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The future of freelance is freelance, but will that future work for freelancers?

Clients from Hell - 10 December 2019 - 6:20pm
The future of freelance is freelance, but will that future work for freelancers?

It will, if we start taking the right steps NOW. Adam Roach and Anya Switzer started LANCE, a freelancing solutions network in Canada in order to start pushing back against the race to the bottom clients want for their freelance employees. They share with Kyle their assessment of the problems freelancers face today and will face tomorrow, how they’re trying to get in front of them, and what you can do to make sure that your freelance career remains flexible and lucrative. 

Today’s links: 

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Why are they like this?

Clients from Hell - 10 December 2019 - 2:00pm

Most of my clients are great, but this one client is a bit… difficult to work with. I make ads for her company, matching the guidelines and sticking with the company style.

Still, this client needs to control everything, has always asks me to change SOMETHING even if I did everything the way she asked.I wind up having to revise a simple ad 10 times, every time. She is literally making things up for me to change and then act like I was supposed to know those made up rules she just made? And the next day those rules are changed again. These are today’s complaints: 

  • The exact same font we always use is now too “thick”
  • A headline spanning over 2 lines has an underline that is apparently “thicker” on the second line (spoiler: they’re exactly the same size)
  • The text was “corrected” to have grammatical errors
  • A layout rule I’m asked to break in 99% of their ads is now super important to follow
  • The spacing between lines is too short, even though yesterday she said it’s the size ALL ads should have from now on

And that’s just what I got this morning for one ad. I expect to get it back at least 4 more times with more nonsensical changes. Maybe the shade of blue isn’t yellow enough this time, perhaps the font is suddenly to cloudy, I just don’t know what it will be next. It’s driving me crazy.

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 10 December 2019 - 1:15pm

A client asked me to take some photos for a birthday party and upload all the hi-res photos to a cloud server.

It took 3 days to process all the photos and upload almost 900mb worth of photos, 6-10mb each. I gave them the link.

Client: I’m having trouble downloading the photos on my phone. 

Me: Yeah, your phone is going to have troubles with that many files at that size. You should probably view them on the the computer first, and then transfer any you want on your phone. 

Client: 

Me: You just wanted them for your phone, didn’t you.

Client: Yeah. 

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<p>Client: My computer at home probably

Clients from Hell - 9 December 2019 - 2:00pm

Client: My computer at home probably has a virus or something, so the new website doesn’t load properly. Can you change the website so it will load properly?

I later found out the client was running Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP. 

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<p>I had been working with a new client

Clients from Hell - 9 December 2019 - 1:00pm

I had been working with a new client on a logo redesign. Typically, my logo process starts with 1-2 rounds of concept sketches before we move on to a more polished single concept. This client seemed particularly indecisive- he would like one concept and then a few hours later, he wouldn’t like it anymore; he can’t tell me why, what aspects he likes, what aspects he hates, he just “isn’t feeling it anymore”. We are SIX rounds of sketches in (paid hourly, thankfully), which comes to about 36 different logo concepts, and then this conversation occurs:

Client: I think that the latest one is one to explore…

Me: Great.

Client: Maybe not though… people don’t seem to like it, haha.

Me: Who, exactly?

Client: I’m uploading these to Facebook and getting people to vote on them.

Me: So I have a committee of hundreds judging my designs? 

Client: Yeah!

Me: That explains a lot. 

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Get retro cool with 1100+ vintage branding elements for $14!

Clients from Hell - 8 December 2019 - 2:00pm
Get retro cool with 1100+ vintage branding elements for $14!

Good branding never goes out of style. This bundle is a short cut to great branding and design. 

> Seriously, you could make a career with the 1100+ elements in this bundle.

Whether you’re branding a beard oil, a line of t-shirts or just designing posters for the company team-building camping trip, this bundle is going to make your process a dream. Retro logo templates, free fonts, vector illustrations and more make it easy to whip up an ironic scout badge or a billboard for an adventure tourism company. I’m half tempted to get the bundle just to make labels for my home-brew. These elements are fun and specific and will save you time and money if you want to harness this look for a design.

Everything in this bundle retails for $415 regularly, but for just the next few days you can save 97% and get them all for $14

> Check out the deal here.

