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First on Google

Clients from Hell - 19 June 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: When we search for our new site we don’t show up. We heard about SEO. Can you turn on some SEO for us so we can be first on Google?

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sign off, sign on

Clients from Hell - 18 June 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: Hey, why haven’t you launched this project yet? We need it done ASAP. This is taking way too long and I don’t have time for this.

Me: Actually, we’re still waiting for you to sign off so that we can launch it.

Client: I’m signing off. Please go ahead and launch this tomorrow.

I launch the project. Three hours later:

Client: WHY THE HELL DID YOU LAUNCH THIS. IT’S NOT READY. YOU MESSED EVERYTHING UP.

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Facebook minus Facebook

Clients from Hell - 18 June 2020 - 2:00pm

A new client wanted me to do some Facebook marketing for his weight loss website, in part promoting an eBook.

Me: I charge X € for a Facebook ad per month. That includes ad creation, monitoring, and reporting, plus the advertising budget for Facebook…

Client: That’s great, do it!

Me: …But I couldn’t find a Facebook page for the product. A Facebook page is necessary in order to advertise the product on Facebook. You can do it yourself or if you don’t want to, I can. But this isn’t included the price for the ad so it’ll be an additional X €. That includes [basic setup for a Facebook page].

Client: Ok, let me think about it.

One day later:

Client: I don’t want to pay for the Facebook page. Please do an ad without it.

Me: But I literally can’t run your ad unless you have a Facebook page.

Client: Well, I don’t want one. Just to the ad.

Me: (slamming head on desk)

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sparkles

Clients from Hell - 17 June 2020 - 3:00pm

I do freelance illustration and animation. This is a client I recently had, for your own sanity I’ve kept it short as I can.  

Client: Hi, do you illustrate children’s books?

Me: Yes I do! If you’d kindly send a brief, sample paragraphs of what you’d like referenced, and sample art in terms of color or style I can get a quote to you by 5:00.

Client: Sure!

She then sent 34 images that shared no similarities and no further information.

Me: Okay, thanks for those but I need more information. Please refer to my last message.

In response, she sent about 30 Christmas themed GIFs.

Me: Hi again. Could you please send me a brief stating how many images you want, their size, sample paragraphs from your book and images you think best represent the style you want? If you get these to me soon,  I can send you a quote at 8:00 am tomorrow.

Client: Okay…

Shortly after I received an email with butterfly photos.

Client: I like butterflies.

After that, a picture of a unicorn and more butterflies.

Client: I like the sparkles, but I don’t want this.

Then an email with a photo of a Shinto temple on top of a mountain.

Client: I like this too but not the Chinese building.

Client: Can you draw my characters into this tree with a rainbow?

Me: It’s after midnight. Can we pick this up tomorrow after I begin my working hours?

Client: (sending another photo)I like these sparkles.

Attached was a photo of a waterfall, no tree in sight. For the record she was a very sweet old lady who was willing to pay, just extremely difficult to extract information from.

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smart edge

Clients from Hell - 17 June 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: This doesn’t have edge. Can you make it smarter?

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Hard sell your soft skills: Alison Grade of The Freelance Bible

Clients from Hell - 16 June 2020 - 10:45pm
Hard sell your soft skills: Alison Grade of The Freelance Bible

Alison Grade wrote The Freelance Bible because she saw her students develop skills in their field and then take their first, tentative steps towards running their own business… and not know what to do. At all.

One of the key problems for new freelancers and anyone having to pivot because of COVID-19 is not recognizing that the SOFT skills they have – i.e. the ones you didn’t go to school for – are sometimes even more important than those you actually trained for. She walks Kyle through her process for finding out what your business direction should be! 

Today’s links: 

Want to support the show?

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cheap copy

Clients from Hell - 16 June 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: I’ve had a look through your portfolio and absolutely love your work!

Me: That’s great to hear!

Client: Buuuut, we’re wondering if you could draw so it looks more like [popular illustrator]’s style.

Me: Oh, well, generally when you hire an artist, it’s because of their own unique style. Besides, I wouldn’t feel comfortable just copying someone else. Why not just hire them instead?

Client: Well, we did ask them, but they’re charging triple what you are!

