I’m always hesitant to complain about my clients because so many of them are my friends (AKA friends who read my blog). Most of the time, though, my friends aren’t the clients who drive me crazy; it’s the ones that pop up out of nowhere and don’t understand how the relationship is supposed to work. So a disclaimer before I begin – if you’re reading this, chances are very good that this post is NOT about you.
For those of you who are new around here, thanks for visiting! And a little background: I’m a freelance web designer and I work from home. Most of the time I work with awesome people who want their websites to be awesome, too. Every now and then, however, I get a client who makes me want to climb a mountain and scream at the top of my lungs. I guess that’s the price I pay to be able to work in my pajamas, but it doesn’t keep me from getting frustrated at times.
Things I Wish I Could Say to My Clients
1. There’s a reason you hired me, so don’t balk at my rates. If everyone was skilled at designing websites, I wouldn’t be booked solid for the next 2 months. I work very hard and I don’t hand over a design until the client is completely happy with it. You’d think that would be worth something, right? Well, some of my clients don’t think so. I’ve had people try every possible trick to score a discount or get out of paying – one in particular almost convinced me she had already paid ahead of time. I knew better, but that’s how persistent she was – she made me doubt my own memory. I don’t understand why people don’t hire someone cheaper if they’re so concerned about the price. My work can be fast, good, or cheap, but only two of those can apply at a time.
2. Believe it or not, you aren’t my only client. My favorites are the clients who seem to think I have nothing to do but make endless tiny adjustments to their design. Oh, and they usually need the changes immediately. My terms and conditions clearly state that any deadlines must be disclosed before the project begins, but guess how many of them read that? Zero. Then they act shocked when they find out that I have other things to work on and can’t deal with them on command. The fact is, I prioritize my work based on the needs of ALL my clients, not just one or two who pretend the others don’t exist.
3. If you don’t respect my time, I’m not going to respect yours. I work a LOT of hours. That said, sometimes I have to do things that normal people do. Like go to the doctor or take a shower or (gasp!) even sleep. I’ve actually had clients semi-stalk me in an effort to get their way. I get emails that say things like, “You didn’t answer my email from 15 minutes ago, but I saw you post something on Facebook!” I’m sorry, but I still have a life outside of work. And while I often work at night and on weekends, that’s not a guarantee. Unless you want to pay through the nose, you’ll get a response when I have time.
4. Even when you get on my last nerve, I still want your design to be amazing. I’ll be honest – sometimes when I finish a project, I pray that the client will never contact me for another one because s/he was so difficult. That said, I still give my best effort to every single project I work on. (Just not always on the timeline my clients demand.) Many
nights mornings I’m awake in bed, thinking of the perfect font or perfect blend of colors that will make a website more like what my client wants. I spend my so-called “free time” researching new design elements, themes, and coding skills that I can use to do my job even better. And no matter how much I bitch and complain, I love what I do. I just hope more of my friends hire me so I don’t have time for the clients that suck.