There’s no greater feeling for a freelancer than landing a new gig.
The excitement of starting a new project (and making some money) never gets old. But as any freelancer knows, some projects can sour fast, leaving you caught between a rock and a hard place with a client.
The back-and-forth of bad communication eats away at freelancers time and money.
Feelings of uncertainty are common with freelancing, so the very idea of firing a client is a hard thing to confront.
After all, if you fire a client, do you know where your next payday will come from? While passing up work may not sound appetizing, the costs of dealing with a bad client can take a much greater toll on your financial and mental well-being. To learn when to draw the line, look out for these common red flags of a bad freelance client that needs to be fired.
Money should be a deal-breaker. As the old saying goes, money talks, B.S. walks. If your client is not honoring your payment agreement, that’s an instant sign to move on.
Signs of payment problems include unpaid invoices, frequently paying invoices late, multiple empty promises to pay, and under payment. If you continue to discuss these issues with your client but to no avail, stop working on the project and professionally discuss why you’re deciding to terminate the relationship.
Don’t forget, time is money and you have to pay your bills too! A client’s failure to pay only leads to more stress and financial strain, so drop the dead beats.
If you have a client that refuses to pay, check out this great post on how to take action and get the money you’re owed.
As a freelancer, you deal with lots of different approaches to business, but what do you do when your client’s bad work habits take a toll on your livelihood? One of the most comm only problems among freelancer-client relationships is bad communication.
Two major red flags to look out for are consistent unresponsiveness to messages and frequently changing project details and expectations without discussion. The back-and-forth of bad communication eats away at your time and money.
If these communication issues sound anything like you and your client, that’s a telltale sign to terminate the relationship stat.
Unreasonable Demands on Your Time
Freelancing isn’t associated with the 9-5 life, so with that being said, some clients have been known for their unreasonable demands of freelancers’ time. Just because you freelance, doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have a life, or sleep for that matter.
If your client is expecting you to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 2 AM, that’s a problem.
If your client is demanding that you work on your day off, that’s also a problem. Don’t be a doormat and let clients walk all over your free time and well-being. One way to avoid this problem is to clearly outline what your hours are and not waver on your terms.
It’s important to maintain healthy work relationships, but you should never back down to a bad client. That just decreases your worth and value, and you have the right to be treated the same as any B2B professional.
Time to Let Go
To avoid these problems before they occur, give a lot of thought to your own terms and conditions. Clearly discuss what you will and will not do for a client. Be clear on your expectations and requirements for payment, hold the client to those terms, and insist on good communication from your client.
Happy freelancers are productive freelancers!