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Do you Deal with Nasty Clients?

Just like any business, as a freelance writer you are going to run into clients who are a nightmare to work with. Although you will probably do your best to avoid these people, there is no way of knowing when they are going to pop up in your career. Even if somebody appears to be respectful and easy going when you talk with them the first time, this can change soon enough.

The question is: do you deal with nasty freelance writing clients? Or do you simply get rid of them and move on with your career? Personally, I do not take a stance in one way or the other. Instead, I make a decision on a case by case basis. If you have a hard and fast rule for getting rid of disrespectful clients, you may make the wrong decision from time to time.

There are several things that I take into consideration when trying to decide if I should get rid of a client. First and foremost, it is important to take a close look at what they are doing to you. Are they sending you nasty emails when your work does not meet their expectations? Or are they holding payment over your head in some way, shape, or form? Maybe both? If you are dealing with a serious situation like this, it is time for you to kick the client to the curb. Remember, there is no reason that you should have to take part in these games. Simply put, collect any payment that you are owed, and then send a quick note to the client telling them that it is time to part ways.

Of course, you will want to consider how much the project is paying before you make a rash decision. If you are earning a lot of money from the client, it may be worth it to put up with their bad attitude and snide comments. This is a decision that you will have to make. What is more important to you: money or your self worth? It may depend on what other projects you have going on.

A couple days back I received a note from a past client asking if I was available for work. Although I broke things off with them a few months back because of a slow payment problem, I was feeling generous, so I agreed to hear them out. Before they even sent the details of the new project, an email came across saying that they would not be paying any portion of the project fee upfront. In other words, they wanted me to work for them on their timeline and their terms. It only took me a few seconds to respond and say, “thanks but no thanks.”

If you feel that a client is treating you poorly, it may be time to move on. The bottom line is that you are a professional and you deserve the same respect that you give.

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4 Comments »Freelance WritingFebruary 22nd, 2008

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