Work agreement that'll keep us on track

After we decide on the work you want me to do, I’ll email you a work agreement similar to the following.

My work agreement will clearly set out what we've agreed to, so there’s no misunderstanding. Just you nicely getting things done... smooth sailing.

Here's the kind of work agreement I'd use for freelance copywriting

Client information

[your name, business name and contact information would go here]

Description of the work

This work agreement is for copywriting.

I will deliver your copy in a Word document.

[additional information about the project and any other deliverables I’d send you, would go here]

Fees for this project

[Deliverable 1]: $XX.XX

[Deliverable 2]: $XX.XX


Deposit to get started

Before I start working on your project, I require a 50% good faith deposit to reserve my time.

Your required deposit: 50% of $XXX.XX = $XXX.XX

I will send you a FreshBooks invoice for this amount.

Your payment options
  1. PayPal from within the FreshBooks invoice
  2. PayPal to [email address]
  3. Direct deposit if you’re in Canada to [bank account information], or
  4. Check made payable to "Karen M. Black" mailed to the address below.

When I receive your deposit, I’ll send you a FreshBooks invoice reflecting your payment.

Sending me background materials

Please send background materials to [email]. Or email me a link to a Dropbox folder.

When I'll start working on your project

I’ll start when I receive all of the following:

  • A reply to this email with your "OK”, and
  • Your 50% deposit, and
  • The background materials I’ve asked for.

When I'll deliver your copy

I'll deliver your first draft [4 weeks] after I receive your deposit. The only exception would be if there's an unforeseen illness, accident, or Act of God.

When you can use your copy

Once you pay my fee in full, you own the copyright and all other rights to the copy I’ve written for you.

You do not own (and may not use) the copy I'm writing, until my fee is paid in full.

Revisions included in this agreement

Your fee includes up to two rounds of revisions to the first draft free of charge.

To keep things moving, I make revisions a priority.

I can generally turn around minor revisions in two to three business days. Major revisions may take longer. Whatever the timing, I'd always let you know.

You must give me your revisions within 30 days of you receiving the first draft. Otherwise, I may apply additional fees.

Rare situations where I might apply additional fees

I've based my fees on the assumption that we'll both work hard to successfully complete this project. I'm committed to working with you until you're happy with what I deliver.

In the unlikely situation where you change, cancel or delay the project, I reserve the right to do the following.

  • If you require more than two rounds of revisions, I'll ask for a new work agreement (or agreement in writing), for the balance of the work.
  • If you change this assignment after I’ve sent you the first draft, I’ll require a new work agreement and additional fees.
  • If you cancel or put the project on hold after I've begun working on your copy, I reserve the right to keep your 50% deposit as a “kill fee".
  • If you don't send me feedback within 30 days of me submitting the first draft, I reserve the right to keep your 50% deposit, and may apply an additional 25% “kill fee".

As your freelance copywriter, I am responsible for:

  • Requesting all the information I need to write your copy
  • Writing the strongest copy I am capable of
  • Making the revisions you ask for within the terms of this copywriting agreement, and
  • Keeping your project confidential.

As the client, you are responsible for:

  • Background information – Giving me the information about your product, offer, and market that I ask for, to support the writing of your copy.
  • Clear feedback – Giving me specific and clear edits and revisions to drafts./li>
  • Timely feedback – Answering questions promptly. Giving me all revisions within 30 days of you receiving the first draft.
  • Compiling feedback – If you have more than one person at your company reviewing the copy, you’re responsible for compiling their feedback, checking for contradictory revisions, and ensuring that the final revisions I receive are clear.
  • Legal review – Though I have a sense of what’s legal and what’s not, I am not a lawyer. You're responsible for getting a legal review before you mail the copy.
  • Final proofreading – While I will do my best to give you copy free of errors, you are responsible for the final proof.

I don’t return background material

  • If you send me background material by mail, I will not return it. That is, unless we make specific arrangements in writing before we start the project.

About your results

There are many factors in your marketing, including your product, offer, market, price, list, demand, consumer preferences, competition and even major events – that I cannot control.

Therefore, I do not promise and cannot guarantee specific results.

Next steps

To get started: 1) pay the deposit of $XXX.XX, and 2) Respond to this email with your "okay."

Don't hesitate to get in touch with me at [number] or at [email] if you have any questions.

Thank you. I look forward to working with you!

Karen M. Black BSc, MBA
Copywriter and Consultant
Extra Sensory Selling

[mailing address]

Sound perfectly reasonable to you?

Go back to How I work where I describe in more detail what you can expect working with me, and how I'll deliver the writing you want.