I like knowing my clients. The fact that we share personal stories about our lives and our families with one another creates a tighter bond. Not only does it enrich my life, it leads to excellent word-of-mouth referrals and customer loyalty.
But … there are some things I wish I didn’t know about my clients. Not every client-freelancer tandem is a perfect match, and I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t want to hear the following five statements from your clients either.
1. “We’d like to make a few minor tweaks”
I’m definitely OK with revisions, but when you have a client who constantly makes changes to their own changes, you end up going back to the drawing board time after time.
2. “We don’t do contracts”
And you don’t work for free, right? If you have a client who isn’t willing to commit to paying you for your work, I suggest you move on and find one who is. After all, every business does contracts.
3. “What invoice?”
If you’re a freelancer, getting paid on time is probably very important to you. When a customer is late paying, the last thing you want to hear is that they never saw the invoice. You can send it over again, sure, but chances are you’ll have to wait for the next payment cycle to get your money.
4. “I’m going broke”
I once had a client who gave me a lot of small jobs in rapid succession, which led to a moderate monthly bill. Then he told me his company was on the verge of failure. I wanted to help him get things on track but his outlook was bleak. I want to give my clients value, and I felt that if his business was going under then his investment would be just another debt he would have – and one he might not be able to pay.
5. “My assets have been frozen”
True story: A client who owed me big suddenly stopped paying according to schedule, then disappeared. After two months of unanswered emails and phone calls, he resurfaced to tell me his assets had been frozen due to a lawsuit brought by his state’s government. Think I ever received payment?
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