. But a lot of us are pretty terrible bosses to ourselves when it comes to stopping and unwinding from work.

    So, what’s a freelancer to do?

    Fear not! I’ve got five tips to help you reclaim your relaxation time back.

    1. Get away from your device. I know, that old chestnut. But I guarantee, you’re not going to start relaxing until you’re away from that touchscreen. It’s sitting there, silently telling you there’s more work to do and you’re being lazy (which, obviously, is utter nonsense). Time to shut it up. You’ve got a few options for this:
      • Basic: Use the Forest app on your phone to stop the automatic checking
      • Intermediate: Put your phone away somewhere, close enough for you to hear if someone rings, but far enough that you can’t just reach for it.
      • Advanced: Turn that bad boy off. Not silent. OFF. Or at least in aeroplane mode.
    2. Find your relax mode. Everyone has different preferences with their chosen relaxation activities. For me, I rarely sit and do one thing, so just sitting and watching a movie and nothing else doesn’t work for me. Walking, either with Oscar in the buggy, or a podcast plugged in, is my ultimate unwind activity (I know, still using my device, but I keep it tucked away in my pocket). Or a really good bath with podcasts or a movie playing. For you, it might be a really good workout, 10 minutes of meditation, indulging in some cooking or putting Netflix through some marathon training. Or creating a little zone in your home which you can retreat to for relaxation. For me, that’s the bathroom. Because it has a lock and all the books. What makes you feel good, tops up your energy or makes you feel focused again? Don’t worry about what you feel you SHOULD be doing, focus on what works for YOU.
    3. Make it a daily habit. I try to do one bit of self-care each day, and noting it down makes me more mindful of doing it. When you make self-care a priority, you’re effectively giving your brain the chance to relax and recover every day, rather than waiting for it to get completely overwhelmed. Little and often!
    4. Set goals. It’s very easy as a freelancer to always have something next on your To Do list. So firstly, accept you’ll never finish your list. Ever. Go on, take a big scary breath and accept that you’re not going to reach the perfection of a list full of ticks. Done? Great. Now set yourself three goals each day. If you do those, you’re doing well. If you do more, great! But don’t work into the night trying to fight a losing battle with your list. Set yourself a finish time for the day, and set your goals. That structure will help keep you focused, and allow you some unwind time too.
    5. Schedule in your monthly treat. One thing I do in my Facebook group is to prompt group members to set themselves a fun activity or challenge each month. It’s a way to remind ourselves to schedule in something fun. I know, I know. Scheduled fun. *Shudder* But so often, we freelancers can be so focused on growing our businesses, that we forget to have a bit of fun. So, set yourself a reminder for the first of each month to book in something fun. Whether it’s a half day at a spa, a trip to the zoo, a meet up with another freelancer, or a quick skydiving session (casual), booking in something fun is a great way to have something to look forward to.

    These are all small changes that can make a big difference in the long-term. Like the idea and want to implement some more small changes? Take my free Four Weeks Of Freelance Habits course!


    [su_service title=”Want to build better freelance life habits? FREE course!” icon=”icon: bullhorn” class=”a:link {http://thefreelancelifestyleecourse.usefedora.com/p/four-weeks-of-freelance-habits }”]Want to make small changes to make a big difference in your business? The Four Weeks Of Freelance Habits course is for you, and it’s FREE! Each week, a new challenge will be set to focus on a different area of your freelance life – health, business, money and balance. With each of these areas, you’ll get a choice of three habits to adopt to make your freelance lifestyle even better. By the end of the month, you should have a more balanced, organised and happier freelance life! [/su_service]

    [su_button url=”http://thefreelancelifestyleecourse.usefedora.com/p/four-weeks-of-freelance-habits” target=”blank” style=”soft” background=”#1a7172″ size=”13″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” icon=”icon: star” desc=”Gimme the free course!”]Four Weeks Of Freelance Habits[/su_button]


    How do you unwind and relax as a freelancer?

  • Three Ways To Set Boundaries As A Freelancer

    Three Ways To Set Boundaries As A Freelancer

    One of the most common themes that comes up in The Freelance Lifestylers group is boundaries. Whether it’s setting them with clients or with family and friends. The problems usually arise when boundaries haven’t been set – it’s much harder to push back if you haven’t set a standard from the beginning. If you’re just starting out, or looking to update your approach before starting work with a new client, here are three ways to set boundaries:

    Terms and Conditions

    When it comes to working with clients, creating and confirming Terms And Conditions is an essential part of making sure everyone is on the same page and setting expectations. They’ll also cover you if anything does go off plan, like late payments or a client contacting you repeatedly out of the set hours. You can find an example set of Terms And Conditions on my blog here. Make sure you email them to the client before you start work, and don’t start work until they’ve confirmed (in writing) that they’re happy to move forward. This means you can always refer back to them. So, for example, if you’re chasing a payment, you can mention that your terms and conditions state that you need to be paid within X days of receiving the invoice, or fees will be incurred.

