A lot of the stories we share on this podcast follow the same patterns, usually involving mistakes around project management. One common pattern is missed milestones or delayed project launches. Another is client expectations not aligning with the freelancer's expectations, leading to dissatisfaction and potential claims. I asked my freelance friends two questions. 1. How do you keep projects running on time? 2. How do you manage client expectations? The information in this podcast is for general guidance and is not legal advice.
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- Deadlines work both ways. It’s important to get feedback from a client on time so you can stay on track for the project duration
- The timeline helps keep everyone accountable for their role in the project, including client feedback, signing off on revisions or providing deliverables
- The Schedule of presentation and delivery dates should all be included and agreed upon in the initial contract
- Anything that falls outside of the scope must be discussed as how it would affect or lengthen timescales
- Make sure you have something in your contract to protect you if clients go quiet and the project stalls. If a client doesn’t meet the deadlines, you should be allowed to withdraw from the project and be paid for the work you've already done
- When it comes to keeping projects running on time don’t underestimate basic time management skills. This is just as important as being a skilled designer, developer, illustrator etc
- When it comes to making sure client expectations are met, this means getting everybody on the same page at all stages of the project. This is why a project scope is so important
- The scope should highlight things like how many rounds of revisions are included. Anything requested outside of the contracted scope will be billed at an additional rate and, of course, impact timescales
- Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Having a schedule, client presentations and only working on one or two projects at a time can give you a good idea how much work is involved
What is Unsure? Insure!?
After so many years helping freelancers stay in business, I’m no stranger to the kinds of problems you face. But freelancing doesn’t mean having to face these problems alone. A lot of the time there is help available. I’d like to share these stories with you so you can be a confident freelancer.