The different kinds of clients you may encounter when doing online work

Being in the business of online work for two years, I have learned that there are a lot of different clients that exist online.  While it’s safe to say that each client is different from each other, we can more or less group them together based on how they handle workers and projects.  Let’s discuss each type one by one:

  • The demanding client – This client gives you a project and gives you a very tight deadline.  He nitpicks everything that you submit to him, demanding revision after revision until he is satisfied with your work.  He rarely gives any positive comment about your work, but is very quick to criticize.  This type is very hard, if not impossible, to please.
Sounds familiar?  There are a lot of this type of client out there.  This is the type that will give you negative feedback without batting an eyelash should you get on his bad side.  Dealing with this type of client requires patience, lots of it.  Should you encounter one, it is best that you just bite your tongue as reasoning with them will get you nowhere.  If this client gets too demanding to handle, it may be best to let them go before you go bald from tearing your hair out from frustration.
  • The passive client – This client gives you a project, gives you a deadline and you never hear anything from them in between.  They rarely give feedback and you will only know if they approve of your output if they give you another project.  You rarely find them online.  It takes them days to answer your emails and when they do, you don’t always get the answer you expect.
This type expects you to figure things out on your own.  They are not interested in the process, only the output.  They don’t like to get too involved in the project and are only interested in results.
If you encounter this type of client, you will feel less frustrated if you ask all of your questions in one go.  This type doesn’t want to go back and forth with questions, clarifications, and the like.  If you are confused about one part of the project, go over everything, anticipate the potential problems you may encounter, and present all of your concerns in one email.  This way, you avoid the risk of annoying them by sending them multiple emails.  The less you involve them in the process of completing the project, the more they like it.
  • The micromanager – A complete opposite of the passive client, the micromanager wants to get involved in every process of the project completion.  They send you multiple emails everyday asking you how the project is going and giving you additional instructions that they just “thought” of.  They want to know everything that’s going on and want to be kept in the loop.
While feedback from a client is always nice, getting too much feedback, too often, within the course of a single project can be annoying.  It takes time to answer their multiple emails and instant messages – time, that you could’ve otherwise spent in completing the project.
When you encounter a client such as this, it is always best to assure them that you are on top of things.  It helps that you show them that you are confident and in control of what you are doing.  Most of the time these clients ease up once they know that they can trust you to do the right thing on your own.
  • The miser – Need I say more?  This type of client will almost ask for your services for free.  They will claim that they can get a lower rate from someone else in the hopes that you will match the rate they mentioned.
If you encounter such a client, explain to them politely why you charge such a rate.  These clients want value for their money, so explaining to them what you can offer that they won’t get from those charging lower rates will probably get them to approve of your asking price; or at the very least, not haggle your rate too much.
  • The freeloader –  This type is the worst of the bunch.  They ask you to submit “sample” article(s) about a specific topic that they choose.  They ask you to participate in a “sample” project to prove your skills.  And when you have submitted your “samples”, you never hear from them again or worse, they claim that they are not satisfied with your work and would like you to do another one, again as a sample.
When you feel that the client you are dealing with is of this kind, run like hell towards the opposite direction.  Asking for sample work is commonplace when doing online work.  However, when asked for them, always submit something that you have already done in the past.  It should be enough to prove your skills.
  • The gem of a client – While there will always be bad bananas in a bunch, the good ones are thankfully the most common.  This type of client gives you fair compensation, gives constructive criticism for your work, are not afraid to compliment you for a job well done, and most importantly, make you feel that they truly appreciate the help that you give them.
These clients are keepers.  If you get hired by one, make sure that you take care of them so as not to lose them to a more worthy freelancer.  While these clients appear complacent, do not make this a license to submit lousy work.  Do know that no matter how good these clients are, they will not hesitate to replace you should you abuse their kindness.

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