Nightmare clients can keep you awake at night.
Sweat drips down your brow. Your agitated mind plays a series of horrific scenarios involving rewrites, refunds and endless complaining about the quality of work.
I’ve been blessed to live in Southeast Asia for most of the past 6 years of my world travels. In these parts the customer is not always right. The customer may be even be…..gasp….wrong ! In face-saving Thailand you will be treated pleasantly if you are being a difficult customer but you will rarely get your way by being a jerk.
Seeing this phenomenon in active gave me clarity in learning how to avoid nightmare clients.
After 4 years of freelancing and a few stinkers I want to help you dodge agitating clients to help you grow your freelance business from a profitable and enjoyable space.
1: Release Barterers
Being online for at least a few years introduces you to the dreaded barterer. The individual who – after receiving your non-negotiable rates – tries to barter you down.
As a goof and repellent I tack on $100 to each previous email if I come across a barterer.
I explain how my non-negotiable freelance writing rate is $100 for a 600 word article. They offer a volume approach of 10 articles for 500 paid over the next 4 months. I tack on $100 to quote $200. I actually reached $500 per a 600 word article for a persistent and quite flummoxed blogger once before he stopped responding.
I view my freelance and blog coaching services as you would a can of corn at the grocery store. If you see a price sticker but try to barter the price with the cashier, you are totally nuts. You are equally nuts if you attempt to barter with me or any experienced pro blogger on our freelance services.
Never ever ever work with a barterer or else you WILL get a can of worms down the road.
2: Follow Your Intuition
Trust your gut.
I always know well before working with someone whether they will be a great match or nonmatch.
During leaner days I took on a few clients out of fear. Naturally, these few individuals became nightmares, demanding rewrites or refunds.
If only I had listened to my intuition I’d have avoided these poor matches.
Trust your inner guide. Seeing a 15 paragraph email from a prospective client raises a red flag. How can they be clear on what they want if it takes them 15 paragraphs to share their needs with you? No thank you. Take a pass.
Good client matches seamlessly explain what they want from a fun, happy, relaxed space. Intuitively you just know the 2 of you are going to hit it off.
3: Hang Only in Prospering Circles
Did you ever notice bottom-feeders seem to hang out together?
Ditto for successful online entrepreneurs.
Hang only in prospering circles to attract prospering clients.
Most annoying clients carry a lack and limitation, fearful, non-prospering energy. These unclear nitpickers do all they can to drive you mad. Toss in the deadbeat factor and you may be tempted to cyber slap them around a few times.
Avoid these lower energy folks. Connect with highly successful entrepreneurs through their blogs, through social media and through forums related to your niche.
Leave the bottom feeders to complain in their own misery. Respect yourself and your time.
4: Do Your Mental Money Homework
You usually work with difficult clients only because of the money.
Be honest; if money were not an issue why would you subject yourself to such abuse?
Work on your money mindset. How do you feel around dough? Do you fear losing money? Or do you feel confident and clear on your financial present and your financial future?
Hop into an honest money Q and A session to uncover money fears. Be real with yourself.
Face, feel, experience (however unpleasant) and release these fears to do less things just for the money and more things for the joy of it.
You will never hire a nightmare client if money is not a driving force in the decision. Unless you are a masochist. But I cannot help you there.
5: Be the Hirer and Firer
Don’t get it twisted; you hire and fire clients.
You are in charge.
Develop posture. Be bold. Be clear.
Prospective clients are prospective clients. No individual is the key to your business. No one person can change your financial fortunes.
Don’t be an earthworm. Grow a backbone. Decide which clients you want to hire and which clients you want to fire.
If you have yet to attract a client simply understand that your posture – or lack thereof – has dictated your freelance or coaching business. Get clear on who’s in charge. Release poor matches. Accept only good matches.
Being the hiring agent and firing agent helps you to thankfully miss out on the clients that make you pull your hair out. Emitting posturing energy also helps you land the dream clients you so cherish.
6: Form Strong Bonds with Dream Clients
Build stronger bonds with dream clients to attract more dream clients.
Where your attention and energy goes, grows.
I worked with a dream client who offered me increasing work as our friendship grew. He hired me to write guest posts, to ghostwrite one of his eBooks and he brought me on board for affiliate ventures.
Give your attention to those who love you and your service. Allow in similar folks and gain greater contrast so you can let go prospective nightmare clients with ease.
What tips can you add to this list?