The LOL Cats Take On The World Of Freelancing

Freelancing Cat

Was there a world before pictures of cats in funny poses had badly written english scribbled over them? I’m not sure, but I Can Has Cheezeburger is one of the most popular sites in the world. Most people who spend time online know of the LOL Cats and I will admit to spending more time than i should laughing at those silly cats.

If the LOL Cats started freelancing, here’s how it might go down…

  • 1. I can haz mah monies now…gots kittehs 2 feed
  • I can haz ma monies now...gots kittehs 2 feed

    We are first and foremost a service industry and as such deserved to be paid like any other service professional. However this point still misses certain clients who feel it’s perfectly acceptable to permanently “forget” to pay their invoice.

    It’s important because of this to get a deposit before work begins and to invoice in stages throughout the project to cut down the chances of this happening. You should have a specified acceptable pay period and a penalty clause for late payments in your contract. You do have a contract…don’t you?!

  • 2. U no kall me on mah mobiles at da weekendz
  • U no call me on ma mobiles at the wkendz

    I’m as guilty as the next freelancer for working over the weekends at certain points (when it’s mission critical), however I don’t make this a habit as it’s essential that i relax and recharge my creative batteries.

    It’s not uncommon though for clients to forget you have a life outside of work (and set business hours) and expect you to work over the weekends to finish their project. It’s important whatever hours you work, to set boundaries and not allow your work to take over your home life.

  • 3. Freelance kitteh no werkz 4 free
  • Freelance kitteh no werkz 4 free

    Too often potential clients ask for a mock-up of a project before they decide which designer to go with. It’s spec work and it doesn’t fly in any other industry, yet it still pervades the web industry.

    It’s a design lottery and if you don’t get chosen you’ve just wasted your time and effort for a job you only had a CHANCE of getting. If you do get the job your saying to the client your happy to work for free, which is never a great way to start any type of business relationship (if indeed they become a repeat client).

    The SPEC work debate continues on…

  • 4. Y u noes sign mah contractz, i made it speciali
  • Y u noes sign mah contractz, i made it speciali

    Working without a contract is a dangerous path to follow for any freelancer. You need a contract in place to protect yourself and to let your clients know exactly what they’re getting from you.

    As a freelancer, you need to make sure that you are protecting your own rights to your work, and that there are no disagreements. Don’t just rely on the promises and ‘good word’ of potential clients, get it in writing. It’s not a practical way to do business, it may never be necessary to use them because most people do stick by their word, but you should always have them in case that rare case occurs when you do need to refer back to it.

  • 5. I thot u sed color blue 4 backgroundz, u no change minds like dat
  • I thot u said color blue 4 backgroundz, u no change minds like dat

    Never ending revision requests can quickly suck the profit out of a project and leave you feeling tired and over-worked. We want to give great customer service and make sure our clients are happy but not at the expense of our health and business.

    Remind the client of the original terms of the project, and (if you don’t have one already), you should incorporate a revision clause into your contract that mandates the client pays you for revisions.

    To put this in perspective, if you changed the plans for your house half-way through it being built, do you think the builders would do all this extra work for free?

  • 6. Needz deeposit furst b4 werkz on project
  • Needz deeposit furst b4 werkz on project

    Getting a deposit is important to protect both your time and work. A deposit has a three-fold effect, it:

    * Prevents you from being stiffed
    * Eases your cash flow
    * Shows good faith

    Ask upfront and if your client balks, use your best judgement. Personally i’ve never had a single client turn down a request for a deposit. I require 50% up front (for smaller projects its 35%). It’s an assurance from the client they are serious about the project.

  • 7. Heehee…i in ma pyjamas n i gettin paid 4 dis
  • Heehee...i in ma pyjamas n i gettin paid 4 dis

    One of the biggest misconceptions about freelancers is that we all sit around drinking coffee in our PJ’s while we mess about in photoshop (insert your program of choice here) and then collect the paychecks.

    Simply put this just isn’t the case for most freelancers, we work hard and take our business seriously – which means yes…we brush our teeth, shower and get dressed. (We do love our coffee though!)

  • 8. Dis ur new site, noe mess it up now
  • Dis ur new site, noe mess it up now

    You’ve just handed over the finished website to the client, perhaps trained them in how to update and maintain it. Four days later you receive a phone call from said client saying their website “isn’t working and need’s fixed”.

    You eventually find out the client has edited the wrong files and the site now looks like something from circa 1995.

  • 9. Logo cost more dan tin of kitteh foodz, 4 ur infomations
  • Logo cost more dan tin of kitteh foodz, 4 ur infomations

    Creating a unique, compelling and powerful brand isn’t just a matter of throwing around a few shapes in illustrator or Photoshop. Each logo goes through various stages of research, brainstorming, development, feedback and changes.

    A logo is the summation of your brand’s qualities and values and is not something to throw $50 at and expect to perfectly capture your companies ethos.

  • 10. Freelance kitteh no gives discountz
  • Freelance kitteh no gives discountz

    Unless you are a valuable repeat client, do not expect a discount. We are not a discount warehouse, you do not get money off for first time purchases or if you buy in bulk. Overall those asking for large or repeated discounts do not appreciate the value of your service or time.

It should be noted that i am not down on clients at all, I have a great relationship with the super cool people and companies i work with, this is simply an overview of some of the stereotypes and typical situations that most freelancers have encountered at some point through their careers.

Have you encountered any of these situations, if so please share!

Please remember LOL Cats take freelancing very seriously and will not make your logo bigger….

Photo by Brownpau


  1. Kim says:

    Great post! It’s so easy to forget the important aspects of business (like contracts) when you are knee deep in a design project. I also agree with the misconceptions people have of freelance designers, that we sit around in pjs (although I am currently, but plan to change) and are expected to work all weekend. I’m in my first year of business on my own have have struggled with the same issues…especially sticker shock when a client asks for a price on a logo. They must think it’s like whipping up a quick flyer therefore shouldn’t cost much. Thanks for a great post!

  2. rowan says:

    Love this post, really made me chuckle but also gets some VERY important points across too – yup have encountered ALL of those situations.

  3. Vikki says:

    This is so funny! :) I love LOL cats and now they are freelancing like me. Hahaha.

  4. SaraKate says:

    You win at life (as I’ve just posted on Twitter). This post is made of awesome because it’s funny, but poignant. You make important points and make us all laugh in the process. Truly, you have a gift for writing/blogging, as well as freelance web design!

  5. Love, love, love this. Great information and wonderfully presented. lolz!

  6. Great post! Love the kitty pictures, haha! BTW. what kind of cat is that under tip #9? As I have gone through it in the past as a buyer, I will pass this on to my freelancers on, that there should always be milestones options so that I can pay in small increments until the very end after a certain part of the project is completed. It’s only fair to both parties.

  7. a very nice collection of thoughts. i especially agree with the 4th point regarding contracts, but i dont use any official contract as of yet. i am not sure what and how a contract should look like. could i get some help with that? i am also a freelance designer… but currently it is just a hobby, not a business… so i dont really charge anything 😛

  8. Christina says:

    I absolutely loved it!!! You need to add basement and ceiling cat to reward/punish bad or good clients.

  9. Oh, dis is teh awsum! Freelance kitteh is full of win!! (I’m a freelance graphic designer, and the LOLcats are my reliable source of a smile when my day is challenging. This was such a fun read, and full of very sound advice.)

  10. Jonas Wright says:

    I love this post soooooo much

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