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<p>My co-worker and I were developing a

Clients from Hell - 8 December 2019 - 1:00pm

My co-worker and I were developing a website for a client that wanted people who were blind to be able to use it. The scenario was that they use screen readers to navigate the site. We were going through some bugs they found.

Client: So one thing we noticed is that when the screen reader highlights the “close” button, it obscures it. We think people using screen readers will find this inconvenient. 

Me: …So you’re saying that people who use screen readers won’t be able to see the close button.

Client: Correct.

Me: And, just to clarify, we are assuming that people who are using the screen readers are blind?

Client: Yep.

Me: I don’t think blind people will have an issue with not being able to seen something on the screen.

Client: …Right. 

My co-worker muted the phone and we started laughing.

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 7 December 2019 - 2:00pm

I started work on a logo at a reduced rate because i’m an idiot.

Client: I don’t like any of those but I don’t know why.

I gave her a list of ideas and things she might like to see. We agreed that she wants to go a specific way.

I gave her a few options and she didn’t get back to me for about a week, so I followed up.

Client: I don’t know what to say, this is exactly what I asked for but I don’t like it.

Me: Ok, well i’ve mocked it up for you so you can get a better visualization of how it will work for your business. Let me know what you think.

It’s been over a month of follow ups now… I’ve sent an invoice for work completed and had no luck contacting her. I guess i’m not getting paid for this?

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Print Manager

Clients from Hell - 7 December 2019 - 1:30pm

Got an emergency call from my client to outsource a print job that I had already produced for this big event downtown.

The sign was already on our truck heading to the venue and I was asked to call a local print shop to reproduce it because of this super tight deadline all of a sudden.

Me: It will take longer to produce the file than it will to drive it to you.

Client: I need it NOW, it’s urgent.

Me: Fine, but who is picking it up?

He had the delivery driver pick up the sign in the SAME TRUCK he had the original print.

He got both signs at the same time. 

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<p>I work as an Engineer in Solution

Clients from Hell - 6 December 2019 - 2:00pm

I work as an Engineer in Solution Integration Company helping a client’s IT personnel in figuring out how to administrate the newly integrated network infrastructure.

I ended up having to write 80 pages manual for the personnel outlining key points despite the fact that there are extensive documentation online provided by the product.

Client: I have tried to fiddle with the system according to your provided manual, Could you elaborate on this point on how do I input MAC address here? What format do I need to use?

I thought it was partly my fault because I did show him where this function is but I did not elaborate on it. I thought it was self-explanatory.

To remind myself, I tested it with a few different formats: XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX, XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX and XXXXXXXXXXXX. All of them worked. 

So I am about 100000% sure the personnel would have figured this out by himself if he had tried at all.

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<p>We rendered an image of some

Clients from Hell - 6 December 2019 - 1:00pm

We rendered an image of some industrial equipment. In real life the equipment being stored is orange, and the storage rack is grey and blue. The orange was dominating the image, so we did the whole thing in a stylish blue duotone.

The client understood the rationale for the duotone, but could not see past the fact that we’d removed the orange.

Client: What if you did it in orange, but with a blue hue?

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tldr

Clients from Hell - 5 December 2019 - 2:00pm

I work as an in-house designer at a small-business and the owner is of the mindset that the more information (read: words) you cram in a design the more effective it is yet she constantly complains all of my designs are “too wordy” and that “no one will read that.“

She even complains about designs featuring copy she gave me verbatim. I’ve made more minimalistic and clean designs for her which she initially likes but then slowly has me add more and more information. 

In a last-ditch effort to show her the light, I showed her a poster another company had dropped off to display in the window – minimalistic, stylish, and eye-catching with all the pertinent information and a link to a more detailed website.

Client: I really like it but you can’t even tell what it’s for

Me: …Well the large text at the top tells you what the event is and the writing underneath gives time and date and a short description with a link.

Client: Oh, well I didn’t read it, too much to read.

Me:

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<p>Client: Could you create my new

Clients from Hell - 5 December 2019 - 1:00pm

Client: Could you create my new website? 

Me: What kind of budget do you have? 

Client: Well, my friend did this one.

