4 danger signs of a client from hell

Clients from hell rarely have a tail, horns and the faint scent of brimstone. Whether you're a graduate designer or an experienced creative director, keeping an eye out for potentially nightmare clients is always a good idea. But how do you recognise them? Here are some of the less obvious warning signs...

01. Ambiguous expectations

A client is employing you because they lack the skill set or resources to complete a project themselves. However, they should still have a goal in mind and a relatively clear idea of what they’re after. If not, expect the project to balloon and for your blind attempts to miss the mark.

02. Unappreciative

A terrible client may expect behaviour, time or discounts for no other reason than they think they deserve it. Giving them what they want only reinforces their belief that the freelancer lives to work for them.

03. Disrespectful 

The best relationships are when you work with a client, not for them. Clients who don’t see you as an equal won’t see their disrespect as a disservice; rather, they’ll act like common practices are a privilege.

04. Devaluing good work

Nobody is thrilled to spend money if they don’t have to, but if a client devalues your work and efforts in an attempt to lower your rate, watch out. The freelancer-client relationship should be mutually beneficial. Clients should feel they get value out of their freelancers, and freelancers should feel valued by their clients.

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 257; buy it here