I had a meeting with a client who needed some landing pages. I showed him my previous work, and he decided to go ahead.

Client: We are looking forward to see what you can come up with. 

Me: I will create a contract proposal, and you can look it over and see if you want something revised before we sign.

Client: Ok, we will talk very soon. 

Then, three days later, I send him a contract proposal with a description of the project and my terms. Since I work at very low rates I always require the first half to be paid before I start work. 

After the client didn’t manage to read his email for two weeks, I finally hear back from him:

Client: You’re wasting time. I was under the impression you would send us a landing page within a day or two, and then we could discuss payment. We never sign contracts with freelancers, and we never pay up front for anything from a freelancer.

Me: I never work for free. The fact that you’re expecting me to work for free, without any guarantee of payment or a contract seems unserious to me. I always work on a project to project basis with contracts and clear terms for both parts to ensure my client gets a high quality website and I get paid for my work. 

Client: It seems we can’t work together.

Me: “Seems” nothing. I don’t work for free.

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