According to CNBC, America's gig economy has seen it's greatest growth in 2019, showing freelancers' earnings up to 78%. Although there has been a huge surge in the number of freelancers and the money they make in recent years, it's not always a breeze or full of money. Good and bad clients can either make you or break you. Whether you're a professional freelancer that is accepting any clients you can or you go through and carefully hand select your clients, you're bound to run into some bad ones.
That's why we've written this article. We're going to dive into 7 types of bad clients that you should avoid as a freelancer. Le'ts get started!
1. Not Really Sure What They Want
The first type of bad client that we're going to take a look at is the one that has no clue as to what they really need. The reason this is at the top of our list is because no matter how talented you are at what you do, this type of client has no clue what they are looking for, so they will never be satisfied.
You can avoid this by finding this out in your first initial conversation or interview with them. Your first conversation with a new client should already have some common questions such as -
- What are your goals?
- When do you need this done?
- What will dictate a successful and complete project for you?
Simple questions such as these will quickly give you insight as to whether you want to work with this client or not. If they don't have a defiant answer to simple questions like these, it may be best to pass on them.
2. Never Satisfied With Your Work
Much like our first terrible client, we spoke of, regardless of your excellent talents, some people will never be one hundred percent happy. This type of person is going to ask for revision after revision, and most likely not show any respect for your work.
You may not be able to spot this client before starting the project though, which makes it hard. However, sometimes it's best to part ways with a customer even after going through the work. If they are repetitively having you redo your work even though you know that it's exactly what they had asked for, politely say that it's not working out.
The biggest takeaway with this one is to know your self-worth and the work you do. Don't settle and don't haggle with a client that has no respect for you or your work.
3. Your Pricing and Theirs
There are people out there that think that because you are a freelancer and not an agency, that your prices are negotiable and they can haggle with you. If a client says that they want your best rate, they are really asking what is the cheapest you will work for.
Again, it's important to understand your worth and the worth of your work. Don't take less and don't listen to anyone that says otherwise. The best thing to do is politely remind your potential client that your pricing is reflective of your quality and the work that you do.
4. They Know Someone With Better Rates and/or Work
Everyone knows that one person that talks about how they know someone that can either do it cheaper or do it better. They may use this as a way to lower your prices before you begin your work or use it as a way to lower your prices after you've completed the job.
Before you decide to work with them, if they say that their Uncle can do it cheaper, then, by all means, let their Uncle do it. Pass on this client and save yourself a headache. If however, they use this after you've completed the project, remind them that your quality of work is in line with your rates. It is also always a good idea to have some sort of contract drawn up before you start working with a client.
5. Get That Contract Signed
If you're freelancing, then you're most likely having your clients sign a contract, if not you should be now after reading this!
If a client is refusing to sign a contract, they probably have a reason why... such as not completing their end of the bargain. If a client starts bringing up that they trust you and you should trust them, then just let them know that it's to avoid any confusion or legalities for your own self.
A contract is essential to every freelancer, never work with a client that refuses to sign one.
6. It's All About Communication
There are two client types we want to talk about in this section of bad clients. They are both terrible with communication, and if you are choosing to work with someone, communication is key to the success of the project.
This client is the one that will go missing in action one moment and then won't leave you alone the next. Having a client that takes a couple of weeks to review and approve your work and then send back your work with a 24-hour turnaround, is not realistic. Politely remind your client that feedback and information from them is needed in advance with a timely turnaround.
Doesn't Stop Communicating
This freelance client expects work to be done in an unrealistic time manner. They also won't stop emailing you asking you for updates and examples of the work. Communication is important, but too much is unproductive. It's best to avoid both of these clients as much as possible.
7. Organized or Disorganized?
When finding freelance work, you have to wisely choose who you work with. Many individuals and even businesses can be extremely disorganized, especially if they are new. A disorganized business is not going to communicate well, could possibly change your project halfway through, and you may run into payment issues at the end.
The best way to spot these client types is by watching their emails and answers. If you don't get a clear answer to all of your questions and there are large delays with each one, or you speak to a new person every time, these are all indicators of complete disorganization.
Avoiding The Bad Clients
These are the best freelancing tips when it comes to avoiding bad clients. Dealing with difficult clients is not a good experience and can be a huge waste of time. Avoid these clients and make sure you screen your potential clients first!
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