I admit it. I’ve been lucky. The number of good clients that I’ve worked for far outweighs the number of bad clients that I’ve worked for.
We freelancers love to gripe about bad clients. That’s why sites like Clients from Hell are so popular. Even on Freelance Folder, our post on 10 Types of Bad Clients and How to Avoid Them attracted nearly 100 comments.
Don’t get me wrong. Bad clients are out there. They do exist. But if you do your homework, research your clients carefully and require a contract before you agree to work for them, I think that you are much more likely to end up working with a good client than a bad one.
That’s why I’m devoting this post to reasons why you should believe in your freelancing client. In it I address 11 common concerns freelancers have about clients and give reasons why you can probably believe in your client.
Why You Should Believe In Your Client
What freelancer hasn’t spent a sleepless night (or two) lying in bed and worrying about what their client thinks of them. At such times, it’s easy to assume the worst.
The next time this happens to you, remember these eleven reasons why you shouldn’t give in to your worries:
- They have already invested in you. They’ve paid your deposit to get you to start work. (You do require that they pay a percentage before you start a project, don’t you?) Your client has already made a partial payment–that means they already have a financial stake in your success.
- They hired you. Let’s face it, there are hundreds of freelancers out there. Many of them are quite good at what they do. Your client could have chosen any one of them, but they didn’t. Instead they chose you because they liked something they saw in your portfolio, on your website, or on your resume.
- Your client is busy. If a freelancer doesn’t get a response from a client, it’s common to worry that the client is about to disappear. If they haven’t gotten back to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are upset with you. It’s more likely that they are just busy running their business and their life.
- Not all correction requests are critical. Some people just don’t know how to make constructive suggestions. Your client may be one of those people. For these people, a revision request can seem critical even when it’s not meant to be. It’s easy to assume that a client is being critical when in fact they may simply be concerned.
- It takes work to write a recommendation. You may assume that your client was dissatisfied with you because they don’t make a recommendation of your work. The truth is that not everyone is comfortable with writing. Or, your client may not have time to write out a recommendation for you. Sometimes, it’s best to catch them complimenting you and then ask if you can share the compliment.
- Your client isn’t angry with you when you ask questions. You may be afraid to ask questions, but most clients would rather you ask questions than have you barge ahead and do the project wrong. Just be organized about the way you ask questions. Don’t bombard your client with a large number of questions in separate emails. Instead, make a list and send them all at once.
- They (probably) doesn’t expect you to work 24/7. Even if the client seems to be asking you questions after your normal working hours, realize that they may be in a different time zone than you are. Or, they may simply be sending you the message while they’re thinking about it so that they don’t forget.
- Your client doesn’t want you to fail. They really don’t. They hired you because they needed some work done. They won’t be able to use the work that you’re doing unless you complete it successfully. When you’re done, the work will represent the client. So, relax! Your client actually wants you to succeed.
- They don’t dislike you. In fact, unless the client is a friend or family member, they probably don’t really know you–at least not personally. What you have with them is a business relationship and not a personal relationship. Their opinion of you is most likely positive or neutral.
- Your client isn’t in a hurry to replace you. If you’ve been doing a good job, your client probably wants to retain your services. While there are a lot of freelancers out there, not all of them are reliable. Most clients would rather go with a familiar freelancer who they can rely on than take a chance on an unknown.
- You can negotiate with your client without losing them. I know of many freelancers who are afraid to negotiate terms for fear they’ll lose their client. If a new project comes up that just happens to conflict with a scheduled vacation, they take it anyway because they’re afraid. However, most clients are happy to discuss and adjust terms (within reason, of course).
The next time you’re tempted to think the worst, remember that not all clients are bad.
Spill the beans. What worries do you have about freelancing clients? What positive experiences have you had with your clients?