Here’s a common concern for many freelancers: What happens if I can’t stand working with a client? And while this may seem like a legitimate problem, the first thing to remember is that there are tons of clients out there. So if you hate a freelance client (or, we should say, working with that client; it’s not personal!), you can always go find a new one!
Some people allow this fear to fester and ultimately prevent them from getting into freelancing in the first place. But when you think about the sheer number of potential clients, you start to realize how short-sighted it is to allow that fear to take over.
If you’re interested in freelancing, you might want to avoid a certain type of client. A few of the most common objections are:
- Companies you disagree with politically
- Businesses that are not eco-friendly
- Clients that are not socially conscious
If you’re committed to steering clear of these scenarios, that’s great! Just move right along to the next opportunity.
There are literally thousands of businesses and organizations out there. You won’t have to choose between “selling your soul” and “putting food on the table!” When a questionable company comes across your pitch list, simply skip over them and move on to the next.
Find Companies You Want to Work With
This advice applies to your current clients as well. If you’re finding a client is driving you crazy, or even if you’re simply not enjoying the work anymore…let them know in advance and stop working with them. If you’ve agreed to a project or contract, you should of course finish it, letting your client know it will be the last project you’ll be able to work on with them.
We tend to believe that our perspective or experience of the world is all there is. New and would-be freelancers easily fall into this trap. It’s easy for us to think that the couple of companies we’ve noticed is the sum total of all potential clients.
But the truth is, from global conglomerates, mom-and-pop operations, and solopreneurs, you have the chance to help every business out! And while not every single company is ready to hire you, the possibilities are practically endless. So there’s no need to fear: if you hate a freelance client, it’s easy enough to find someone else to work with.
Just do the math. Depending on the amount of time you devote to your freelance career, the max number of clients you can probably handle is about five or six each month (potentially even less!). Factoring in the hundreds of thousands of businesses that exist today, can you imagine running out of client options in this lifetime?
If You Hate a Freelance Client, Don’t Work With Them.
But here are two caveats to this advice.
First, don’t get too strict in your search for the most ethical client. If your view is too narrow, you could pass over some really great companies. Even though their primary mission may not be to save the world, many are making a surprising impact behind the scenes.
Second, practice suspending judgment until you have a chance to learn about a business. At first it may seem like Company A holds zero interest for you, but it’s possible that could change once you talk to them.
For example, I once did copywriting work for a residential tractor sales company. If you had asked me before I started the project, I would have told you that work held no appeal to me.
BUT, I began talking with this business. And when I learned about their customers and the reasons they needed residential tractors, I got really invested! Turns out I enjoy using my skills to connect with unique audiences. I did NOT think I’d want to work with this company, but it was an excellent project and the clients were fantastic to work with!
So, no, you don’t have to keep working with clients you don’t enjoy. But at the same time, keep an open mind about which clients you might enjoy working with. Your future favorite client might be a company that you can’t imagine working with right now.
Your turn! Are you willing to see what’s out there and really explore all of the potential client options? Let me know in the comments below.
Last Updated on December 28, 2021 by Kate Sitarz