12/15/2008: "How To Avoid Clients Who Make Your Life Miserable."
While clients are the lifeblood af any business, including the copywriting business, care should be taken in choosing your clients.
That's right. I said "choosing your clients." As a professional, you should not let clients select you. You choose them. Let me explain.
Like all copywriters, I've had painful and costly experiences with a couple of my clients. I could have saved myself the trouble I had by simply not accepting them as clients in the first place.
I saw red flags. Things they said or wrote in emails gave me clues. My time would have been better spent on other clients.
If you're just starting out in this business, you may have to accept whatever you can get. My advice to you is always get paid in advance and have an iron clad agreement to protect yourself.
That doesn't mean you won't have trouble with some clients. You will. But it will help a lot.
If you are experienced and have a reputation as a respected copywriter, you do not need to accept every client that comes along. No amount of money is worth the hassle that comes with some clients.
I suggest that if you have any uncomfortable feeling at all about a person or a business, you turn the job down. I also suggest that if you want to make sure who you're dealing with, do a background check. It doesn't matter if you're paid upfront or not. You can still have trouble with clients.
A background check and a Google credibility check will usually tell you if others have had problems with this person or if you might have problems with them.
If you don't find them in a Google search, chances are they're working under the radar, and that's not good. A good business person is transparent and his or her reputation is easily available online.
Most clients are great to work with. But some are not. A few decades ago we knew who we were dealing with. Today we do not. We have to be careful and protect ourselves from the predator client.
Do your due diligence on prospective clients. It will save you much time, trouble and money.