From Initial Contact to Signed Contract: How to Handle Freelance Art Clients and Get Paid

How to successfully manage the process from client enquiry to getting the sign/mural/lettering job.

"Red Flags" in cursive lettering.
Annica Lydenberg's 'red flags' will help you successfully navigate a new business enquiry from initial contact to signed contract.

Annica Lydenberg of New York's Dirty Bandits has dealt with all sorts of client enquiries, and has developed a system to filter out the time wasters, and land the good ones. Here she shares this experience, with some of the tips from her online course, Freelancing: Spot Red Flags, part of her wider series on Teachable. (Read on for a special discount exclusive to BLAG readers.)

From Initial Contact to Signed Contract

Annica Lydenberg

You get the email, or maybe someone slides into your DMs, and all it says is “How much for a mural?” Ok maybe there was a bit more info, maybe not, who knows. The point is, now the potential for new work needs your attention. As a freelancer, you don’t get paid for leads that don’t turn into jobs. Nada, zilch. So for me, there is a certain amount of stress that already comes with a new inquiry. One part of my brain yells “Don’t mess this up! This could be work!” and another part yells “Watch it! You don’t know where this is going.”

So I want to help you get to that place where you sign a contract or politely decline the job as efficiently as possible, while being mindful of red flags along the way.