The twelve types of clients you’ll work with as a freelancer

Image credit: Jack Knight/Freelanceswitch
“Client Breed #10: The Doormat Client”               Image credit: Jack Knight/Freelance Switch

I found this great post by Jack Knight over at Freelance Switch that takes a look at the 12 major “Breeds” of clients that a freelancer is likely to face on the job. While the original post focuses on freelance web- or tech- developers, the client breeds carry over into virtually every field that makes use of freelancers: landscapers, photographers, and especially writers.

For example, Client Breed #1: The Low-Tech Client “looks confused and disoriented when discussing anything high-tech, calls rather than emails, wants everything to be faxed.” As a freelance writer, I’d equate this client to the those literary journals and magazines that don’t accept electronic submissions, or to those newspaper editors who call you to walk through their edits to your article instead of marking them in an email. There’s nothing wrong with these clients, but they tend to make things more complicated — and definitely less convenient — than they really need to be.

Client Breed #3: The Hands-On Client has a very specific picture in his mind as to how a story or article is supposed to come out — so specific that he is happy to twist your work so that it fits his pre-casted mold. When working with this client you’ll see lots of red ink, and the final product that makes it into print will likely look very different from what you originally set out to write.

Client Breed #8: The Always-Urgent Client assigns an article to you and is shocked — appalled — when you don’t have it back to him fully polished within the hour. And don’t even think about asking for more time after they’ve set their Draconian deadline; you won’t get it.

These are just a few of the clients that Knight mentions in his amazingly apt original post. I don’t want to give it all away — go take a look at it for yourself.

Have you had the pleasure (or displeasure) of working with any of these “client breeds”? Are there any missing from the list? Which ones are your favorite to work with; which ones your least?

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