Client’s General Attitude and Demeanor
(Page 3 of 3)
Clients Using Magic Phrases From So-Called Experts
If you conducted a poll of freelancers asking them to tell you the most annoying phrases they’ve ever encountered while scanning for jobs, near the top of the list would be some variation of the following: “This is an easy job for someone who knows what they are doing.” Clients who use this sort of expression are either deliberately trying to manipulate contractors into working for less money, or just following bad advice they’ve been given by “freelancing experts”. Regardless of the reason, they are often not worth working for.
The mere presence of a phrase like this should be considered a warning signal of a client or project you may wish to avoid. I discuss the phenomenon further in the section talking about specific danger signs in project listings.
Sometimes you run into clients who act like they are doing you the biggest favor imaginable even to be considering hiring you. They’ll make grandiose claims about themselves, or even comment on how only the very best people will make the cut and be “allowed” to work for them. Beware of terms like “best of the best” or my personal pet peeve: “rockstar”. That word makes me cringe any time I see it in a project listing.
Of course, all this posturing is nearly always nonsense; the really good clients don’t behave like this. And what’s particularly infuriating about it—or laughable, depending on your perspective—is that this sort of bragging is uniformly accompanied by laughable rates. The people who claim to want “rockstars” rarely want to pay “rockstar” rates—it’s usually more akin to what you’d pay the road crew.
Here’s a great example of this silliness that I saved from several years ago. The following text appeared in a job listing looking for coders:
Seeking top notch high quality programmer, and be extremely fast at developing home grown code. You should be able to read the project managers mind, solve your own problems and amaze us with your skill.
Wow, impressive huh? They must really be offering amazing rates to get people this good, don’t you think? Oops, not exactly: at the bottom of the listing is the offered rate: “Below $12 per hour.” I didn’t realize that mind reading had already become so commoditized!
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