They’re a dream come true… until you realize they’re not ideal for you.
Whether they’re nagging you constantly, unaware of your work/life balance, or simply outright rude, there are warning flags every gal must know to avoid dealing with a client who just can’t seem to fit with the program.
1. They’re Hypercritical
Criticism can be productive, even when if it stings a little at times.
But this isn’t constructive criticism, that helps you improve your work.
You’re viciously criticized and picked apart for everything you do, leaving you highly sensitive of when you’re “on” with the client, and silently praying that the adjustments you make to satisfy them gains their approval.
Recognize there’s a difference between criticizing the outcome of your work, and criticizing you period.
Some clients feel a need to be hypercritical because they believe this keeps you on toes, or forces you to work harder.
Others feel like they need to be as picky as possible so you can “earn” every penny they’ve paid.
They need your help.
Once they’ve agreed to work with you, you’ve already been proven the best option.
Picking apart your every move to leave you anxious and frustrated doesn’t allow you to relax and create in the manner you need to.
Let them go; you’re not in the business of jumping through hoops for approval. If they really think you’re not good enough, they’ll tell you how and give you options for improvement, not self-worth issues.
2. They Don’t Respect Your Boundaries
Setting boundaries is an important step in your client-provider relationship.
It’s one we often avoid or don’t think about until it’s too late.
But when you set boundaries for your working agreement, the client should respect this.
For example, let’s say you’ve told Taneisha, as part of your agreement, you don’t work weekends.
No phone calls on Sundays means no phone calls on Sunday. So when she starts calling you on Sunday, and texting you to say,
“I know you said no calls on Sunday, but I just have a quick question…” she’s testing your gangsta.
Now, there’s a chance her quick question is truly a quick question and one you can bend the rules for and answer, but if she gets comfortable breaking your rule on a regular basis, she’s not respectful of your working agreement.
To be fair, a lot of clients don’t realize there’s a lot of energy invested in them, even when you’re “off the clock” so to speak.
You’re thinking about their needs and how to solve their problems while you’re brushing your teeth, at Crossfit, and even when you’re bumping The Beauty Behind the Madness on the way to the supermarket.
Regardless, you have to assess when your client is going overboard on her requests, and violating your boundaries.
A good sign is when you start to dread going near your phone, because you know she’ll be in your email, checking your “last active” on Facebook Messenger, and looking to see if you’ve been liking posts on Instagram.
3. You Hate Talking to Them – Because They Drain You
Everyone either gives or takes your energy. This is why you have to be careful who you invest your time in.
The same goes for clients. Even the best clients take up your energy – but they’re worth it.
They love you, they sing your praises, and there’s growth in working together.
These are not the clients I’m talking about.
I’m specifically referencing clients who are mentally, emotionally, and physically draining, and make you question your decision to go into business.
Clients who you wake up thinking about, and try to avoid as much as possible, because you regret the day you took them on.
Taking on a client that drains you stifles your creativity.
Whether that client pays $500 or $5,000, you cannot afford to work with this kind of client, because they steal your energy, and you don’t feel satisfied when they do.
And you cannot produce your best work when they’re bleeding positive energy from you.
Yes, this is business, and there are ups and downs, but you’re supposed to enjoy yourself. Any time your client leaves you:
• Questioning your worth
• Insecure of your talent
• Ashamed of your brand
• Scared to log onto Facebook
• Terrified to answer the phone
You’re quite possibly dealing with a client who’s not the right fit for your business.