Thoughts on Cole Henley’s Freelance Rates Survey

  • Words: Andy Clarke
  • Tagged with: business

For the second year running, Cole Henley has compiled the results from his survey of freelancer demographics, rates and working practices in the UK.

If you’ve read the results by now I bet you can guess which two pieces of information caught my eye:

  • 47% of interviewees do not normally require a deposit before starting work on a project
  • 44% of interviewees do not normally use a contract

Look. I don’t care whether you work, as the survey asks, “directly with clients, subcontracting for agencies or in partnership with other freelancers.” I don’t care what the average value of your projects is. I don’t care how old you are, where you live or whether you’re male or female. I’ll be blunt.

If you don’t ask your clients to sign a contract before you start work for them you, you are a moron!

I’m sorry, there’s no excuse.

Contracts don’t have to complicated. They don’t need a lawyer to prepare them. They can be as simple as;

I agree to pay you £1000 for one week’s work on my website.



I’m not saying you should be using my contract either. No. There are plenty of alternatives, some hosted on Docracy. What matters is that you should be using something.

It really is quite simple.

Asking someone to sign a contract is the best way start to any business relationship because it sets the tone for that relationship. It says “I’m serious about what I do.” Not only that, it says “I’m serious about how I do what I do.” If you take yourself and your work seriously, if you want or expect others to take you seriously too;

Make sure your clients sign a fucking contract.

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