False assumptions we make about the client

False assumptions we make about the client

A 4.5 minute read...

Whether you love them or hate them, clients are what put food on the table and comfy undies on your downstairs bits.

Whether you love them or hate them, clients are what put food on the table and comfy undies on your downstairs bits.

If you struggle to put a dollar amount on your time, click here to grab my Free Pricing Calculator here and run your numbers for yourself.

It's the best way to work out your unique recipe for your prices.

While there are definitely clients who are more difficult than they probably need to be, something we may not consider is that some of the stress is because we’re making our own assumptions about them. Here are four assumptions you’ve probably made that can get you into some strife.

They’ll think I’m too expensive

Let’s start with the most obvious one first. You’re figuring out how much to put on the quote, knowing what number you’d LIKE to write down, but keep deleting it and making it smaller.

Why? You’ve made a decision based on something that may not even exist.

As a freelancer, you’ve heard phrases like “that’s more than we were expecting” more times than you’ve smashed a block of Cadbury in one sitting. It’s downright awful and feels like a horse has kicked you in the gut.

It’s understandable, then, that you start to assume this is going to be true of everyone who asks you for a quote. However, I can’t stress how much making this assumption can set you back.

When you make this assumption, you immediately devalue yourself. You find yourself thinking things like “maybe I’m not worth as much as I thought.”

First of all, stop it. These are just thoughts, and they’re based on people’s opinions, not facts.

The second thing that happens is that you drop your rates. Not only are you doing this without even knowing for sure if the person is going to complain, you’re basically saying that you’re not worth a whole lot. Being the cheapest can actually deter clients because the right clients understand that in life, you get what you pay for.

They’ll think I’m too inexperienced

There are always going to be people who have been in the industry longer than you, and it can feel intimidating. While there can certainly be something said for experience, understand that years in the game doesn’t necessarily equal a higher level of skill.

At the end of the day, most people care most that you can fulfil the job brief. If your work speaks for itself, don’t worry that, on paper, you’re a fresh graduate.

If potential clients are sensing a lack of confidence from you, they’re likely to misinterpret that as a lack of skill and hand the job to someone else.

They know what I need from them, and they’ll send it to me

Even though you’re the service provider, there are things you need from the client before you can even get started. If you’re designing them a new logo, you’ll probably need a mood board and some insight into their brand and demographic.

If you’re a copywriter writing product descriptions, you’ll need the specifications of the products before you can write about them. While this stuff may see obvious to you, it isn’t always to the client.

Assuming the client knows what you need from them is a dangerous game to play. You’re waiting for them to send it through, they’re waiting to get the first draft from you, and nothing is happening to push the project forward.

By the time you send the email and politely ask why you haven’t heard from them, they’re a bit annoyed that you haven’t even started yet.

Having clear processes and open communication is key to overcoming this.

When you have things like client profiling questionnaires and links to mood boards in Pinterest, it ensures you’re getting what you need right from the starting line. For help on how to nail those processes and learn what I do in my business, check out my Recipe For Serving Clients.

They’ve hired me so they trust my judgement

Some clients are a dream to work with. They trust that you’re the expert and, once you’ve understood the brief, leave you to it.

Then there are those who… aren’t. They’re controlling, finicky, and think that because you’re the service provider and they’re the paying client, they get to call all the shots. While you do need to know that their vision is, you don’t need them telling you which brush you should use to hand-letter their wedding invites.

Making this assumption means that you can miss a lot of red flags in the beginning. Most of the time, these clients give you an indication that they’re the devil before you’ve even come close to issuing an invoice.

By not making this assumption, you can be on high alert with every potential client, never miss the red flags, and only work with the people who make your soul happy.

As a creative freelancer, you’re going to have the opportunity to work with people and businesses from all different types of kitchens. Plodding along without any assumptions means you’re less likely to end up with burnt pie.

(And pie should never ever be burnt).

Good advice is like a delicious pie, it deserves to be shared with others...

Client’s got you tearing your hair out, going rogue and completely ruining your process?

You should grab my tried-and-tested Recipe for Serving Clients. It’s my go-to meal plan for serving clients without crashing and burning.

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