Freelance Web Designers: How to Deal with Difficult Clients?

How to Deal with Difficult Clients

No matter how careful you are when picking up the clients you’ll work with, the chances are that at some point of your career as a freelance web designer you’ll have the “pleasure” of working with an obnoxious client who forgets to get back when you call on the phone or send an email, or has the habit of showing up with urgent “small” changes of some details in the design he/she expects you’ll do free of charge. These clients, even when they are reasonable, can suck all the enjoyment out of the project and drain all your creativity, leaving you wandering why you didn’t go to law school like your mother wanted you to.

Nevertheless, these people are your clients and you need to listen to them, trying to incorporate their restrictions and rules about how they want the design to look like into your own professional concept. Keeping your clients happy and satisfied is an important integral part of the freelance web designer’s job. Here’s how to effectively deal with your client’s crazy demands:

Listen to your clients carefully to figure out how exactly to present your ideas so they’ll pick the option that best fits their needs.

Listen to your clients

In most cases the key is in the presentation. Even a poor idea that’s well presented can out do a great one that’s poorly presented. Do your research and know what your clients want. Support your design decisions and presented ideas with data to give them additional credit.

Be clear in front of your client about work that’s out of the scope.

Clients often expect the designers to be time wizards. They think that those small corrections they want in the web page layout are very easy to do, and demand completing an impossible amount of work in only a day, or even mere hours. At the same time, they somehow don’t want to pay for that rush job and overtime work. Thus, it is important to define these elements at the very beginning of the project as a clause in the contract you’ll both sign, so that everyone knows what to expect. It is also clever to set a number of revisions you’ll allow each client to have, so you won’t end up doing them one after another with more and more impossible ideas you need to implement.

Present all your clients with a working contract.

working contract

You must protect yourself from the possibility of clients avoiding to pay you for your extra hard work.

Tailor your portfolio to satisfy the needs of your ideal client.

Your potential clients will be checking your portfolio before they decide to contact you. Tailor it to look attractive to the group of people you want to work with. If your interests are small-sized businesses or startup companies adjust your portfolio accordingly.

Work to improve your patience and the way you communicate with clueless clients.

communicate

There will be clients who won’t be able to understand the inputs and outputs required to complete their project. You’ll need to adjust your voice and try to explain in details what is expected from them. This will ensure better communication and can help defuse a situation that might otherwise end in frustration and problems for both of you.

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Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about education, career, motivation and resume writing.
Sarah Stone

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  • http://traxmo.com Daniel Kleinfeld

    An excellent post – I’d just like to emphasize that the contract should include not only scope and price, but also payment terms, i.e., 7 days after invoice received. Otherwise you can find yourself chasing after clients for weeks :)

    [Reply]

  • http://traxmo.com/ Daniel Kleinfeld

    An excellent post – I’d just like to emphasize that the contract should include not only scope and price, but also payment terms, i.e., 7 days after invoice received. Otherwise you can find yourself chasing after clients for weeks :)

    [Reply]

    UnderworldMagz Reply:

    I just don’t hand over the work into I have the payment.

    [Reply]

    Daniel Kleinfeld Reply:

    Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible :)

    [Reply]

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