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On-again, Off-again Freelance Writing Clients

One of the more frustrating parts of being a freelance writer is dealing with on-again off-again clients. Have you ever had to deal with a client like this? They are the ones who have a job for you today, tell you there will be more next week, and then disappear for a month. But of course, this is not the last you hear from them. After a month or so, they contact you again to say that they need some more work, with a promise that this time they will stay in touch.

I have always said that a client is a client; no matter how much work they give you, or if they disappear for extended periods of time. But my problem with on-again off-again clients is that they take up a lot of time, and can never give concrete answers on what they want.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been dealing with a client like this. Here are three things that have become semi-frustrating with our relationship.

1. The client starts out with a direction for the project, but then decides to change things several times. In my opinion, most on-again off again-clients are indecisive not only with when they want to work with you, but also with the project itself. This can result in loads of frustration and lost time due to changes to the overall scope of the project.

2. Communication started out good, and emails were exchanged at least once or twice per day; this is ideal for me. But after a few days, response times lengthened which made it more difficult for me to deliver work, and ask questions about future direction.

3. This morning I woke to an email saying that the project was abruptly ending, and final payment would be sent right away. Did the client offer a reason as to why they were calling it quits? Of course not. It could have been something that I did, but more than likely, it was a lack of direction and concentration on their end.

It can be difficult to spot an on-again off-again freelance writing client before you start to work with them. If you do run into this sort of client, my best advice is to keep your cool and expect things to be slow. For those of you who do not like to deal with situations like this, you would be much better off breaking ties early on.

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2 Comments »Freelance WritingJanuary 29th, 2008

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