Recently, I came across a prospective client who painfully reminded me of another prospect I’ve had
a pleasure to deal with in my first year of freelancing.
Like other freelancers, I’ve head my share of not so great clients but this one I thankfully didn’t get involved with because there were just too many red flags raised. In the end, she was surprised that I didn’t “fight” to get her project.
I’m sure every freelancer will be able to relate.
Red Flag #1
I called you because your price is great.
That’s so cool. We beginning freelancers want to be reminded that we work for free. Great motivator and confidence booster. And yes, we do that for a chance to work with people who pick us not because we offer a great service but because we give it away for close to nothing. Busted!
Red Flag #2
I only need a basic website. It will probably be 5 pages at most. Let’s see: home page, list of services, testimonials, pricing, oh I want to break the services down into 6 categories, one per page. I will probably need a blog too, I don’t know yet. I hear that you need a blog these days.
Lovely. I’ll be ready to provide an estimate whenever you are ready. You keep wasting my time – I love aimless phone conversations. And sure, that estimate is going to hold, since I have confidence you will not be making any drastic changes mid-project.
Red Flag #3
I don’t want an extravagant design, just something simple that pops and looks very, very professional since I will have high-profile clientele. Oh, can you do one design and just build two websites? Will that cost extra?
Nooooo, are you kidding?! Typically more work means more pay for me but I’ll make an exception for you, because we’re friends now!
Red Flag #4
I’ve spent a fortune on the logo and it’s awesome. I just don’t have much money left now.
Ouch. Well, if your website looks like crap (since you’re paying crap) your awesome logo will stand out even more. Win!
Red Flag #5
I know it’s been a month since you quoted me but I have few more questions. Can you call me?
Sure, I’ll call you. It’s not like this project is going anywhere, but I’d love to catch up. It’s been a while, yo.
Red Flag #6
Budget? I could ask my dad for some money but I want to show him that I can do this on my own, so you know, I have like $1000 tops.
$1000 for two CMS sites? Sure, I know you can do it… just not with me.
All right! I can’t do this any more. Wake up, wake up…
This one is from another client that I just had to include.
I can only spend $40 on a logo.
Well, then maybe you should check with Johnny next door. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to make some money before the school starts. Aghrr…
That’s a wrap!
Every freelancer must go through this. I’m just glad I can spot those ready to waste my time and energy from far away now. Sanity and dignity intact!
Want to share your best stories/quotes?