We’ve all had those clients. The ones that act like you couldn’t possibly have a life outside your work. They change their minds mid-project, send you three emails a day asking when things will be done, hint that your prices are too high, and then act like your work’s not good enough.
For one reason or another, they are the clients you dread working for/calling/meeting with but think you have to tolerate because of the money.
News Flash: You’re the boss! It’s time to find your balls and practice your best Donald impression, and here are 5 reasons why:
1.They always pay you late. If you don’t pay the electric company, your lights get turned off. At the grocery store, they don’t let you work out a payment plan: if you can’t pay you don’t get the freaking groceries! You too, are growing a business. What makes people think they can take your hard work and then make excuses about why they can’t pay the number agreed upon in the contract? It’s bullshit and you shouldn’t stand for it. You’ve gotta eat and pay the bills this month, not next year.
2. They insult you. Making snide comments about your work or level of professionalism indicate a client is really dying to be fired. Maybe they think that because you’re a freelancer, you’re entitled to less respect. Or because they know they’re a big account for you, you’ll take their shit just to keep the money. Prove them wrong. Clients like this make you hate your work, and take time away from the other clients that you enjoy.
3. They question your expertise. There’s a reason why you can support yourself as an independent professional: you’re awesome at what you do. No one decides to leave their traditional job and tackle the uncharted landscape of the freelance world if they have no idea what they’re doing. In most cases, independents fail to be challenged by the comfortable hierarchy of the corporate world, and strike out on their own because they’re tired of restraining their creativity. If your client thinks they know how to design a website better than you, let them try it. Alone.
4. They ask you to do something unethical or illegal. Ok, they probably won’t ask you to cook the books or hack into a competitors website (but it’s happened before). It’s usually something a little more subtle, like copying text from another website, or scraping a competitors directory and claiming it as their own. Maybe they’re just pushing you to make a product that you don’t believe in, or demanding that you use marketing tactics that make you feel icky. Integrity and reputation are everything when you’re out there on your own. Sacrifice them for no one.
5. They drag you away from your goals. As a freelancer, everything you do, from sending emails to creating a website, reinforces your brand. Or not. Think about your dream job, whether it’s getting a photo spread in a national magazine, or writing for the best website in your niche. Now think about that client that’s asking you to spend 10 hours a week photo-shopping pictures for a print brochure (gag) or writing mindless SEO articles for pennies a word. If you stick with them long enough, these clients will force you away from the work that you’re passionate about. And they’ll be taking up room that could be filled by the clients and projects that will take your career in the right direction
What are other reasons that you’d fired a toxic client? Share them in a comment
Next week: 5 Ways To Fire That Crappy Client While Keeping Your Dignity Intact!
Image Credit: kathypsblog.blogspot.com