The last thing you want is to have a control freak hire you as a freelancer.
To a freelancer, that’s like death.
Of course you should always try to make your clients happy. And you should work with them to design a final project you can both be happy with.
But there’s “working with” and there’s “being controlled by.”
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Am I right?
You know the kind of person I’m talking about. You’ve worked with them before. Or at least, you’ve heard the stories.
And there’s always one thing freelancers who work with control freaks say once they’re finished: “I wish I had known they would be like that.”
Well, today, you’re in luck.
I’m going to to cover a few red flags to look out for. None of these in an of themselves mean you should walk away from the job, but add a few of them together and it’s possible you’re being hired by a control freak. (PS: add anything I missed in the comments.)
Red flag #1 – Challenging every single term in your contract
There’s being responsible by reading a contract before signing. And then there’s the control freak who doesn’t like one single thing you’ve included in your proposed terms.
If a potential client can’t get on board with one single point in your contract, take a hard look at the relationship and ask yourself if you want to work for them.
Red flag #2 – Showing signs of intense impatience
Yes, you should call back potential clients back as soon as you can.
But if someone calls you 20 times in one weekend just to see if you’re available for work, how are they going to act on milestone days?
Chances are, you’ll spend more time on the phone with this client than you will working on their project. Be cautious if you see intense signs of impatience.
Red flag #3 – Complaining that other freelancers “didn’t get it”
If a potential client can’t help but complain to you about other freelancers they’ve hired, telling you that the others just “didn’t get it,” use caution.
Saying other people just “didn’t get it” is a common fallacy among control freaks. The truth is, the people they hired probably did “get it” and simply tried to use their brain to solve a problem.
The client likely didn’t like their process, regardless of the end result being positive or not. The truth is, the client doesn’t “get” that you have to let people think, reason, and solve problems for themselves.
Red flag #4 – Claiming to have all the solutions
Speaking of which, if a potential client claims to know exactly what they need, how to achieve it, and they just “need someone with Photoshop or a Mac,” then turn and run as quickly as you can.
Unless you want to spend all your time harboring your creativity and simply clicking a mouse or clacking on a keyboard because your client doesn’t know how to, stay away from potential clients who don’t want to consult with you in any way.
One good thing about freelance sites like Upwork is that you can see a potential client’s proposal before you decide to take on a project. I immediately cross them off my client list if I see anything about how they already know what colors, style and typefaces they want. That is just my rule. It’s not worth the money if you’re constantly responding back to emails from your client that say things like “Change the background to a lime green color.”
Was I right?
So, how did I do? Leave a comment on this post and tell me if you agree or disagree. And of course, add your own red flags.
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