In your freelance career, you’ll meet all kinds of clients.
There are clients who are kind and generous. As well as clients who are angry and irritating, and those who disappear when it’s time for payment.
In this post, I wanted to highlight a few different types of clients you’ll meet in your freelance career.
If you’re new to freelancing, it will take some time before you meet all these types of clients. But it’s better to have some idea of them in advance.
1. The Cheap Lowballer
If you’ve ever got into a bidding war with a client, then you’ve met the cheap lowballer.
This is the client that keeps asking for discounts. And keeps telling you that they have a low budget.
This type of client will also often try to undermine you. Tell you that your price is too high for the type of service you provide.
One day, many years ago, I met this exact client on UpWork. That’s the day I decided to stop using the marketplace. My freelance career skyrocketed after I made that decision.
Unless you have no other choice or have many overdue bills to pay, always avoid this type of client. They will only set you back a few steps in your freelance career.
2. The Revisionist (Scope Creep)
This type of client believes they know everything. And they think they’re better than you.
The revisionist will keep asking you for revisions over and over again. And they will drag your project along for days and weeks beyond the deadline.
This client, also known as scope creep, will often try to sneak in extra work disguised as revisions.
You’ll start the project to design an Instagram post and the next thing you know is you’re also designing posts for Facebook and Twitter as well as writing the copy for the campaign.
The best way to deal with this type of client is to set a price for revisions and let the client know about this before you start the project.
For example, it’s good practice to offer one or two revisions for free. But charge extra for any additional revisions.
3. The Inexperienced Client
The inexperienced client is new to the field. Maybe they just started a business. Or they’re trying to branch out into a new industry.
In most cases, you won’t get a chance to land this client. In fact, beyond your project proposal, you will only have a conversation with them.
Mainly because this client is only looking to gather information. They are trying to figure out what they need to include in the project, find the prices, and get all the details from the experts like you.
A good sign to spot these clients is that they usually start the conversation with the price.
If you come across this type of client, try to avoid disclosing too many details about how you handle the project. And, of course, if they ask for a free demo or free sample, run in the other direction.
4. The Middleman
If you’re applying for a job from a job board or freelance marketplace, you won’t get the chance to talk to the client directly.
Most of the time, clients have special staff or assistants to handle all the work of dealing with freelancers. They act as the middleman between you and the client.
Keep this in mind when you’re discussing things like prices, project scope, and deadlines.
Because they won’t have too much power to offer you a good deal. They are acting on behalf of the client according to specific instructions.
If you keep hitting a wall with this type of client, you could kindly ask them to get you in touch with the client directly. It’s much easier to discuss details that way.
5. The Ideal Client
This is the perfect client that is best matched for your career.
It’s the client that will set your freelance career on an upwards trajectory.
This client is knowledgeable. They have experience in the field so they know what they’re talking about.
And they understand how you work so they will give you plenty of space to do the work the way you want it to be.
This client will likely recognize your impressive skills and offer long-term projects. Refer you to other clients. And, sometimes, even offer to pay you a higher rate than your asking price.
Believe me, this type of client is real. I had the pleasure of meeting my ideal client a few years ago and it’s because of him I’m here today writing this to you.
If you’re lucky, you’ll meet this client very early in your career. Otherwise, don’t expect to meet your ideal client right away. It took me 4 years to meet this client.
6. The Fake Client
Last, but not least, there are clients who trick you into giving them information.
These are the clients who are seeking information that they don’t have. For example, they will ask you to provide a proposal for a project with details on how you approach the job.
And once you deliver the proposal, they will copy your ideas and hire someone cheaper to get the job done.
These are the fake clients who pretend to hire you only to steal information.
The easiest way to avoid these clients is to only send your proposals once you’re 100% sure of the client’s reputation.
You’ll also meet many other types of clients along the way. Just remember that not all clients are the same. If one client treats you badly, don’t feel discouraged. Keep moving forward until you meet your ideal client, it just takes some trial and error.
Images via Freepik.com