Crafting the right letter of agreement is not something that you want to neglect or worse, skip entirely. Your business needs to have a document that provides protection for your profits and peace of mind for you as the principal of the firm while at the same time providing clarity and confidence to your client. And creating that letter is not something that needs to be as overwhelming as it may seem! By following my process, you can feel secure in your agreement and how you present it to your clients.
The Walk-Through Experience
Avoid the temptation to simply hit “send” on your email without setting up a time to meet with your client to walk them through your agreement. You want to provide them with trust that they have a talented expert and leader to rely on in this journey of design.
You don’t need to explain every single clause and can make the process simpler for all by bolding your clause headers, putting them in capital letters, and using appropriate spacing so the document is very easy to read. However, it is so important to take the time with your client to thoroughly walk through the scope of work design, deliverables, purchasing, design phase fees, and design implementation.
Your client needs to feel like they have a clear understanding of where you are coming from and what they can expect. This also gives you the opportunity to talk through any potential issues and strike any non-mandatory clauses that may not work for your client, while still maintaining your own protection in the process. There is nothing more important than clear communication without distraction, which walking your client through your agreement will ensure.
The Power of Presentation
Never underestimate the power of a beautiful presentation. Explore tools, such as Proposify, that can help you turn your letter of agreement into a graphic document. You want this to be as engaging and juicy as your design portfolio.
One of the most powerful contracts I have ever received from one of my providers was sent with the subject line, “Invitation to Collaborate.” With a title like that, I immediately jumped to open the document and found her letter crafted with clear, bolded headers for each clause, plenty of photographs of her work, and creative titles. She incorporated her brand colors throughout to make the document appealing. It ticked every box to make my experience easy to navigate and exciting. It just looked so beautiful, yet it still had the legal protection, peace of mind, and the clarity and confidence that I needed.
When you’re ready to take your design practice to the next level, explore your expert coaching and training options with Melissa Galt. To catch the entire podcast episode LISTEN HERE.