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Chapter
4

Build out clear deliverables, timeline, and pricing

At this point, you have them hooked on the great work you’re going to do. Now, get down to brass tacks and specifics. Like we said in the last step — it is so important to be specific and get alignment from here on out! If you don’t, you might find yourself dealing with 👻scope creep, 🧯burnout, 🚧 or no boundaries.

Deliverables, timeline, and pricing

A common mistake early freelancers make is being vague about these things. They think that by not being specific, they will have more flexibility. Or, especially with pricing, they get nervous about what rate to charge and how the client will react.

The problem with being vague is that you don’t set clear expectations from the beginning and you might be misaligned with your client. Once that happens, the process of getting back on track is time-consuming and frustrating for everyone involved.‍

Experienced freelancers are specific in their deliverables, the timelines they can commit to, and the price they will work for. The specificity comes from being prepared and informed about your own schedule and what you can do for the client. Another expert move is to specify what is not covered in the scope of the project.

  • Deliverables: Specify what work you will produce for the client, whether it be completed content, briefs to be executed by someone else, strategy documents, and more. Clients may give feedback on these deliverables which is a good thing to do upfront.

  • Timeline: Give an estimated timeline that works in your schedule for when the work will be completed. If there are vacations on your calendar or certain times you will be unavailable, bake that in here. If you have turnaround time requirements, detail that as well.

  • Pricing: Include the price you’re charging for the project, whether it be a retainer, project price, hourly price, or something else.

Here’s an example:

Deliverables

Our engagement will produce the following deliverables:

  • Market sizing analysis and robust keyword list

  • Content strategy: A detailed strategy document for the team to buy into that charts a path forward

  • Content roadmap: An actionable list of pages to create

  • 10 writer briefs for highest leverage pages, to be executed by [COMPANY] writer team

  • Page architecture and actionable migration recommendations

  • Specific technical SEO recommendations to be implemented by [COMPANY]’s development team (if any)

Not included in scope:‍

  • Conversion optimization

  • Content development

  • Page migration execution

  • Technical SEO implementation and execution‍

Timeline

  • 8-week timeline from Kickoff to final delivery

Price

  • $80,000 project fee

Now it’s your turn

For the project you’re scoping out, fill in the template for your potential client. There’s one for you in your workbook.‍

Deliverables

Our engagement will produce the following deliverables:

  • Deliverable #1

  • Deliverable #2

  • etc.

Not included in scope:

  • Out of scope #1

  • Out of scope #2

Timeline

  • Timeline from kickoff to delivery

  • Include any appropriate milestones, check-ins, or turnaround times

Price

Total project fee

Recap

  • It's best to be clear on deliverables, timeline, and pricing from the beginning.

  • Clients may have feedback or pushback on this – this is a good thing! It means they are spending the time to make it work.

  • You can include things that are explicitly not in scope.

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