I don’t know why I didn’t expect that answer to be honest…

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<p>Client: You’re a miracle worker! I

Clients from Hell - 16 June 2020 - 1:45pm

Client: You’re a miracle worker!

I used the Dropbox app to make a 3-page PDF for a group of older ladies.

Not a client from hell – quite the opposite! But I thought it was pretty funny.

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don’t need to be circle

Clients from Hell - 15 June 2020 - 3:00pm

The following is an exact conversation I had with a client.

Client: The measurements for the sticker are 35mm x 35mm and 85mm x 85mm.

Circle.

There are 2 sizes you need to do for the sticker.

The shape is circle.

We can do whatever shape we want as long based on this measurement given.

Me: But you specified that it should be a circle, so we can’t do “whatever shape we want,” right?

Client: Any shape as long as is the measurement given.

Me: So does it need to be a circle?

Client: Don’t need.

Me: Just to double-check, you said that it should be a circle, but now you’re telling me that it doesn’t have to be, right?

Client: Don’t need to be circle.

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completely reasonable

Clients from Hell - 15 June 2020 - 2:00pm

I do contract blog ghostwriting for a few clients. A recent customer had started a gaming site and was looking for someone to post content to fill up their site. They were apparently pleased with what I did, promising more work in the future. This work was on a third-party platform, which is a semi-important part of the story.

Two weeks down the line I received a message:

Client: Please contact me off-site. I have a legitimate employment opportunity.

I was somewhat suspicious and sent him a message regardless.

Me: So what is this “opportunity”?

Client: I want a permanent writer for my site. You’ll be listed as a byline and get more work.

It sounded great, but I sensed a “but.”

I didn’t have to wait long.

Client: I won’t be able to pay you the same rate – each article will be about less than half what I’ve been paying you, and I’ll only be able to pay you once you publish a certain number of posts with no money up front.

Me: No.

Client: Just so you know, I’m working with another writer and I think these rates are completely reasonable.

I flatly declined and politely told him he could order through said third-party platform if he wanted more work. I never heard from him since; however, it became quite clear to me that he had no intention of treating me fairly, and luring me off the platform with the guise of “employment” was the only way he could get his way to stiff someone for cheap writing.

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Create Classic Rock-style posters in minutes for only $7!

Clients from Hell - 14 June 2020 - 3:00pm
Create Classic Rock-style posters in minutes for only $7!

This week’s deal is on all the tools you’ll need to create a 70s style art poster in almost no time at all.

It’s an instantly recognizable, iconic style that’s all yours for just $7.

With amazingly intricate borders and stylish screen-print illustrations, concert posters from the 70s were a pinnacle of great design. This package turns photos into illustrations, gives you palettes that look just right, and provides borders that make all the difference to harnessing this amazing look Conjuring images of flower-children swaying to some of the greatest music ever made, this style is tantalizing for summer events, retro-branding, and fun promotions. It’s a secret weapon for your design toolkit, and at only $7, it’s just the price of a couple of cups of coffee.

Normally this toolkit would cost $40, which is pretty reasonable, but this week you can get the Art Poster Creator bundle for just $7.

Check out the deal here.

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Wishing for names

Clients from Hell - 14 June 2020 - 2:00pm

I was asked to help put some videos together for a group that raises money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. I think highly of that organization, so I said yes. The videos were of the past children they had granted wishes for.

When the photos came in, they didn’t have any names or identifiers attached to them.

Me: Could you send me a list of names of the kids? I don’t know who is who.

Client: Use process of elimination.

Me: … No, I don’t know who ANY of them are. I’ve never seen these photos and I am not familiar with your company.

Client: Look, I can’t do your job for you.

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God it up

Clients from Hell - 13 June 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: Some board members want the logo to glorify God more.

Me: Doesn’t beauty glorify God?

Client: God it up.

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Consulting from the ground up

Clients from Hell - 13 June 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: Hi there, I understand you provide sales consulting ?

Me: That’s right.  I offer packages of different training based on the type of sales operation and what you are seeking to achieve

Client: We need a 300% lift in sales by the next quarter

Me: Well that’s quite a target, how many sales people do you have at the moment.

Client: None, we also need you to recruit those.

