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Difficult Clients 101

2 minutes read

Without difficult clients life would be…well, we can say not as exciting. But occasionally you find yourself in those positions where you want to just dig a hole and hide from the client that is making you want to quit being a freelancer.

Working in the video industry I have had so many great clients. You know the ones I’m referring to because you have been recognized by them to be the person who gets the job done best.  But with everything good said about the fun clients, there are some not so fun ones we must deal with along the way. I have only had few clients who got under my skin, some of them can be attributed to simply being a mean person, but so much of the responsibility can be pointed towards me.

Here are some traits that they all shared.
1. The client was a friend of a friend. Because of that they felt entitled to a discount or some type special of treatment. (Red flag 1)
2. I did not have written contract. (Mistake 1- Always get a contract!)
3. They wanted to know how many revisions of the final job they were getting. (Red flag 2)
4. They negotiated the price down, but insisted on the product being the same. (Mistake 2- I agreed because I knew them.)

This is a short list but even the most difficult client can be managed if you start on the right foot. In your contract you need to lay down very specific milestones and very clearly outline the amount of work being done. In the contract you also need to have provisions for extending or adding on to the project.

You must communicate to your client. Be proactive with updates and especially bad news. Let them know as soon as possible. Communication will make your experience bliss or hell.

Solutions
1. Clearly setting boundaries and the rules of engagement in your contract. You have to get a signature!
2. If you discount, decreasethe amount of work you are performing. This sets a precedent for the rest of the project.
3. Anything above the contract is extra
4. There are some people who wont be happy with what you have done no matter what you do. Make sure your contract has provisions for refunds or lack there off.
5. Through all of this make sure to stick to your agreements and keep short accounts. Don’t let the little things slide! Just keep in mind the client needs you as much as you need them.

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