Hasty Treat - Freelance Tips - Toxic Clients


In this Hasty Treat, Scott and Wes talk about toxic clients — how to identify them, and what to do about them.

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Show Notes

05:33 - Warning Signs of a potential toxic client

  • Doesn’t have project well thought out.
  • Scope creep - Adds on new features while not considering the amount of work required to make them happen. Can be mad when you run out of time or budget.
  • Ill Communicator
    • Contacts you at odd times.
    • Thinks that you should answer every email in an hour.
    • Contacts you in inappropriate ways, via text message, social media. OR doesn’t respond to emails in a timely manner giving you blockers.
  • Jerk
    • The rude client
    • Thinks they can be rude because they are giving you money
    • Hundreds of emails
  • Tries to be flashy upfront (dinners, etc.)
    • Scatterbrain or way too big.
    • Facebook for nurses

18:06 - What to do about toxic clients

  • Communicate your needs clearly. Set expectations.
    • “I work best when…”
    • “I answer emails once every two days”
    • Set clear deadlines for deliverables, feedback and revisions (one revision backed in, more at x hourly rate, etc.).
    • Just be VERY clear. If something doesn’t work for them, they will hopefully tell you.
  • Get things in writing.
    • Put things clearly in a working agreement for your client to approve. That way you have something to show in case things go south and you can say, “You agreed to the following things”.
  • Fire them
    • You can fire clients. Honestly, some of them just aren’t worth the time and effort. It’s usually the cheapest clients who demand the most from you. Don’t let them take more of your time and energy than they are paying for.
    • Firing clients is very simple.
      • Hi so and so, I don’t feel like we’re a good match for this project, so I’ll be canceling our work agreement. Good luck on your project.
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