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don’t listen to my husband

Clients from Hell - 12 June 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: I love everything you have proposed, and the price seems reasonable. Let’s move ahead as quickly as possible!

Client’s husband: We are not doing any of that. It’s too expensive and we don’t need the work done!

At this point, they started bickering between themselves.

Me: here is my card. Talk amongst yourselves and please call me if you would like to go ahead, or if you have any questions.

The husband walked me to the door:

Client’s husband: We’re not going to call. You don’t have the job.

 Months later, the client called:

Client: I’m surprised! It’s been a few months since we met and I haven’t heard anything from you regarding scheduling. I actually assumed the work would be done by now.

Me: Well no. Your husband told me you were not interested.

Client: Oh, don’t listen to him. No one else does.

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I don’t like these

Clients from Hell - 12 June 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: I don’t know what I want, that’s why I called you guys. I just know I didn’t like the logos you sent me.

A client after coming to us demanding one-day delivery for 30 designs that me and my team stayed up late to complete.

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Just show me

Clients from Hell - 11 June 2020 - 3:00pm

Me: I’ve finished the PDF generator.  To generate a PDF for a specific account, go to their account and press “create PDF.”

Client: Great!  Can you explain to me how it works?

Me: Go to their account and press “create PDF.”

Client: Can you just show me?

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Top of Google

Clients from Hell - 11 June 2020 - 2:00pm

A client wants to appear on the top of Google Search and asks me to run AdWords for his off-shore business. One Sunday evening at 9 PM I receive a frantic phone call.

Client: My business’ ad does not appear at the top of the page. What am I paying you for?

Me: We agreed to set an ad schedule to only run ads during working hours.

The next morning at 7 AM I receive another phone call.

Client: My ad is still not showing at the top of the page!

Me: It’s still not business hours.

Two hours later:

Client: Why don’t I see my business’ ad when I type in the search terms? It is supposed to show on top and we don’t even feature anywhere on the first five pages!!

Me: We agreed to run the ad only in [off-shore location]. Unless you are in that location you won’t see the ad in search results.

Client: Are you telling me that if I want to check up on your work I must go to that location?

Me: No. I send you a weekly status report with statistics from AdWords and Google Analytics.

Client: Let’s change that. I want to always see my ad on top when I search in Google.

Me: …Do you want to increase the budget from $160 to $800 per month?

Client: No. I would prefer if we spend less than $100 per month.

Me: Perhaps you should consider using a different service provider.

Client: Don’t get snippy with me! Have you seen what the other service providers charge?

I haven’t fired the client yet, but I did set my phone to automatically go into ‘silent’ mode between 5 PM and 8 AM.

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It’s animated

Clients from Hell - 10 June 2020 - 3:00pm

I was working on a 1-minute animated instructional video for an app. Project was on a time crunch and a budget, so I skipped the storyboard and went straight to the animatic.

Me: To save time, I made the assets I’d like to use in the final animation and put them in here. So if you like the aesthetic, I can just animate what’s here in the next phase.

Client: Looks dope! Yes!

They make a payment. We do a round or two of edits. I finish the video in time for their deadline. No complaints, until I call for the last payment.

Client: It looks the same as the storyboard.

Me: I explained at the time, we’re using those assets in the animation.

Client: But it’s not, like, an animation. It looks like PowerPoint. I could have done this.

Me: It most definitely isn’t. PowerPoint can’t do this stuff. But if you think it’s not good or effective, maybe we can…

Client: Listen, I think it’s good, and the message is perfect. And we’re going to use it.

Me: So, why are you choosing to not pay what you agreed to?

Client: It’s just not animated!

It’s animated. I guess they were expecting Disney?

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what are your prices

Clients from Hell - 10 June 2020 - 2:00pm

This client had contacted me several months beforehand asking for information about commissions, yet never responded to the answer I gave them. Here’s the latest correspondence: 

Client: I’m looking to order a portrait. What are your prices?

Me: Thanks for your interest. Commission prices vary depending on size and commission type. Here’s a link that gives detailed information about what formats and sizes I offer. Let me know what size you’re interested in and I can provide you with further details.

Client: Don’t know what you mean by ‘format’, but I’m looking for something somewhat big.

I get the impression that communicating with this client will be like pulling teeth.

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