3 Types of Clients To Avoid When Freelancing

Freelancing has become a way of life for so many working individuals in 2018. This has changed the way we work and it will continue to change the way we work for years to come. According to Nasdaq, 43% of the US workforce will become freelancers by the year 2020.

If that doesn’t tell you how big the freelance economy is going to get, nothing else will. However, with every amazing new thing that we get, there will always be downsides to it. If you are thinking about becoming a freelancer on platforms like Consult U or just speaking to friends and getting recommendations, we have something that you should look out for.

What You Need To Look Out For? 

Being a freelancer isn’t easy because you will be exposed to the world of having multiple clients at a time. This can sometimes cause problems because you might have a hard time managing them. This gets even worse when the clients are not so nice and some would dub them – clients from hell. A client like this can severely affect your productivity and if you’re not careful, it can start to affect your mental state as well. Dealing with horrible clients will be mentally taxing as it will take up mental bandwidth to be able to come to agreement with them.

In this article, we are diving a little deeper into the 4 types of freelancing clients that you want to avoid at all costs.


Client Type 1 : The Clueless Clients 

Picture Credits : Unsplash 

The clueless clients are one of the most dangerous types of clients. This relies heavily on the fact that because they are clueless they will never know how to appreciate your work. No matter how great the work is, they can’t understand it because it will never fit the mould that they have for it. Only because, there really isn’t a mould at all. The best way to deal with a client like this is to have a lot of meetings and conversations prior to accepting the job.

For example, if you are a freelance accountant, you would need to know the amount of work they would want you to work on, the types of accounts or even just the end results they want to see from you.

If they cannot give you answers to these questions they might not be the right client for you. They really need to go back to their drawing board to fully understand their brief. They should be tangible and achievable goals and results that you also believe that you can reach.

If you then feel that the kinds of results they are looking for is something that is not in your area of expertise or if you feel that it’s something that you cannot deliver, be honest about it. The client will appreciate your honesty and will definitely come back to you later on if they need your available expertise.


Client Type 2 : The Know-It-All

This type of freelance client might actually be the most annoying type of client because they believe that they know more than you do. We’ve noticed that sometimes, there will be a gap between what our clients think they know versus what they really know or understand. However, some clients will realise sooner rather than later that there is this gap. But the Know-It-All client would always insist that they know better. This type of freelance client will always get in the way of your work and might even make changes to your work without you even noticing.

It might be down to their ego or probably just the fact that they believe that the knowledge they have gathered over the years should hold precedence above yours. Despite them having hired you for the job in the first place.

Spotting them is quite easy as they will try their hardest to have conversations peppered with industry knowledge or terms. You might think that this is good that your client knows what you do, but they will become overbearing later on. Whenever you believe that there is something that you could change or improve on that isn’t in line with what they believe, they will be harsh and go against you at a moment’s notice.

The best way to deal with clients like these is to hold your ground and always think in the best interests of the company or the project they have given you. If you need something changed, always draw it out for them so that they can see the benefits visually. These tips will usually help if you are working with a Know-It-All client.

Client Type 3 : The Disappearing Act

This type of freelance client basically disappears during the project. They might seem super responsive at the start of the project but after a while they would have disappeared. They will not answer your calls, they will ignore emails or even worse, leave you on read.

This is one of the worst things to happen when you are freelancing because it will greatly slow down your timeline and it will affect other timelines of other clients because they keep disappearing on you. The worst outcome of a client like this is the fact that they might not pay you.

The only way to avoid these types of clients is to see how they act before you sign a contract or before you agree to working with each other. If they take some time in replying you (make sure it’s an unreasonable amount of time), then you might be safe to assume that they might be the disappearing type of client. It is up to your discretion to see if you would want to continue with the job, fully knowing the potential consequences of working for someone like this.


The team at Consult U hopes that these small pieces of advice was able to help you figure out the pricing of your freelance consults and work. If you are in need of more clients, sign up on the Consult U platform today to get a steadier stream of clients who are willing to listen and pay you for your quality services!