    Stick To Your Hours

    It’s a hard one to do, but if a client contacts you outside your hours, don’t respond until it is your work time. If they’ve agreed to your terms, it shouldn’t be a problem. Once you slip into working outside your hours, it’s tricky to reverse, so being proactive from the start and setting that boundary is important. Obviously there are occasional reasons why you have to, for example if you work in social media and there’s an emergency issue that needs dealing with. But these should be charged as additional hours, or deducted from your set hours. It may be worth including your work hours in your email signature too, as a subtle reminder to your clients.

    Set boundaries with family and friends

    It’s not just clients you need to set boundaries with. When you start out as a freelancer, especially if you’re working from home, there’s a good chance you’ll have to tackle some challenges around friends and family respecting your hours and work. Partners expecting you to do chores during the day, friends expecting you to drop everything to go for lunch with them or a well meaning parent calling you up for a chat in the middle of the day when you’re up against a deadline. This is another area where being firm from the start really helps. And the secret is, this is as much about how YOU see yourself working from home, as how others see it. If a friend wants you to drop everything for lunch, either explain you have a deadline to hit or go but during your lunch hour (unless you actually do fancy going for lunch, in which case, go!) I’d advise against inviting them round for lunch – two hours later you’ll be glancing at your laptop and they’re not getting the hint.

    Do you struggle with setting boundaries as a freelancer?

    Like this? You might also like:

  • Five things to consider when choosing a networking event

    choosing a networking event

    I’ve just got back from a networking business expo nearby, and on the drive back I started to think about what we as freelancers need to consider when choosing a networking event. Not all networking events are the same, and to get the most out of them you need to find the right one(s) for you.

    So, what should you consider?

    Introvert or Extrovert?

    Introverted? There’s a good chance you’ll be on top form for an hour or two, but anything more than that will drain you. Check the length of the meetings. For me, a full day’s networking like today was a little too long for me. It’s also important to buffer in some recovering time after to recharge, so block out the afternoon or day after for low energy work. If you’re an extrovert, you might prefer a more high energy networking event.

    Dress Code

    Ok, I know this sounds like it might be a shallow consideration. I’m not suggesting you judge a networking event by who wears the best shoes. But I’m really not a suit-wearer (that was one of the best things I gave up when I left the corporate world). And my clients are rarely suit-wearers. So I tend to go for the ones with more relaxed dress codes. Equally, if you love nothing more than suiting up, and your clients are usually more corporate, those are probably more suited (pun intended).

    Group Size

    Are you looking for focused chats with a small group of people, or more brief chats with a larger group of people? Both have their benefits, but your preference is likely to depend on whether you’re introverted or extroverted.

    Networking Format

    Do you prefer a fixed structure, or a more relaxed environment? For some, a fixed structure with the opportunity to pitch to a group is attractive, whereas others fancy a morning of coffee and chat with other like-minded people.

    Costs

    How much does it cost to sign up? Some ask for an annual fee plus a sign up, while others just ask for the cost of a cup of tea or coffee. What works for your budget right now?

  • The One Email You MUST Send As A Freelancer

    Do your family and friends know what you do as a freelancer?

    You might assume they do. But it’s a bit like that scene in Friends where none of the gang quite know what Chandler does all day, aside from hanging out in coffee shops. Actually, it’s a LOT like that…

    The reality is, they might know vaguely what you do, but they might not know exactly how you help people, or who your ideal customer is. A lot of freelancers I know are overly modest about what they do, so feel deeply uncomfortable with sharing what their achievements are or asking for help, especially for those in their ‘offline life’. But the results when they do are pretty amazing. People can surprise you by being really supportive, helpful and even lead generating.

    This is something you can do if you’re a fairly new freelancer, launching a new service or simply want to increase your visibility.

    I’m challenging you to write an e-mail to your family and friends. All the ones you know who you respect (you can leave out Uncle Barry who believes the internet is the devil, and that friend from primary school who only posts her ‘it’s complicated’ dating updates and Britain First posts), potentially have a network of people who would be interested in what you do or you simply want to update with your latest business updates.

    I’ve popped below an example e-mail I sent out to 10 friends and family when I launched my coaching service for freelancers. Three came back with solid leads (who became clients), a further three came back with loads of encouraging words and tips (which is rather welcome when you’re launching something new and feeling nervous), and one came back three months later with a lead after remembering my e-mail. Not bad for one simply e-mail eh?

    Here’s my example email, (the packages have changed a little since this email).

