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Spilling the beans: 5 types of clients you’ll deal with as a freelancer

. 4 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
Spilling the beans: 5 types of clients you’ll deal with as a freelancer

If you’re someone who has opted for a freelance career, then the many facets of it are already known to you. You may have loved the freedom that comes along with it, and yet, on some days, craved a structure.

You’ve accepted and navigated the challenges of earning as a freelancer, but now and then a client comes along who completely throws you off your game! But as always, we have your back. From a freelancer's guide to understanding different types of clients to power-packed courses on a variety of subjects, Kool Kanya PowerPass has it all. This annual subscription gives you access to all the basic skills and tools you need to swim in the ever-changing deep waters of social media, content creation, and marketing. It’s structured with jargon-free theory and a practical guide that makes this course insightful and fun.

When it comes to freelancing, knowing how to find clients as a freelancer is hands down the most important step, but once you’ve done that, the next step is navigating these clients and dealing with them. We know it can seem a little daunting as you’ve got no middle person here.

Let us jump straight into the different types of freelance clients you will encounter and a tip or two on how to deal with them. Are you ready?

1. The deluded optimist

These types of clients are best described as ‘dreamers’. They want you to bring them the world in a limited time and scope, and will most likely sulk if you don’t think their brand is the best brand out there.

The word ‘realistic’ isn’t a part of their dictionary and, hence, here’s a tip for freelancers on having to deal with them:

Try and bring these dreamers back to reality. Ask them for specifics and put those in black and white when you’re interacting with them. If they’re asking you to do something that seems unrealistic, let them know at the get-go instead of giving in and committing to it.

2. Boundaries? What do you mean?

Let’s face it, most clients don’t understand the concept of a healthy work-life balance or know much about the freelance way of life. For individuals working a full-time gig, it’s assumed that you will always be available.  This is why some clients may not understand that, as a freelancer, you’re not monogamous to them and probably have other commitments too.

With such freelance clients, set very strict boundaries when it comes to when you’re available and when you’re not. Even if you are free, avoid responding at an odd hour or over the weekend. You can either communicate your boundary politely or simply just walk the talk and show it to them.

Example: If a client calls you over the weekend even after you’ve communicated otherwise, put them on mute and stop responding to calls until Monday. The world won’t come to a stop, we promise you.

3. Budget? I’m a start-up

Do those words sound familiar to you? If you’re working freelance jobs, you can make a drinking game out of this line. Are we right or are we right? These kinds of clients will always try to negotiate your rate with you and will make sure they can squeeze out as much as they can from you.

Firstly, if it’s an option, avoid them at all costs. They will leave you frustrated and you’d rather be putting that time and energy into something meaningful.

But in cases where you absolutely need to work with them, follow these basic checks:

  • Take everything in writing.
  • Start the estimates high. Quote higher than what your time would cost and keep a number in mind that you can’t go below.
  • Make an airtight scope and do not pick up any work that falls out of it.

4. I can do this much better

Yes, as much as you’re itching to say- “why don’t you do it yourself then?” -one of the most important freelancing skills to learn is diplomacy. They make it sound like they can do your job much better than you, and you sit there wondering why they have hired you.

The base of this behaviour stems from insecurity and to navigate a client as such, you need to switch on your compliment machine. Throw in a compliment here and there for them and be wary of the battles you pick with them. It’s not always necessary to engage, remember that.

5. The professional

Well, it’s not all dark and gloomy in the world of freelance jobs! There are people who are self-aware and will make you feel comfortable and set realistic goals. They’re simply concerned with the final work and aren’t interested in the semantics of how you get there as long as you deliver as per the deadline.

While working with such clients, respect their time and always keep your communication on point while being honest. Lastly, treasure them because there are high chances that they will refer you and bring you more work from like-minded people.

As we told you earlier, the world of freelancing is a fascinating one and you’ll meet different types of people who will always teach you a thing or two. We’ve gone a step ahead to study this world and bring you the best possible hacks and tips. Our insightful course on How To Earn a 6-Figure Salary as a Freelancer will take you through the steps of bagging the right clients, creating a personal brand, and building a freelance portfolio.

Conducted by Khushbu Vaid of Pentagon Events & Activations and Shalvi Mangaokar Biswas who is a brand marketing consultant, Co-founder of The Mill, and has worked for LBB and Hindustan Times; this course is for anyone and everyone who wants to start a freelance career and make factors work towards their advantage.