Succeeding as a freelancer and signing rewarding web design contract templates isn’t easy. There seems to be no end to the challenges and pain points that an independent worker will face, including demands on your time, a need to keep skills sharp when submitting new proposal templates or SOWs, and the cost to buy software and tools for design and creation.
Fortunately, the concerns of today’s developers and designers haven’t fallen on deaf ears. In a recent interview with Waldo Broodryk ,Support Team Lead at Webflow, we learned that there are some specific steps freelancers can take to minimize costly work obstacles, do more for clients, outline winning software development proposal templates, and ultimately sign more developer contract templates.
If you're a beginner, you can check out our guide on starting a web design business; otherwise, let's jump right in to the topic!
Waldo started out as a freelancer with the same limitations of time and money that we all face. He had been building sites using Squarespace, WordPress, and a few custom projects, when his career took a turn for the better. In May of 2014, he discovered Webflow after his manager at an agency told him to check it out.
Waldo tells us how he started tinkering around in Webflow and using Interactions to animate elements. “I couldn’t believe I was able to build super custom pages and web animations without having to write any code. I ended up taking on a new position working as a Digital Media Specialist with one of my friends from college, which meant building out landing pages and tons of responsive emails.”
I couldn’t believe I was able to build super custom pages and web animations without having to write any code.
Waldo was experiencing tremendous professional growth with the community he discovered at Webflow. He took his modest portfolio and expanded upon it, getting the opportunity to build out many sites using the tool. He also gained visibility as a freelancer, and was motivated by the fact this his time and efforts were rewarding both financially and intrinsically though their Expert program.
Waldo loved the new projects he was being asked to take on, so when he was approached by Webflow to become a Community Expert on their forum — and then eventually a paid remote worker — it was obvious where Waldo was destined to be.
That’s great for Waldo, but what does it mean for the typical freelance designer or developer? It’s possible to replicate some of that success with the tools that Webflow offers their users. Freelancers will be empowered to create custom, dynamic, responsive websites — without having to code.
What if you’re happy using a tool like WordPress? There are differences between Webflow and the popular CMS, which the team explains in detail here. Waldo also explains, “Sketch and Illustrator are quite different platforms, made for designing vector-based graphics or pixel-perfect static designs. I’ve seen a few instances of Sketch plugins where you can convert a design to a website but the code produced wasn’t really up to par with web standards. A lot of our customers really appreciate the code quality from Webflow.”
It’s also important to recognize that it can be difficult to go it alone, which is why freelancers thrive in a community setting. Webflow’s forum and customer service team (referred to as Customer Happiness Heroes) are available to field any questions that come in from users. This support covers accounts, billing, design or bug reports.
Think Webflow might be the answer to some of your toughest freelance problems? Many types of freelancers are using it to simplify and amplify their project work. The platform is for designers, developers, tinkerers and overall problem solvers, and getting started can be easy if you have experience with HTML and CSS.
The team at Webflow recognizes that there may be a bit of a learning curve, however. Some of the most common concerns new users run into include knowing how to price projects, building out specific designs, and growing their team accounts. Fortunately, Waldo and his team are Webflow users themselves, and they are well-versed in the best practices to create the best outcome. Waldo shares, “We communicate concerns with the team and fight for the user to make sure that we can keep our customer successful.”
Most freelancers can agree that doing more with less time and effort is a constant pursuit. Is Webflow the tool you’ve been waiting for to finally make it happen? Many designers & developers will find that Webflow’s regularly updated resources are market-minded and ready to make designers more competitive.
They’re also adding new functionality to their services to enable creatives to more quickly build out responsive, dynamic sites visually. These changes will allow freelancers to take on more complex and higher-paying projects, too!
Thanks to Waldo for sharing his experience.
Update: Webflow has discontinued Client Billing and offered free subscriptions to its existing users.
**Looking for a freelancer solution designed to help you do more? Sign up for Bonsai's free 14-day trial to send winning proposals to your clients, create bulletproof contracts, and get paid on time! You can even use Bonsai to calculate your software developer tax deductions.**
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?