Some Bad Client Warnings That Every Freelancer Should Be Aware of
Tell us if this sounds familiar to you: Your customer doesn’t know what they want, but they would like to have it now, they want it inexpensive, and also of good quality. Is this a trusted customer? Yes, this happened to me, and I’ve seen more than this. Although freelancing is great for all sorts of reasons and the advantages it offers, it also tends to be more challenging especially during the business.
You may be looking to be your own boss, work flexible times that help you, and create a customized schedule that works for you. However, these benefits are conditional on whether you can build good client-freelance relationships. Let’s see the biggest customer warning signs to avoid. Check out Why a Freelancer Needs Personal Branding: Some Reasons.
1. Request free samples
This is one of the most common warnings among any freelance client. You might think that a free sample is justified — and sometimes it is — because the client definitely needs to know your level of experience and skills. But if you already have a relevant professional profile, a free sample won’t be necessary.
Your professional profile is already an indicator of your competence and successful work with other clients. If he continues to insist on a free sample, he will likely use your work unauthorized or possibly sell or modify it without your consent and without paying you. Remember, the sample is just a hint of your service, not the full service.
2. Expect to be present
A lot of people choose freelancing over a regular job because they want to do things on their own terms. A large part of these terms revolve around working your most comfortable time, i.e. flexible hours rather than a fixed eight-hour period.
This way, you can spend more time with your loved ones and do the things you love. A client considering relying on a freelancer like yourself should do so with the understanding that you will not always be available according to his hours or can allocate hours according to your requirements.
3. Being compared to others
This warning is totally embarrassing and even sadder once you know how common it is. A bad customer will compare you to others, often to justify their unreasonable offers and their price expectations for you.
He’ll say things like, “We hired someone last week who did the same job for less,” but won’t mention that they forgot to follow the style guide and messed up the whole project. Or, “I can find someone on Upwork with more experience” but won’t say they can’t afford it.
4. Expect unlimited revisions and revisions
As a freelancer, you charge for your services, not your time. This means that every hour you spend reviewing old work will be a waste, which could have been used to choose a new project that could earn you more money.
Of course, some reviews are to be expected, but if your customer is expecting unlimited reviews from you, that’s an easy-to-recognize warning sign. Be clear about the number of reviews you allow for your customers and the additional fees for additional reviews beyond this limit.
5. Payment is not made on time
This is a no-brainer warning. A good customer will honor the due date on your invoice and pay as promised. While a bad customer will not honor the due date and you will need to remind them again and again whenever the payment is due.
Unless you trust the client, it’s best to get a portion of the payment up front before you start working. In this way, you will have peace of mind and a sense of security. You can focus more time and energy on the project itself rather than trying to force a client to pay after your work is done.
6. Unacceptable criticism
Every freelancer knows how important client reviews are, but there is a clear line between good reviews and bad feedback. Good reviews are specific, relevant, results-oriented, professional, and include helpful suggestions.
Bad reviews are vague, confusing, full of unreasonable criticism, don’t include any suggestions, and can get personal and feel threatening. A client of this type should be strictly prohibited because not only does it violate professionalism, but it is also impossible to work with him. Check how you can boost your productivity with Smart Goals Standards (S.M.A.R.T).
7. Refusal to sign the contract
Signing a contract can often be intimidating for you and your client. However, it is an important process because it ensures that the interests of both parties are protected. Where this helps resolve conflicts in the future and adds clarity to the relationship.
If you’re doing a small project, it’s understandable if you don’t want to bother with a contract. But for larger, more complex projects, it’s best to have a written contract signed by both parties. If the customer refuses to do this, you may want to walk away from them.
8. They manage you too much
As long as you finish your work on time and according to expectations, the customer has no influence on how you spend your time or how you do your work. Unfortunately, a lot of clients tend to closely supervise the freelancer being hired.
This not only limits your creativity but also wastes your time asking you to follow unnecessary steps. You certainly need the customer’s input, but your every move doesn’t have to be tracked.
9. Submitting suspicious offers
You might be surprised at how creative a customer can be when trying to lower your price. If he can’t, he will ask for other benefits besides your standard service. This may include faster delivery times, longer payment due dates, or additional revisions.
A common type of labor tactic used against a freelancer is offering bulk work at a very low price. And since many freelancers desperately need security, they agree. Only to discover later that the client hides their intentions after the first project
10. Not making expectations clear
The quality of the service is determined by how accurately it meets the buyer’s expectations. But to do that, you first need to know what those expectations are. The customer gives vague descriptions of their requirements all the time and expects you to find your way through the fog.
It’s absurd because you can’t reach your goal if you don’t know what it is. It’s always a good idea to ask the customer what their expectations are, so you know exactly what you need to deliver.
Identify the bad customer
Starting a freelance career and building it from the ground up is commendable, but often much harder than it looks.
From finding the good client to trying to keep them, there’s a lot that goes into the process. Be sure to keep these warnings in mind to stay protected.