The Lazy Freelancer’s Guide to Getting a Contract Signed

lazy dog wearing rollers and eating muffins

I hope my use of “lazy” in the headline didn’t offend you. I promise there’s a good reason behind my word choice.

When I landed my first freelance client, I was so excited. We discussed all the details over the phone, and I promised her a written contract and NDA. After drafting the documents, I spent a huge amount of time printing, signing, scanning and emailing them to her. My process went a little like this…

1. Create documents with specific terms

2. Print completed documents

3. Sign printed documents

4. Scan/upload signed documents

5. Email signed(by me) documents to client for their signature

6. Wait for client to sign and return documents

After taking these steps with my first client, I knew there had to be an easier way. After researching a few options,  I decided to try Adobe EchoSign. I actually discovered it through another freelancer’s blog (can’t recall the name). I’ve included the link, so you can explore their website. I’ve used EchoSign on one client, and I’m in love. My process has been reduced to 3 clicks. EchoSign works for both small and large businesses, and they have a pricing structure based on your needs. I’m signed up for the free structure, but there is a limited amount of contracts I can upload a month. If you want to quickly get contracts to clients with no hassle, I strongly recommend it.

Being an entrepreneur has definitely been a learning process for me, and I’m always looking for apps and resources to make it easier!

What system do you use to get contracts signed?

When I’m Not Writing


All work and no play sends me into stress mode. These are a few highlights from my week. I think I did more celebrating during the week than I will this weekend. When I’m not writing, I love to eat and hang out with friends. It’s so important to step away from the computer sometimes. I’m finally starting to find the balance!

I hope everyone has a great weekend. If you like what you read, be sure to like me on Facebook! 🙂

Four Questions to Ask Yourself

communication process

When you drive to an unknown location, do you use a map or GPS device? I don’t know about you, but it’s difficult for me to figure out where I’m going without looking at directions BEFORE I start my journey. Similar to driving, I apply the same concept when writing. It’s all about preparation and direction. Before you write another essay, blog or e-newsletter, there are four questions you should ask yourself. These four questions were introduced to me by a great professor, and they have been my guide to writing great content.

What is your purpose?

There is purpose behind everything we do. Why are you writing the blog? What is your intended outcome? My purpose for writing “Four Questions to Ask Yourself” is to suggest an effective writing method to others.

Who is the audience?

Once you know your audience, you can structure your content to relate to their interests, wants, and emotions. The audience for my business is small business owners. When I created the content for my homepage, I included “I’m an entrepreneur, writer and social media manager dedicated to helping small businesses turn up the volume in the noisy online world. You can trust me to take care of your business as if it was my own!” If I was targeting busy moms or large brands, I may have went in a different direction.

What is the medium?

How is your content being delivered? Is it a book, website, newspaper, magazine, eBook or e-newsletter. Smashing Magazine does a great job of explaining the importance of mediums in the article The Medium is The Message.

What is the message?

What message do you want to get across to your audience? You have to make sure that you get the intended message across without any confusion. If you use jargon your audience won’t understand, they may miss the entire message. A message is only successful when the sender and receiver perceive it the same way.

Take a look at this LinkedIn article Want to Be Taken Seriously? Become a Better Writer.

I know that we’re all pressed for time, but this method shouldn’t add more than 5 minutes to your writing process. Let me know if you try it!

9 Ways to Become a Better Writer!

Can I tell you a secret?

I wasn’t always in love with writing. Similar to a relationship, once we became familiar and learned to coexist, we’ve been able to live happily ever after. Of course, I can’t take all the credit for this divine union. I was lucky enough to have great teachers who influenced my writing skills. Through the years, I’ve used the following 9 methods to become a better writer.

Sleep on it: I understand that time is money, but don’t be in a rush to complete every single publication. By letting your article sit overnight, you recharge your creative juices, wake up with new thoughts,and a fresh pair of eyes.

Proofread: It’s imperative to proofread. Nobody likes run on sentences and misspelled words. Proofreading gives you credibility, and it makes your paper look a whole lot better. Read it three times, and read it backwards. You can never over proofread.

Ask yourself four questions: What is the purpose? What is the medium? Who is my audience? What is my message? Being unaware of  your purpose before you write is like driving without a destination.

Read: The best writers are the best readers. Reading opens you up to new vocabulary and ideas. Make it a goal to read something once a day. It can be a short article or a blog. The only rule is: it has to be written by someone else.

Freewrite: Create now. Organize later. Your writing does not have to be perfect (at least not the first time). Brainstorm with original thoughts to work into your final draft. Sometimes no structure produces the best results.

Share with a friend: Friends don’t let friends publish bad work! Let a friend or coworker be your test audience, and accept criticism from those around you.

-Practice, Practice, Practice: Like the cliche says, “practice makes perfect.” Michael Jordan didn’t become the best by sitting on the bench. There will always be something to write about. Exercise your writing muscle as often as you can.

Change your environment: I’ve been contemplating taking a creative vacation. Maybe a cabin in the woods, a hotel at a resort, or beach house. If that doesn’t work I know my local Starbucks would do the trick. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to enhance creativity and inspire new ideas.

KISS, (Keep It Simple Stupid): So, you know a lot of sophisticated words? Your readers shouldn’t have to depend on a dictionary or thesaurus to understand your article. Use laymen terms and avoid jargon. Simplicity beats out complexity everytime.

There are so many resources available to help you strengthen your writing skills. Subscribe to Copyblogger  or visit the Purdue OWL Writing Lab.