5 Types of Online Clients

20 July 2011
As with most things in life, the clients you will meet online rarely fall into either the good or bad department.

Notwithstanding scammers, there are about 5 types of clients you will likely run into before you end up with the ones you really want to work for. Have you met all of them already? 

The Picky Bargain Hunter

Job descriptions that trumpet the following lines are strong indicators of the bargain hunter: "Anyone can do this job. We will award the project to the lowest bidder.... Willing to pay $1 for grammatically correct, high-quality articles.... Superstar writers only."

Good quality and cheap pricing do not necessarily go together. Do yourself a favor and walk away. It's not even worth it to consider this type of client as a future business prospect - unless you have masochistic tendencies.

The Wholesaler

"Our previous freelancer charged half your rates. If you agree to our price, we can give you continuous business and maybe an increase."

The promise of more work down the line has been a bait long used by many online clients. Freelancers are divided on this issue. Your best move would be to decide what is practical. If the "discounted rates" are still good enough for you, then take the offer.

The Micro Manager

Clients who obsess about very high standards, status updates, time-in and time-outs and job protocols can be very difficult to work with. You might end up spending more time over their projects than you normally would because of endless revision requests and instructions.

On the upside, some freelancers get pumped just trying to please the micro manager. For the heck of experience, you might actually want to rise to the challenge.

The Juicer

As opposed to the micro manager who does all the thinking on your behalf, the juicer expects you to provide free in-depth consultation. The juicer is a lot like the content predator -- except that he steals ideas instead of your actual output.

He might or might not hire you. What is certain to happen is that you will be milked for information on "related" concerns often raised in the guise of a job interview or follow-up. If you estimate to spend 3 hours only finishing a task and the rest of the day chatting business with the big boss, you've just met the juicer.

It's high time you delineate your professional service fees from your consultation charges. Otherwise, dancing with a juicer might just hurt your business and your health. 
The Perfect Client

He doesn't treat you like rubbish and communicates instructions well. Revision requests and feedback are phrased constructively, and payments are delivered promptly -- with occasional bonuses to boot.

Ideal clients are true gems in the business, and most of the time, they are keepers. Value them as you would your closest friends because they are very hard to find.*
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