We have all heard horror stories about clients.
Some take advantage of freelancers, some are unwilling to listen, and some are just outright disrespectful. No freelance designer should have to work with somebody like that.
A bad client will only bring unnecessary stress and anxiety onto a freelance designer. However, it’s not hard to spot these bad clients.
Look for these warning signs to figure out if your client is going to be troublesome. (And if you have some additional insights, please leave them in the comments.)
One warning sign of a bad client is if they are closed minded. To have a successful project, both the client and the freelancer need to be open minded. They need to be open to suggestions and willing to compromise.
Generally a closed minded client will start off as very persistent in getting things done their way. They will be very stubborn to getting their way. They will want you to do exactly everything they say, even if it could harm the project.
They won’t be accepting of new ideas or different approaches to problems. If your client comes off this way, then they are somebody you do not want to work with.
Unwilling to Partake
Another sign is if they are unwilling to do their part in the project. Clients often believe once the project starts, they have no involvement. However, freelancers need participation from the client, such as information on the business and for feedback.
Usually, once you explain this to a client, they will be willing to help. Nonetheless, a bad client will not want to participate in the project at all. They will remind you they are busy and cannot help in any way.
They might even get offended if you ask for their participation. Do not work with this client if they’re not willing to do their part.
Cannot Handle Criticism
If a client cannot handle criticism and alternative suggestions, it is another warning sign of a bad client. Working with any professional means working together to come up with the perfect solution for a problem.
Freelancers are experts in certain fields and offer their hassle-free services to clients wanting to solve a problem. This means a client should respect your expertise and be willing to work with you towards better solutions.
If your client cannot handle your suggestions for a better solution and are stubborn to their ways, then they are not a client you want to work with.
The most obvious and important sign to a bad client is if they are disrespectful towards you. Freelancing has become increasingly appealing to many people in different fields.
Freelancing means freedom of becoming your own boss, working anywhere and anytime you want, and being allowed to work on what you love. While it takes certain people to be able to freelance successful, people often believe freelancers are below normal professionals.
Thus, a bad client will undermine a freelancer and be disrespectful towards them because they see themselves above freelancers. Avoid working with this client if they start showing this warning sign.
Lastly, if your client comes off as strange and weary, this may be another sign to a bad client. With this warning sign, you want to listen to your gut or intuition in this case. If a client is coming off as suspicious or too good to be true, listen to yourself.
If you are nervous to work with them, then listen to that feeling. Usually people suppress these feelings because they need the money or more pieces for their portfolio, but if you don’t listen to yourself, you could end up with a bad client.
Listen to yourself, and if the client makes you nervous or weary, don’t work with them.
What warning signs would you add?
These warning signs come from personal experience and horror stories. There are of course exceptions and every client is different. Nonetheless, if you feel like your potential client has any of these warning signs, do not work with them. Politely decline and recommend them to somebody else who may be able to handle them.
How have you handled bad clients? Share your tips in the comments section and please keep your client’s names anonymous for protection.