As a creative professional, one of the primary benefits that you offer your client is expanded capacity. In exchange for your billings, the client leverages your time, energy, and attention to accomplish more than they could’ve done by themselves.

More often than not, however, a client doesn’t have a complete sense of how much is on your plate before requesting additional work. Especially if you’re a freelancer or have a small shop, it’s important that you learn how to respectful inform the client that you’re at capacity (and potentially use the opportunity to expand your operation).
When asked to add more to your plate, author and communication expert Alexandra Franzen suggests using the following script:

Hey! Thanks for [writing / stopping by].
I can definitely help you with this. But first, let’s talk about the other items that I’m currently working on for you.
Right now I’m working on: [list them in order].
If we add this new piece to the list, I’ll need to bill you for an additional [$$$].
It also means that the timeline we initially agreed upon will need to shift a bit. [describe the new dates, timing, etc] Are you OK with the additional cost and new timeline?
If so, [tell me / write back to say]: “Green light! Go!” and I’ll be off to the races like FloJo at the Olympic Games.

Save this template. If you’re good at what you do – and you are – you’re going to need it.

This post was originally published on 99U.