When you first get started as a freelancer, it can be tempting to take any job you can get, regardless of the pay, the client, or the project. But as you grow in your freelance career, you’ll learn that some of these projects are simply not worth the time or effort. Here are 11 times you should just say “No!”
When they lowball you
You set your rates for a reason. You have researched the market and levied your experience and the quality of your work. If a client wants to hire you, they will pay your rates. If they try to get you to come down on your rates, it’s an early indicator that they don’t value your experience. You’d be better off saying no.
When they go MIA
If a client is difficult to contact early on in the process, it will only get more difficult. In the beginning, you’re just setting the parameters, figuring out the payment, and setting expectations. When you actually need something from them, an absent client can be a nightmare.
When the client is closed-minded
To have a good partnership and a successful project, both the freelancer and the client need to be open-minded. You need to be open to their suggestions, and they need to recognise that they hired an expert for a reason.
When the expectations are vague
A client who doesn’t know what they want is always a bad sign! If they don’t know what they’re looking for, then the chances of them being happy with the finished project are very unlikely. If you are likely to fail from the start, it’s probably not worth your time.
When they badmouth anyone
Does the client have bad things to say about their competition? Have they had nothing but awful experiences with other designers or programmers in the past? It’s possible that they have just had very bad luck. But it’s more likely that they are hard to work with.
When you just have a bad feeling
Have you ever just known something was off with a client? If you get a bad feeling right off the bat, it’s best just to walk away. You’re feeling squeamish for a reason, even if you’re not sure what it is.
When they want constant contact
Does a potential client email or call you several times a day? Do they expect immediate responses? Do they have no idea what boundaries are? If so, they’ll be a bigger headache than the project is worth.
When they ask for a free sample
Plain and simple: if someone asks for free samples of your work, they don’t value your time or effort. Walk away.
When the project keeps changing
Does your client frequently call to ask if you can add “just one more thing?” If the project keeps getting bigger and bigger without compensation, it’s better to say “no thanks.”
When they have bad reviews
You should always research your clients before you decide to work with them. If all you find are bad reviews, run the other way.
When they refuse your payment terms
If you ask for payment up front, and they refuse, ask yourself why. Tracking down payments is one of the hardest parts of freelancing. Avoid it if you can.
Eventually, it will become easy to spot these situations and say “No” without guilt. Each bad job or client that you turn away is only freeing you up for an awesome client in the future!
This post is a contribution from Kenneth Waldman. Want to contribute to PeoplePerHour blog? Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org!
Kenneth Waldman is a professional content writer with over 5 years of experience and also a Designer at AskPetersen Reviews (read the latest AssignmentMasters Review). His expertise includes education, marketing, freelancing.