    Hi everyone.

    Hope you’re all well and enjoying the sunshine. Apologies for the mass e-mail, but there’s a cute gif at the bottom to make up for it. That’s how the internet works, right? Cute gifs solve everything?

    I don’t know if you’ve heard but I’ve recently qualified and started a life and career coaching business as part of The Freelance Lifestyle, and I would appreciate your support so much as it grows. I’m in that nervous/excited point of launching it and I’m reaching out to you to let you know about three coaching packages I have:

    • A six-month coaching package for brand new or aspiring freelancers, which includes my 30 Day Freelance Lifestyle e-course to take them through their first month
    • A six-month coaching package for established freelancers to build confidence, overcome limiting beliefs and create regular goals with accountability and e-mail support throughout each month.
    • A half-day intensive session to help established freelancers overcome business road blocks, whether it’s developing a better work/life balance, identifying new business opportunities or creating better workflows to be more productive.

    There’s more information, along with some lovely testimonials, on my coaching website.

    If you know of anyone who might be interested (or you’re interested yourself), I offer a free 15 minute, no obligation, Skype chat to find out more. Simply click this link to choose a time, or hit reply.

    I’m also offering a 20% off discount until the end of June for friends and family (that’s you!)

    My coaching clients so far have gone away feeling highly motivated, energised and with strong goals each session to build their freelance business. I also use NLP, transactional analysis and various exercises to go deep and make long-term changes, rather than quick fixes.

    (There’s likely to be a sprinkling of app and online tool suggestions to make life easier too, because I love a good productivity hack.)

    If this isn’t a good fit for you I totally understand and would be grateful if you’d forward this email to anyone you know who might be interested. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Here’s a penguin gif for your dedication.

    Thanks,

    Emma

    See? That’s not so scary is it? A nice, chatty e-mail, letting them know what you do, what’s in it for them and I even chucked in a gif (because I rarely e-mail friends and family without throwing in a gif or two).

    Give it a try. Send that email. I’d love to hear how you get on with it.

  • How To Create Freelance Terms And Conditions

    One of the easiest ways to get yourself in a tricky situation with a client, is to skip the freelance Terms and Conditions stage. Charging into a client relationship without setting boundaries means you don’t have anything to fall back on if they’re a late/non-payer, if they like to conduct meetings at ridic-o’clock or if they expect many, many revisions at no extra cost. T&Cs set the standards of your working relationship, and also highlight any issues that may crop up later on. Plus, it just looks more professional!

    When you’re new to freelancing, Terms and Conditions can seem like an intimidating concept, but when you’re starting out, a basic email T&C (which they can reply to, to confirm), will suffice. Below is an example of a very basic one I use.

    Freelance Terms And Conditions Template

    1. Notice Period: My notice period, for both myself and the client, is 30 days.

    2. Payment Terms: The below payment terms are based on my current 21 day payment period.
    An early payment discount – Invoices paid within 7 days of receipt will benefit from a 4% discount on the total. This can either be applied as a credit to your account against future invoices, or I can apply it to the current invoice. Please note, this only applies to bank transfer and Paypal payments (my preferred payment methods).

    A late payment fee – Invoices unpaid after 30 days will incur a fixed charge of £40, £70 or £100 depending on the size of the invoice (under £1,000, under £10,000, and higher). This is in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002, and will be applied automatically by my invoicing software. The software will automatically send a reminder 22 days after sending an invoice, if it is unpaid, with a reminder about the late fee.

    I currently submit my invoices around the 24th of each month in order to fit in with the monthly payroll run of most businesses. However, if you’d like me to amend this date to a more suitable time, please do let me know and I’d be happy to discuss.

    3. Availability My general work hours are 8-5 Monday-Friday. If a task is requested to be done over the weekend, overtime pay may apply.

    Late Payment Fees & Early Payment Discounts

    Late payment fees and early payment discounts are processes I use to encourage prompt payment of invoices. The latter works better, especially with larger clients, but the late payment fees cover me if someone does pay late.

    This is a very basic idea, and I tend to add to it and tweak it depending on the client and work. For example, for copywriting gigs I’ll add something about the number of revisions included. If it’s a client you’ve never worked with before, it may also be worth adding something in about the process if the original contract needs to be changed.

    What else could I include?

    Other things you may want to include:

    • Details of your charges
    • Expenses
    • Part payment if you’re taking a deposit
    • Intellectual Property Ownership (including usage and resale)

    My recommendation would be that you don’t start the work until they confirm they’re happy with your terms in writing.

    Want an extra check?

    As you progress, you may want to use a contract instead. Companies like Lawbite offer contracts, with a lawyer who can check it over for you, and Practical Law has a free one you can create by answering some questions.