In 2020-2021 more designers switched their corporate position to freelancing – for obvious reasons. Bad news: it’s not all unicorns and flowers down there. From time to time, you will meet a client that will play your nerves like a guitar. But, Gingersauce comes to the rescue!
If you’re a newbie freelance designer, or new to design overall – read this article. We have gathered 7 red flags in design clients signaling you should definitely ghost them. Without further ado – let’s go.
The ones with unrealistic deadlines.
Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy! But here’re my tasks, do them ASAP.
The ASAP, in all caps, has a bit of arrogance to it. The clients that send this abbreviation often think that their project is the most important thing in your schedule. Even if there were no previous agreements, their appearance must push you into canceling everything and getting to their tasks immediately.
Another part of the ASAP clients are the ones that say ‘This shouldn’t take long’ to shame you for taking your time to do the job with due diligence.
Our advice is, be very cautious around such clients. Stand your ground, explain why they are wrong, and if they decide not to work with you: even better.
Read also 10 Commandments of Graphic Designers
The ones practicing pricing manipulation.
I know a professional that can do it for a lot cheaper!
Tell them to ask that other professional then. Them throwing this phrase is most definitely a manipulation to make you lower the price of your work. Value the time you put into making your designs and don’t be harassed into thinking your efforts are not worth the money.
The ones not willing to pay.
I can, like, make a post about you.
Every work should be paid for. With money. If your client seems unwilling to pay, for whatever reason, you don’t want to work with them. Here are some of the related messages that are huge red flags:
- I want to see what you come up with, and pay if I like the design.
- You make me a logo, and I promote you across all social media.
- I will put down a deposit after you send me all the assets.
- What, you don’t trust me?
The ones with inconsistent communication.
Hey, can you please send me the project files I need to modify? [Read, 1 week ago]
A client that makes you beg to send the files you need to start working is a huge No. If they are not taking your job – and your time – seriously, the further cooperation has no chance of being successful.
Another thing, if it takes your client ages to review the work you managed to do, it will also take them ages to pay you as a result. With such clients approving something as simple, as a set of custom icons will drag for months. And, there is a big chance they will discard your task, and refuse to put down payment since ‘well, we didn’t like your visuals, and we don’t need them anymore, so-’
The ones who know better.
Yeah, that makes sense, but let’s do it as I say.
The clients that don’t listen to your creative expertise and opinions can do nothing for your portfolio. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not talking about the clients that have their vision. Our recommendation would be to avoid the ones that are sure they know better: every design detail, every shadow placed, every color shifted. If you see that they only need you to push pixels, that’s a red flag.
The ones with no weekends.
Sorry to bother you, but we need to make this edit now.
One of the red flags in design clients you need to avoid would be bothering you on weekends or after working hours. You need to nip that behavior in the bud if you want your client to respect your private life.
Tip: If the client tries to tell you off for not answering in the evenings, point out that overtime is double paid. Then, ask the client if they are willing to pay for the extra hours you work.
The ones who are borrowing.
Just copy this logo, and make it our colors.
A lot of freelance designers, and not only, meet clients that don’t want the expensive original design. They want to steal someone else’s work and try to take credit for it. Not only is it harmful to the client, but it can also affect your reputation as a designer.
If even after you explain all the damage that the client can take for doing that – copyright law for example – they still insist on stealing the design, refuse. As a freelance designer, you will find lots of other clients that will help your reputation, instead of permanently staining it.
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