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Cover image for How to Deal with Nightmare Clients 🎃
Devon Campbell
Devon Campbell

Posted on • Originally published at on

How to Deal with Nightmare Clients 🎃

I love freelancing, but you’ll eventually come across someone who… giving them the benefit of the doubt, let’s just say their idea of the freelancer/client relationship doesn’t match yours. These nightmare clients can take an awesome project and make it a chore.

I’ll share four strategies to help you deal with clients like these… and a new way of thinking that will help you eliminate this problem forever! (It’s probably not what you think, but give it a shot anyway.)

If you need some help getting your freelance business going, I built a course just for you. Check out my Freelancing Crash Course! It’s free and comes straight to your inbox.

Top comments (5)

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited

I think there's another in rejecting early is don't go for cheap client's even your broke as hell. It saves you the trouble in dealing with unrealistic demands from them.

jamesthomson profile image
James Thomson

Ironically, the clients with the smallest budgets end up being the highest maintenance. Clients with a solid budget are often a dream to work with. This doesn't just go for freelancers, agencies have to deal with this all the time.

So, to your point exactly, it's better to wait it out for a client with a solid budget, then take whatever's currently going.

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited

Yeah, it took 2 clients of those cheap clients for me to realise that the lemon was not worth the squeeze to deal with them even I'm broke as hell.

yellow1912 profile image

"Small" clients normally pay out of their own pocket. "Big" clients pay with the company's fund already allocated. It's easy to see why the "small" clients often want more for less. This is not true all the time, but in my 10+ years working in web development it's usually the case.

Several red flags to consider:

  1. Clients keep changing ideas (they have new ideas every day)
  2. Clients do not have a budget
  3. Clients do not have a timeline (or have unrealistic timeline)
  4. Clients do not want to spend time working with you in understanding and analyzing the requirements.
  5. Clients do not work directly with you (you talk to their assistants, subordinates but never them)

Also when working with big corporations, add some markup. They usually have fairly complex precess, demanding legal department, multiple levels of reviews and approvals. Beware.

yoursunny profile image
Junxiao Shi

My policy is, you have to pay for first project before I'll do the second project. Works every time.