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It may seem counterproductive to ever turn away a client when trying to build up your freelancing career. However, there are actually times when it is essential to your business! Use the following cues and tips to help you avoid clients that will most likely end in bitter disaster.
1. The “My Last Freelancer” Client
If your client begins by telling you how horrible their last freelance writer, designer, photographer [insert title here] was- RUN! In 6 weeks they will be talking about YOU.
My experience has proven two things about clients who bad-mouth their previous freelancer so frivolously:
1. They are most likely hard to please. Listen closely to their complaints. If you hear something like “they could never get it right” then I would assume the client has trouble communicating and will blame you.
2. They are drama. The last thing your business likely needs is drama. Stay away.
2. When is the Last Time You Went to the Bathroom Client
Watch out for those clients who feel they need to know your every move. They will often email you several times a day or even call you just to check how things are going. Of course, assuming you are not behind on any deadlines, this is a red flag of a terrible client.
I’ve had clients call on Sunday afternoon just to check-in.
The client is either in desperate need of a life or this is early signs of control freak.
You run your freelance business and people like this can make you feel as though they are running the show. Leave them behind as soon as you can.
3. The Don’t Mix the Peas and Taters Client
Picky Picky Picky. If your client begins with a lot of demanding requests that severely limit your work for them. You may want to consider if this is a client worth taking on. If you do- then be sure you have a good contract that makes it clear how many times you will re-do your work before you begin charging them.
4. The Thinks an Inch is a Yard Client
Some clients are like my 3 year old daughter. They will test your boundaries on everything. It’s hard to get used to being tough but in order to have respect from your client, it is unfortunately a requirement for most freelancers to find success.
If your client is frequently asking you to do things you didn’t already discuss, usually small things that seem too easy to mess with billing over- think twice! Those are the ones who most likely get you to do way more than you originally quoted them for. Either let this client go or stick firm to your initial agreement- which means billing additional, even when it is a minor 15 minute adjustment.
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