He pointed at his early 2000s site.

Client: He charged me a beer, so I guess I could give you 20 euros?

Me: Ok, for 20 euros I can tell you all the things you have to learn to create it on your own.

Client: Wow, you’ll teach me?

Me: No. I’ll tell you what you’d have to learn. That’s worth 20 euros.

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<p>I work as a freelance writer part

Clients from Hell - 4 December 2019 - 2:00pm

I work as a freelance writer part-time to help pay bills since my boyfriend is living with me. I do editing for both fiction and nonfiction.

I got an email from a prospective client last Wednesday, who sent me a small part of their story to look over and see if I could edit it. I require this from pretty much everyone unless I know them.

This was an Eldritch Abomination in written form.

The spelling and grammar were atrocious. The name was spelled wrong. There was shitty clipart everywhere.

Me: I’m sorry, but given the scope of this job I won’t be able to complete it for what you’re offering.

Client: (furious) You’re being unfair! Fine. Be a snobby bitch. Your work is probably shitty anyway.

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<p>I am about to quit my job as a...</p

Clients from Hell - 4 December 2019 - 1:15pm

I am about to quit my job as a volunteer graphic designer at a non-profit yoga institute for several reasons, and each day I am reminded of a new one.

Here is a snippet of the conversation I just had with our guru (who I have been working with for seven weeks on a 26 page photo biography booklet) about the 14th revision of the cover design:

Client: I am so glad you are doing this for free! We had to pay thousands of dollars for our old designer.

Me:

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<p>I recently quoted a client for a

Clients from Hell - 3 December 2019 - 2:00pm

I recently quoted a client for a promo video to be shown on their website.

Client: We’ve decided to go in a different direction.

They eventually came back and hired me. I got the truth out of them later:

Client: I was going to shoot this on my phone but I couldn’t record my voice at the same time.

This was a multi-million dollar company whose smallest contract is still six figures.

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<p>Client: Can you, like, convert a JPG

Clients from Hell - 3 December 2019 - 1:30pm

Client: Can you, like, convert a JPG to HTML? 

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 2 December 2019 - 2:00pm

It’s 8 PM and my client asks me to make some changes in a brochure:

Client: Come to my office with your laptop tomorrow and work from here.

Me: I can’t. I am alone with my daughter.

I had a 7-month-old baby and am balancing freelance work with parenting. 

Client: Take your daughter with you. I don’t mind. 

It’s an office where people smoke indoors. No, I’m not kidding. 

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Billable hours

Clients from Hell - 2 December 2019 - 1:00pm

Client: Things are not working, the amount of hours we agreed is not being respected and your developers are late in the deliveries. When can we talk to sort things out?

I went to the dev team to talk and this exchange followed:

Me: So, what is happening? Are problems arising during the sprint? The client is frustrated with the delays, and I need to know if you need some support or renegotiate something.

Dev: We have no problem at all with them, we are only lacking time to do what they need.

Me: How are you and your colleague dividing the time?

Dev: Well, my colleague spends the day programming, while I’m, at 9AM, have a call with the client that usually goes for two hours, then again at 2PM I have another call with’em and this one usually goes for four hours, then I code until 7PM.

Me: That explains a lot.

Turns out the client knew this time was billed as dev time, but they expected the developers to be coding while on the phone with them!

 

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Add over 2950 beautifully illustrated elements to your toolkit for just $9!

Clients from Hell - 1 December 2019 - 2:00pm
Add over 2950 beautifully illustrated elements to your toolkit for just $9!

This week’s deal is on a massive bundle from popular design studio Julia Dreams!

> Take a look. There’s so much here, and you could easily use all of it. 

Julia Dreams is known for their deft touch and their light, pastel approach to fantastic design. You could conceivably build a decent design career using just the 2950 elements in this bundle – not that you would. Still, this kind of excellent craftsmanship can save you time and money by making it easy to turn around professional designs for your clients FAST – especially if that client is looking for the feminine, bohemian look that Julia Dreams specializes in. 

The full price tag on every element in this bundle is $3872, which is frankly insane. However, for the next few days you can get all 2950+ elements for just $9. That’s a GREAT price for elements of this quality. 

> Check out the deal now! 

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