Freelancing can be so amazing in several aspects, but it’s not all rainbows and lollipops. Freelancers are particularly their ’own boss’, but they are constantly faced with different clients and projects, and not all of these experiences are pleasant.
If you’re a freelancer trying to avoid this unpleasant situation, pay attention to these cases, because they are warning signs that something is wrong.
1. Bad Communication
Don’t get into a business with a client who’s not a good communicator. Bad communication disables freelancers from doing a good job, because they’re basically shooting in the dark without knowing all the necessary details and requirements, and what the client wants.
Don’t even get into a conversation if you immediately start talking about the price. It’s one thing to mention your rates, but it’s another thing when a client is constantly trying to knock down the prices, but still requesting high-quality services. A good client will appreciate your knowledge and skills, and won’t argue with your price if it’s reasonable.
3. Free Test
Most clients use this ‘free sample’ request to trick freelancers into doing a perfectly decent job for free. They will pretend it’s not up to their standards, and the next thing you know, they will use it for their business. Remember, no free samples. Everything you do has a price.
4. No Compromise
When a client is unwilling to open their mind to a new perspective and especially unwilling to take suggestions, you should thank them for their offer and walk away. This is very limiting to freelancers since they will never have a say in the process, even when it could potentially harm the client’s business.
Freelancers are their boss, but this job isn’t easy at all. You’re constantly on the lookout for new opportunities, constantly having to prove yourself to someone new. Never accept projects from someone who is trying to undermine your role in the project. They need your expertise, right?
If your client is constantly asking for updates, e-mails, screenshots, time-tracking every single activity, you’re probably dealing with someone who wants to control every segment of your work. Stay away from these clients because they won’t give you the freedom of choice, and they never seem to be satisfied with work.
When a client is always seeking changes, and constantly blames it on you, it means that he/she doesn’t know what he/she wants. Indecisive clients will always find you irresponsible for their inability to decide.
8. Broadened Scope of Work
Avoid clients which tend to give you more work once they set a price for the original job and all of sudden they remember three different things you need to do for them, which wasn’t a part of the original agreement. They’re just trying to get more for the same buck.
9. No Collaboration
When you start a project but the client doesn’t want to have anything to do with it, take this as a warning sign. This means they are unwilling to help, or they have no idea what the project is actually about and they are just a middleman for someone else.
10. Responsiveness Issues
Beware of those clients who disappear right after you reach an agreement and start your project. This is a big warning sign that you’re in it alone, and that they might even reappear out of the blue asking for the finished project.
11. Avoiding Upfront Payments
Some freelancing websites require you to lay down a small deposit on a project as a guarantee to the freelancer they are going to get paid for a successfully done project. If you encounter a client that’s unwilling to do an upfront payment, making up excuses, be sure that he’s unwilling to pay for the entire project as well.