Folks, listen. I’m giving you a list of phrases that if you hear during your negotiations with a potential client are giant RED FLAGS that are trying to tell you something. That something is NO.
The following phrases universally signify that these clients will be the worst clients you’ll ever have the pleasure of working for 100% of the time.
Statement #1. This is an easy job.
Oh really, motherfucker? If it is such an easy job then why don’t you do it yourself? Why are there 189 files of unsorted support material that need to be sifted through to identify relevant information, images, and so on? How does 29 pages of a transcribed lecture fit into 10 minutes of material? Have you even looked at any of this crap?
Bottom line: It’s very likely NOT an easy job – they just don’t want to pay for a difficult job.
Statement #2. It should only take an experienced freelancer XXX amount of time.
An experienced freelancer…meaning someone experienced in producing sub-par work? Or do you mean someone so experienced in self loathing and desperation that they will work for 40 hours even though you are only paying them for 10?
Bottom line: The client doesn’t want to pay for good work OR they don’t care about good work, in which case, they still don’t want to pay for work done well.
Statement #3. Other freelancers we are used to using only charge half that.
That’s great, you should hire THEM!
Bottom line: You are probably going to be redoing the work of the cheap labor they hired the first time.And the client doesn’t want to pay for quality work.
Statement #4. Those terms are higher than we have a budget for, but we have lots of work so we can give you lots of hours!
If a client says you are out of their budget, you are out of their budget. Believe them and move on.
Bottom line: Your goal is probably to not work more hours for fewer dollars than what you are worth.
Statement #5. You’ll have to take on a test project for free first.
This is insidious of late because there are so many freelancers from all over the world who say yes, charge nothing, and then produce crap, so clients feel they need to protect themselves. But if you’ve shared your portfolio, references and CV, you shouldn’t have to put yourself through this.
Bottom line: You’d probably rather be paid for completing an entire project than completing half of a project for free.
You’ve been warned, kittens. Just remember, you have the right and even obligation to lose the losers. You have my permission.