Whether you are a newbie or a veteran in the freelancing world, dealing with difficult clients can be a very distressing experience. Every agency and agent will have their own fair share of dealing with difficult clients, that setting up standard operating procedures to address different types of scenarios of agency-client relationship should be given supremacy.
However, not all freelance workers are lucky enough to be a part of an agency or any type of organized team or community with established rules and regulations in dealing with these types of the nitty-gritty. More often than not, freelancers, with the abundance of work available online, will have to deal with these situations on their own.
Today, LFS Consulting will explore the different types of clients and freelance work scenarios that will help every freelancers bargain with their clients more effectively.
1. The One with the Constant Change of Heart
There will always be that client who doesn’t know what he wants and gives unclear specifications on things he wants to get done. These types of clients usually give general statements of the job that they want to get accomplished but will constantly have a change of heart and will eventually require several revisions in the output.
Of course, it is always difficult to say no to a client, especially for those who are just starting with this type of field. However, remember that every minute you consume with a project is precious time that you could have spent with a more worthwhile venture. You could have said no to a very important engagement just to accommodate this client. Therefore, every output should not be scrapped or discounted just because the client has had a change of heart.
To address these types of clients, it is important that from the very start of the engagement, you have a clear understanding of the output he or she wants. Get everything in writing and make the client understand that every change beyond what has been already agreed upon will entail cost and resources on your part and should be compensated accordingly.
2. The ‘Penny Pincher’
Understandably, a client would always want to get every penny’s worth. But this shouldn’t be at the expense of the worker. Occasional freebies and bonuses are not entirely wrong because you want your client to come back and give you more work to do. However, you should also establish ground rules when it comes to giving these additional services. You may, of course, agree to out-of-scope work, but the client should clearly understand that it can come at an added cost.
3. The ‘I Want Done Now’
There will always be those types of clients who want everything done in an instant. As a freelance worker, you should be able to calculate whether the client is being reasonable with his or her demands. As a worker, you have to be straightforward with your working time frame and shouldn’t be expected to deliver output in an impossible amount of time.
4. The ‘This is an Emergency’
This client firmly believes that he is your only client, and his concerns should always be given primacy. With this type of client, it is significant to establish clear timetables and deadlines. Assure him that everything is in order with regards to his concern but make him or her understand that you do have other clients.
5. The ‘I am Hands Off’
This type of client is every freelancer’s dream. You get to have leeway when it comes to timetables and even deadlines. So long as you deliver the target on type, this client is satisfied.
Note, however, that even when working for this type of client seem like the most ideal set-up, it is always important to make a follow through with your output and make sure that he does have a say when it comes to critical stages to also mitigate any major rework when issues arise.
6. The ‘This is My Pet Project’
This type of client is very hands-on. He or she will require constant updates on your output and will be very meticulous all throughout the process, leaving you with little room for your own input. Be clear with your standards and frankly tell him or her when an approach is not effective.
The types of clients discussed in this article are actually just the tip of the iceberg. Because of the volatility of freelance work, dealing with difficult clients is nothing but an everyday experience. The key in leading a successful freelance career is that on top of producing outputs and meeting targets, every freelance worker must understand the client and the demands of the job. At the onset, the worker has to establish reasonable ground rules when it comes to every project, and such ground rules are also clear on the client’s side.
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