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Some Types of Clients that Every Freelancer Should Avoid

Updated on February 1, 2012

Freelancing is a fun, easy and a lucrative world but it is not that easy it looks like. One of the many disadvantages of being a freelancer is that you never know that which types of clients you will be dealing with in a near future. You probably would have never met and you will not be in a good position to judge a person by a mere couple of Emails.

However, there are many things that can be used as a judging parameter of bad clients, which must be avoided at all cost, otherwise, the outcome may not be very pleasing. Following is the list of those ‘bad’ clients that every freelancer should avoid in his or her career.

1. The client with ‘lots of work’

I bet you will find this type of clients more than you would find cows in Switzerland. He will post the project with a budget of $5, but he has ‘lots of work’ available in the lot. I am not saying that every person who is doing like this is lying. It has been a proven strategy to find the best workers, but mostly it is nothing more than a charade now-a-days. Serious persons, who have large amount of work, take the interviews and choose the best person. They cannot interview a dozen people for the $5 budget project, if they are really busy with that ‘lots of work thing’.

2. Bad Communication Tone:

That has been the best parameter for me so far. People, who treat freelancers as shit-holes, do not deserved to be entertained at all. You will instantly get to know about a person’s attitude and professionalism by their communication tone in the project description and while discussing the projects. Do not even bother to talk to a person, whose project somewhat looks like this:

“I will pay xxx amount, and if you are not in compliance with the stated budget, don’t you f**king dare to talk to me, and waste my f**king time.

P.S: High bidders and dogs are not allowed!”

3. Low Price:

“I need a HIGH QUALITY 1,000 words article. The article must be perfect in grammar and spellings. If I find such stupid mistakes, I will not pay anything. I need extremely talented and creative writer for this. The article must also be optimized for SEO. I will pay $0.5 for it. If I like your work, you will also get another $0.5 as bonus. Cheers son!”

You know what to do with that? Ignore!

Do not be lured into the trap of low price anyway. Every other freelancer, in order to establish some name in the arena, gets agreed to do the work at a significantly lower rate. You may very well land your first job, but eventually it will come back to haunt you. People will treat you as a low-cheap-junkie and will always expect to do their jobs at that same old rate. You will get many invitations with the same rate, but you should not keep accumulating your record with those.

4. Quick! Be quick! Faster!

Clients, who allow unreasonably short time and ask you to be faster than light, are not ideal to deal with. They want 25 articles by the end of tomorrow; they won’t compromise on the quality either. Where the hell were they sleeping before?

5. Too much instruction and interference:

Many people may argue with me over this point, but I never sign up with persons who give too much instruction and end up being an interference in my work. They put a barrier on my creativity, and it does no good to anyone. If I am writing, I am the writer and not him; and what does he know about writing anyway? Let me share an experience with you all:

Once it took me an hour or so to explain a client that his demands cannot be fulfilled. I was doing a 500 word article for him, and he was asking to add 6 different keywords with a density of 5-6% each, as he was so mad about the ranking of his pages. It took me an hour to explain him that there cannot be 180 words (comprised of keywords only) in a 500 words article.

6. Sample:

Never, ever do the sample thing. Build up your portfolio at an independent site (like Hubpages) if you want, and showcase that. If they are serous, they will hire you, but never do the sample works. Mark my words. And never means NEVER EVER!

7. Unavailable for Communication:

Sooner or later, you will realize that your client is not that much available for communication. If he or she compensates it later with a kind of apology and treats you accordingly after this, then it is alright. However, I have experienced a few times that clients just do not show up or communicate, and later when the deadlines come, they bang you with the shouting that they want their work ASAP. Things do not work like that, do they?

With the gradual passage of time, you will build up a decent list of clients, who are worthy enough to work with. Help and cooperate with everyone, but do nothing beyond your dignity. Best of luck in filtering those monsters!


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    • profile image

      ScribeMama 5 years ago

      I would also add that prospective clients who run down prior writers are likely to be trouble.

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 6 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Good advice, Hunbbel. There are hundreds/thousands of scammers, hackers, just plain scoundrels out there. I don't know how they sleep at night.

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 6 years ago from The Shire

      So true. They're out favorite is the one who wants a 100-page Nobel prize entry for $5 and the promise of future work (more $5 gigs?) Maybe we should stop writing altogether, hire our own suckers for peanuts and resell their work for a 500 percent markup. Only, that would be going over to the dark side...

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I've encountered quite a few of these in my freelance career and you're advice to avoid them is sound. Voting this Up and Useful.