Client Red Flags to Avoid
What you should know to avoid difficult clients
Of course, being a freelancer has many advantages, but that doesn’t mean that throughout your career there will be no difficulties, one of them is dealing and working with “bad clients” so it is important to know how to identify at least the most common client red flags to avoid.
It’s worth mentioning that you will not always find this type of client, in fact, most of the people who decide to work with freelancers have an idea of what the work is like and what is expected of a seller-buyer transaction.
Top Client Red Flags to Avoid as a Freelancer
To avoid finding yourself in difficult situations, it’s necessary to know how to identify customers who may be “problematic” from the beginning. How can you achieve this? By paying attention to the signals they normally send from the first interaction with you as a seller.
The most common and easiest to identify are:
When They Request Trial Work (Unpaid)
Sometimes your potential client will want to be clever asking you for free samples to see if “you are the right person for the job”, and it is common especially in new freelancers to accept to do work for free hoping that the client likes it and decides to order more jobs later.
How can you avoid this? Having a portfolio assembled where you show samples of your work that represents your skills and expertise. It’s best you have it updated so all of your best and most recent work can be reviewed by a client. The easiest way to send a client your portfolio is by creating a plus.page. It is your own mini website, where you can add your information and previous work examples. So next time a client asks you to see some sample work, you can simply send them your website link.
Another way to avoid this is by politely declining when a client asks you to do work for free. What you can offer instead is a 15-minute consultation call with a client, where you can tell them more about your work and how you can help them with their project.
They Expect Unlimited Revisions
It is normal that when working as a freelancer you offer your clients to edit or correct when something does not align with the initial expectations, which is not usually a problem since on some occasions it’s necessary to make changes in the work; however, it is important to clarify from the beginning that the client should not expect you to perform an unlimited number of revisions.
What you can do to avoid situations where the client demands a huge number of changes in small details is to establish a reasonable number of revisions and corrections stipulated by you from the beginning of your contract or charge an extra each time the client decides to make a change in the project.
In case your potential client disagrees, it’s a huge client red flag to avoid.
Being Asked For More Work Than Agreed Without Increasing the Price of the Project
Depending on the nature of the project you are working on, sometimes it is totally normal that as you progress, the length, variants, or difficulty of the projected increase.
When this happens, your client should know that as the project grows, so does its price.
A good client knows the value of your work and has no problem paying for what they are receiving, while a “problematic client” only decides to pay the initially agreed price even when the project ends up being more than what was agreed at the beginning.
Expect Project Advances Without a Previous Payment
One way to quickly identify client red flags to avoid is if they refuse to pay you a portion of the total cost of the project upfront.
Why? This way you will know from the beginning of the transaction if you are going to struggle with something important like being paid.
Always consider charging this way to avoid conflicts and situations where the client ghosts you once the project has been finished and delivered. In freelancing platforms such as Revolancer, payments to freelancers are assured since the client pays before the project begins, and you as a seller, apart from the fact that you have your money insured, do not lose a percentage of your earnings as in other freelancing platforms.
Working With Someone Who Refuses to Sign a Contract
As a freelancer, making your client sign a contract before starting a project together is essential. Why is it important? This will help you define the parameters of the seller-buyer relationship from the beginning and will help avoid any confusion throughout the project.
Some independents decide to work without a pre-established contract and choose to create one as the client requires it; remember that it is okay for your client to have an objection to any point in your contract and you can discuss it. Everything is negotiable beforehand, even the amount to be paid for the project.
However, it is a huge red flag if your potential client refuses to sign anything. This means that they never intended to follow any agreement at all.
Offering Too Low a Payment for Your Services
Something common is when a buyer to approaches you offering a lower payment than what you have established for your services. Sometimes when it’s your first time working with a buyer, he will try to get the job this way by offering “exposure” or “future work.”
It’s important that you are aware of these tricks and that you do not waste your time when you can use them with clients who value your work and are willing to pay the normal price.
A Rude and Arrogant Attitude From the Beginning
A major client red flag to avoid is when from the moment they contact you to obtain information about your services you feel an attitude of disrespect.
As an independent on some occasions, it is your job to remain calm when this type of situation arises, but it is not something you have to put up with and the most advisable thing is to refuse to work with such a person since if this behaviour exists from the beginning on the part of the client, it is most likely that in the future it will continue the same or worse.
Listen to Your Gut
In addition to these top client red flags to avoid when working as a freelancer, a very important one is to follow your instinct, and if you notice something you don’t agree with from the beginning, it’s better to avoid having a bad experience in your business.
To achieve a sustainable and successful business, it’s essential that you enjoy both the projects you work on and the clients you retain.
Before You Go
Now that you know the pitfalls you may face, make sure you check out plus.page and claim your own mini website. You should also read How to start freelancing with a full-time job and How to Price Yourself as a Freelancer to better understand how to build and manage a successful career.
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer