In every client-freelancer relationship, there is one party that eventually gets difficult to deal with along the way. And yes, it can be the client. Find out more about these client types and learn how to interact and solve their issues once they arise…

The Freelancer’s Quick Guide To Client Types And Freelancing Survival

Taking the plunge and working for yourself is a huge step in your life. It can be amazing to have that level of freedom and control. However, it’s not all plain sailing.

Now that you’re freelancing, there are situations and people you have to deal with. Some will be pleasurable, some not so much. Here are four client types you’ll encounter as a freelancer.

The Stingy Client

When you work for yourself, you usually wear many hats. You’re the:

One of the least pleasant sides of working for yourself is dealing with non-paying clients. Many freelancers have terms written in their contracts that require a client to pay upfront, either in part or in full.

But occasionally, you will need to chase down invoices and even hire a commercial collection agency to persuade the client to pay. Not fun.

Of the client types, meet: The Perfect Client

The Perfect Client

Every freelancer will have a slightly different view of what their perfect client looks like. Often, it is someone who is a combination of:

  • Easy to work with
  • Respects your expertise
  • Deals with you fairly
  • Pays on time (and what you’re worth)

If you’re lucky, all of your clients will fit in this category. Over time, as you gain experience, you’ll be able to spot the signs of clients who turn out to be difficult to work with. 

The Clueless Client

You will sometimes see that people aren’t really sure how to deal with freelancers. They try and treat a freelancer as they would a member of their team in terms of trying to manage their time and expectations. One of the reasons you became a freelancer was to control your own life. As long as you’re delivering on your agreed contract in terms of deliverables and time spent, then you don’t answer to anyone else when it comes to the rest of your working hours. 

This often happens because someone hasn’t previously worked with freelancers and is not sure how to handle it. Over time, as they come to know and trust you, the relationship can positively develop. 

However, there are some who see freelancers as their employees, and do not trust them. When this happens, it’s better to part ways rather than stay in a fractious working relationship. 

The Awkward Client

Of the four types of clients, this one is possibly the most frustrating to work with and should be avoided. The awkward client takes so much management, your profit margin is non-existent.

They try and force down your prices and are uncommunicative when it comes to briefs and other important information. When they do get involved, they attempt to micromanage the situation. You’ll never feel like you’ve done a good job for this client, and you’ll be drained. 

Client Types Takeaways

Being a freelancer means you have the freedom to choose who you work with. Yet when just starting out, or during tough times, you might find that you have to work with less than perfect prospects.

Or maybe you’ve not gained enough experience to see the warning signs. You’ll develop this in time.