How to Sell Your Work: Client Dealings and Contracts

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Last week we talked about rejection. But let’s step back into the light and assume you’ve nailed it. That potential client is ready to be a client. Can I say, “booyah?” No. Stop celebrating for a moment. This is the most dangerous point of working with a client, in my opinion. Before you can move forward, you must a establish a contract with the client. Here’s a secret: all four of us have made the mistake of not using a contract before. “Contract” can be a spooky word. It’s binding. But it’s protection for both you and the client. So take some time to put together a comprehensive contract that conveys all the agreements that were made in negotiating the project.

Once you’ve both signed and agreed to the contract you can get to work. Sometimes re-negotiations happen. But that’s an article for another time. Just remember, moving from potential client to official client can happen in mere minutes and you need to stay on your game, and conduct yourself professionally.

You can see more of Bentley's work here. Pictured above is his piece, "Mad Catter".
You can see more of Bentley’s work here. Pictured above is his piece, “Mad Catter”.

If you’re thinking you’re ready to start selling your work then you are a professional. Something Travis and I concluded was, “you may not have mastered your field yet, but if you’re selling, you are a professional. Never be afraid to acknowledge that about yourself.” Conducting yourself professionally will ensure better work and happier clients. There are bad clients, rejections, and dry spells, but you should always strive to be a good service/product provider. In doing so, you’ll see fewer things fall apart, with more things coming together.

Travis Bentley
Travis Bentley

Pro Tip: I can’t stress the importance of contracts enough. It’s a professional relationship you’re building and you want to protect that as much as possible. If you want to see an example of negotiating a contract, watch this Strip Search Episode. (May not be suitable for all audiences)

Get yourself comfortable with communicating with your audience.

I’ll get more into what needs to be in your contracts next week, in our final article, “Contracts and Closing Words”.

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2 thoughts on “How to Sell Your Work: Client Dealings and Contracts”

    1. Hey Ryan!
      Referring back to the last couple articles, start conversations with people. Do your best to be open and candid about your work, and who are with anyone accessing your work. You have to have an audience to start building clients.
      -Dylan

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