4 mins
July 26, 2022

Client Red Flags: Words To Run From As A Freelancer

Jack Redley

Often, it’s hard to know if clients are going to make your life easy or difficult before a project begins. However, I have found that there are loads of client red flags to listen out for in the first meeting. These should make you run for the hills in my opinion.

Normally, I just say to the client ‘I’m not sure we are the best fit to work together on this project (insert excuse here) but I am happy to help recommend someone I trust from my network if that helps?’

DISCLAIMER: If you are just starting out, you may not be in a financial position to turn down this client work. That is fine! You will learn to manage projects MOST when you have difficult clients. They will highlight how you need to adapt and improve your processes, communication and other soft skills that are important for successful freelancing. Just remember that freelancing is a journey and you will learn what red flags are for you as you go.

With that out the way, let’s get in to them:

  • “We really need it done asap.”
  • “Our boss is too busy to come to meetings.”
  • “Sorry I was late to this meeting - work is just so busy.”
  • “We just have a logo at the moment.”
  • “We are speaking to a lot of other freelancers.”
  • “It should be a really quick and easy build.”
  • “Do you work weekends?”
  • "We can pay you with the exposure you'll get from this project”
  • “We want something clean and simple, so it shouldn't cost too much.”
  • "But x person can do it for cheaper"

Which of these red flags are the most icky out of these? Have you had any of them?