A quick question, if you do not mind. Where exactly are you finding these contracts? Are they things you find on like eLancer and other freelance websites and you've built up a relationship with these people and they are shooting you other contracts as a favor? Or something else? I've always wondered how I could go about getting my own contracts.
I've had a few clients say that they will pass on my name to their friends, but that has never panned out. It would be great if I could start getting contracts through word of mouth. It would save me a ton of time of hunting for jobs.
I have had somewhere around 30 clients in total this year.
- 6 clients were not under contract, those ones where I helped other people out and they were generous enough to pay me for the time.
- 6 clients I met through the stencyl forums.
- 4 of the clients were companies that I stumbled onto searching for help.
- 10 were found looking through job posting, sending out demos, etc.
- I think there were a few others, but I'd really have to look through all of the contracts to remember where I found them.
I've lost somewhere around $2000 from six clients who did not pay me through loopholes in the contracts. With those I cut my losses instead of fighting them. Thanks to advice from LIBERADO, I now want to see money up front (even if it is just deposited and not actually released). Two of those six clients I actually found on the Stencyl forum (contracts which should have totaled $800+). Just a warning to everyone - make sure your contracts are as air tight as possible and get them to deposit money early on. I can't complain though, my best client was also found on the Stencyl forum - I do not know if I would have been successful without him giving me a shot. It gave me a chance to have some published games in my portfolio instead of just demos. One client actually rejected me for a job in March and then hired me over the summer. The difference was the number of games I had published in-between.
Over $3000 has come from repeat clients. Currently I have another $1000 contract from a repeat client. And an indie game company I worked for contacted me about starting a game series with them in January. Long story short, most of the money is from new clients each time but the gap is closing.