Info

Clients From Hell Podcast

The Clients From Hell podcast is equal parts humorous and helpful as it explores the modern life and times of creative professionals.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Clients From Hell Podcast
2020
November
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
October
August
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
May


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: Page 1
Jan 23, 2017

This week, Bryce answers common (and not so common) questions about freelancing. 

Do you have a question of your own? Shoot us an email

Want to support the show? Leave us a review on iTunes!

--

Freelance FAQ: Where do I find my first clients?

Start with people you know.

  • Announce via social, email, etc. that you’re starting to freelance
  • Reach out to individuals you know that may have need of your services
    • Feel free to reach out for work, but also ask to pick their brain
      • e.g. does your business hire freelancers? What do they look for? Etc.

Reach out to nearby businesses, especially if you have a positive relationship or a connection to someone higher up

  • Local or nearby businesses have the benefit of face-to-face connection. You can succeed with an entirely remote client list, but when you’re just starting out, the flexibility of a local connection should not be underestimated.
  • Attend networking events
  • Reach out to hiring managers, creative directors, etc.
    • Feel free to reach out for work, but also ask to pick their brain
      • e.g. does your business hire freelancers? What do they look for? Etc.

Sign up for job boards and apply for jobs that you feel capable of tackling.

  • Job boards require a lot of experience and thoughtful positioning to be regular and profitable sources of work. However, when you’re just starting out, they’re an excellent source of low-commitment experience.
  • Try to find a unique position point. For example, there are very few freelancers boasting about their webinar experience -- there were all of six on a job board with over 100,000 freelancers on it.
  • The more specific the job board is to your skillset (as a designer or developer), the better.

Pitch publications

 

  • An excellent source of portfolio pieces and income

 

Join online groups related to your craft or services.

Market yourself in directories.

Reach out to job listings for full or part-time work related to your service and see if there’s a way you can help until they hire their permanent fix.

  • I’ve actually had clients close job listings after working with me and then putting me on retainer.

Work for free

  • Set boundaries and expectations
  • Work for a testimonial, referral, and quality portfolio piece
  • Ensure you want to do more work of this type
  • Ensure you’re getting something of value out of this engagement; otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

 

Feedback from the Inferno: Where do I find my first clients?

(This segment originally premiered over at The Freelancers Union.)

I have a client that insists I do all my work at his office. He insists on this arrangement because he doesn’t really “trust web people.” He admits part of this is just not “getting it” – if I’m there, I can explain things, and he knows I’m honestly billing him for the time.

I really don’t like working at his office: it’s inconvenient to travel to and from there, I have to bring some of my equipment, and my client likes to breathe over my shoulder while I work.

The worst part about this over-my-shoulder work is that he’ll sometimes start to give me a massage. I’m not the only one he does this to, but it’s both literally and metaphorically uncomfortable.

How do I tell him to stop doing this without ruining the relationship?

– A real hands-on freelancer

 

The subject line of this email was “my clint likes to touch me - I do not.”

At first, I thought that was a lot of unsolicited information about a submitter’s uncomfortable relationship with a man named Clint, but boy did that stop being funny once I realized that was a spelling error.

I was unbelievably relieved to discover you’re both male and that this touching is seemingly non-sexual. It’s still 100% not okay that the client is doing this, but this dynamic could be far, far worse.

From what you wrote to me, it sounds like you have an out-of-touch-with-the-times client – both technologically and socially. And it sounds like you could do a better job of pushing back and making sure the working arrangement works for you.

Schedule a one-on-one meeting with your client to discuss how you work together. Decide beforehand where you draw the line. I suggest not working in that office altogether, but you can compromise on him simply respecting your personal space.

Do your research and prepare for this meeting. You should try and anticipate your client’s potential concerns, and you should have your reasons on standby.

For example, address why this client doesn’t trust “web people.” By now, you should have established a working relationship, so some trust should be there. If it’s simply a matter of hours, offer to use time-tracking software. If it’s due to a lack of understanding, ask if there’s a contact at the company who would better understand your deliverables – work that is mutually understood is much more likely to meet the client's goals effectively.

Whatever happens, don’t back down from where ever you drew the line. If all you’re going to push back on is the touching – and I encourage you to have more ambition than that – speak to how it makes you feel and try not to accuse or embarrass the client. Do this one on one, and be straightforward; it’s not okay that he was in your personal space, but it sounds like no one ever tried to course correct him, and he’s ignorant about how inappropriate it is.

If you still don’t want to rock the boat, invest in Mad Max-style shoulder pads.

Jokes aside, if you feel genuinely uncomfortable or physically threatened, cut things off with this client. A big part of freelancing is doing your work, your way – and it seems like this arrangement doesn’t empower you on a personal or professional level.

And try to work on sticking up for yourself! It sounds like a lot of your complaints about this situation came from you rolling over whenever your client requests something.

-- 

Questions? Episode ideas?

Talk to Clients From Hell or Bryce Bladon on Twitter. Or shoot us an email

Clients From Hell on iTunes | Soundcloud
Subscribe on iTunes | Android | RS

0 Comments
Adding comments is not available at this time.