If you’ve been in the freelancing world for a while, you’ve probably heard the term “scope creep.” Unfortunately it is a problem that many freelancers fall victim to. If you’re not sure what it is, scope creep happens when you agree to a statement of work or to a certain project with a client, and then they keep adding on little bells and whistles beyond the work you originally agree to.

This can happen in two ways.

The first way that scope creep can happen is that a client might keep adding additional things for you to do without increasing the pay. This can be really frustrating. Not only did you never agree to do these additional steps, but you’ve also got the problem of not being compensated for the additional time and effort that you’re putting into these projects.

Here’s an example of what this looks like.

A client asks me to write something and add it to the back end of website. That’s all we’ve agreed to and that’s all I’m getting paid for.

If they ask me to then add pictures, backlinks, metadata, and schedule on social media, that’s scope creep.

The second problem that can happen with scope creep is that a client does pay you to do the work, but you don’t know how to do it, you don’t want to do it or never agreed to do it.

Maybe you’re getting paid hourly and the client says “Bill me for the extra time to put in the backlinks, pictures and metadata.” But if those additional tasks don’t work with your schedule or the way your business is structured, this can also be scope creep.

What should you do if you’re running into problems with scope creep with a client? Remember, this is up to you as the freelancer to negotiate in your proposals and to clarify exactly what is and isn’t included. If you’re not quite sure how to handle scope creep, you’ll find some helpful tips in the video below.