These simple terms and conditions aren’t intended to bamboozle or confuse, but are laid out clearly and transparently to establish a practise of clear, honest communication, prevent misunderstanding, and hopefully result in a happier working relationship.
You will often be asked to read these terms before deciding to hire me for a project and it will be assumed that you have read and understood them before work commences.
The terms below apply to short-term contracts of work on specific projects. where I am hired directly by the client I’m working with. For longer-term hiring opportunities, where I am able to support you on more of an ongoing basis, and for agencies/other professionals looking to outsource work on behalf of your own clients, please get in touch for my adapted T&Cs.
As of October 2013:
Before We Start:
1. Before starting work for you, I will supply you with a quotation detailing a full breakdown of costs, detail of the exact brief/work we have agreed up upon and an agreed time scale. Quotations are valid for 30 days.
If the scope, time scale or brief of the work you need changes during the course of the job, I will discuss any potential changes in costs with you before continuing the work and you will be given time to formally approve a revised quotation.
2. Before I start work on a project, I will ask for written confirmation that you are hiring me to write for you, as per the project specification laid out in your quotation, for the quoted fee. Email confirmation is fine or I can provide you with a formal contract to sign. Quotations themselves come with no obligation until you approve them, at which point I will consider the project under contract and you will be liable for the agreed fee, so please make sure every aspect of the quotation is to your satisfaction before you proceed.
3. If you are hiring me to work for you on behalf of any individual, organisation, company or group other than yourself alone, you confirm that you have authorisation to hire me on their behalf and that the agreed payment terms have been pre-approved.
The Money Bit:
4. I charge on a price-per-project basis. This allows me to put together individual packages of work according to your specific project and is based on my current day rate for services of this kind, priced very competitively and in line with industry standards. The full project price is agreed in advance which means no nasty surprises on completion of work. Phew.
5. My fee includes research time, discussions with you in person, or via email or phone, planning time, writing, editing, and submission of the first draft, and then feedback, evaluation and reworking up to a limited number of revisions (see notes about revisions below) and concludes with the submission of the final draft. You will be required to formally sign off the project with 14 days of receiving that final draft at which time any outstanding balance will be due.
For some great information on copywriting charges (and to give you a frame of reference so you can see how good value my rates are!) take a look at the Professional Copywriter’s Network recommended rates for hiring copywriters.
6. Some jobs may require between 50% and 100% of the project fee paid upfront, dependent on the amount quoted. This will be discussed with you in advance.
7. Final payment is due on receipt of invoice once the project has been signed-off. Payment later than 28 days after invoicing may be considered actionable and interest charged according to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) act 1998. I will also charge an administrative fee of 10% of the outstanding amount on all invoices that are settled 28 days or more after the invoicing date, in addition to any recovery costs.
8. All payment is to be paid by via bank transfer, cash or PayPal, unless otherwise agreed. No credit terms are offered at this time.
9. As I am a sole trader, I do not currently charge VAT. Great news for individuals, small businesses and other sole traders who might not be VAT registered as it keeps your costs down!
Revisions, or, Making Sure you’re Absolutely Happy:
10. I aim to get as much right first time as I can, but should revisions or editing of my work be desired or necessary, I will do so quickly and without further charge. It is really important to me you are happy with the work I produce for you and revisions after I have received your feedback are an important part of my service to ensure you end up with exactly what you wanted.
My revision service is made on the condition that any reworkings are within the scope of original brief and agreement of work — any revisions or complete rewrites based on a significant change of that brief, as decided by you, may incur an additional fee which will be discussed with you before any further work is carried out.
In addition, my revision policy covers the first draft of proofs, after feedback, plus a limited number of further revisions, that can be realistically produced within the time I have charged for. Feedback that keeps changing, is unclear or delayed is likely to limit the amount of editing and reworking I can do in the time agreed and may mean we need to renegotiate deadlines and my fee, but, again, this will always be discussed with you before any charges are made.
11. I’m a stickler for detail and will make every effort to ensure that my work is free of errors and omissions, including errors in spelling, grammar, and content, but I cannot guarantee this. Ultimate responsibility for the final content rests with you, the client: you must review the copy thoroughly before committing any aspect of the project to final production and I cannot be held responsible for errors after publishing/printing.
Permitted Uses and Copyright:
12. I retain the right to publish extracts of my work for the purposes of self-promotion (eg. in my portfolio), unless prohibited by a signed confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement, agreed upon in advance. While I am prepared to sign a non-disclosure agreement if your organisation deem it necessary, I’m afraid it will increase the cost of your quote as it has a significant impact on my ability to self-promote my work and so affects my business.
Any personal details included in copy I write, i.e. business addresses or phone numbers, will be blanked out if extracts are made available publicly, unless you are happy for them to appear (sometimes it’s a good, free, extra marketing opportunity!)
Where possible, for offline materials, I would request a copy of the finished project for my own records and use in my portfolio.
Please Note: This point is null and void in the case of any writing services that include confidential details. Your personal details will never be disclosed or published publicly, and will be stored securely after project completion. Although I retain copies of work I have written to allow for ease of future re-writes if requested, I am happy to delete all personal information at any point, by direct request.
13. The copyright for any creative concepts and copy I develop shall be fully transferred to you upon full payment of any outstanding balance. This means the words I write for you are yours to use as you wish.
My Cancellation and Satisfaction Policy:
14. Work can be cancelled by you up until the point of paying a deposit or prepayment without incurring any cost. Once a deposit has been paid, it cannot be refunded. Paying a deposit or prepayment is viewed as a clear instruction for me start work without delay and I shall be off like a horse through a starting-gate.
15. I am more than confident that I will be able to deliver you an exceptional service that will leave you delighted. However, as with any working relationship, misunderstandings, and breakdowns in communication do happen very occasionally. I will ensure I do my utmost to communicate clearly and professionally at all times and, in response, I ask that if there are any issues you are not happy with during the course of the project, you will bring them to my attention immediately so I can work quickly to resolve your concerns.
If, after you have given me what we both agree has been a thorough opportunity to address your concerns, based on open discussion, collaboration, and a first draft plus the maximum number of revisions agreed upon within your initial quotation, you still consider that the work submitted does not meet our agreed brief, the contract between us can be cancelled. The only notice that is required by either party to call time on the job is an email giving an ‘instruction to cease work’. This is entirely without prejudice, and no liability or admission of failure or inability to complete the contract on my part is implied.
16. After work costs for the time spent so far have been deducted, any credited balance will then be reimbursed back to you, the client. You will still own any work that has been created and submitted, providing it has been paid for.
This hasn’t happened yet, but for your peace of mind, it’s important we lay out a ‘get-out clause’ to allow for this eventuality.
On Completion of our Contract:
17. You may be invited to participate in a small customer satisfaction survey where you will be asked your views on our working time together so I can endeavour to keep on improving my service. Your honesty and opinion is highly valued as I work to develop and grow my professional practice. You will also be asked whether you would like to write a reference or recommendation of my work and asked for permission to reproduce that recommendation for promotional purposes. Participation in this after-sales communication is entirely voluntary but very much appreciated.
Thank you for your time in reading this.
Right! That’s that out the way. Let’s get started, shall we?