When talking about client relations, you can’t really avoid talking about different kinds of client. To start off with I wanted to talk about that perfect client.
When you think about your perfect client , you probably imagine a scenario where a client finds you, pays you a great wage, lets you get on with the job and incorporates your ideas, and then lavishes you with praise. No to say there aren’t great clients out there, and certainly some bad ones but in truth, like most things, most clients fall somewhere in between.
Faultless No More
I don’t think that a good client has to be flawless. In fact I’ve had full blown arguments with some of my longest lasting clients. What separates the good clients from the bad is that we were able to have those disagreements but still continue to do business. Not everything will run smoothly but if you can treat each other with respect usually come rain or shine that client will be good to you.
One thing I would say in general of freelancing vs working for other people is that it can be a very thankless task. Even if you’ve moved the earth for a client, don’t expect to be sent flowers. I think this comes down again to the more transactional nature of freelancing.
If you’re looking for good clients you must also go about attracting them in the first place. It’s essential for any business to have a clear picture of who they want their clients to be and the sort of relationship they would have with them, with clear channels of how to reach them. Often the clients you get may not be the clients you want, but only by working towards your ideal client can you hope to attract them at all.
It’s important to note that while very few clients are perfect, sometimes it isn’t their fault. If you don’t train your client to know better then they never will! This is a crucial part of the relationship that I think a lot of freelancers forget about.