Client Red Flags Every Freelancer Should Be Aware Of When Selecting Clients

You can be the best freelancer in the world but it doesn’t mean you won’t get caught one day. There is always a risk when working with clients they could be dishonest or just untrustworthy.

There are also situations where you might not understand the client’s intentions, which could land you in hot water later on. You need to be more careful on every step.

Thankfully, there are various red flags that will alert you to these problems. Red flags are small signals that let you know something about a prospective customer is off.

They aren’t hard rules just little warning signs that something about this gig isn’t quite right. A red flag may not always mean the job is a bad idea just maybe not right now or with this specific client.

Small Jobs With No Explanation

If a client asks you to do a small job for a large amount of money, this could be a sign of one of several things. First, it might be that the client has simply found you through a search engine and doesn’t know you’re a professional who charges a certain amount per hour.

Second, they could be a cyber scammer looking to get as much information as they can from you before you catch on. So you need to be more careful.

Finally, they could be someone who doesn’t understand how the freelance system works and is looking to get a very specific job done (and doesn’t know where to look). This is why it’s important to know the client, their business, and the type of work they do.

This way, you’ll know whether they’re in a position to hire you, or whether they’re just some random person who found your contact information online. If the work seems too small to be worth the money they’re offering, then it might be a scam.

Lack Of Reputation Or Visibility

If a client doesn’t have a website or any type of online presence (real or fake), then this is a warning sign. If they’re looking to hire you for content writing.

For example, and don’t have a website for you to reference your work, then you should be wary. If a client has no online presence and is looking to hire a graphic designer or developer, then this could be a scam.

The client might be asking you to create a website or logo for them, but they don’t want to pay you upfront or give you any information about what they want. This is a huge warning sign.

Inconsistent Communication Or Dead Silence

If a client has been very responsive in the beginning, but suddenly becomes unresponsive, or they start asking you to do work with no payment upfront, this is a huge warning sign.

If you do decide to do the work anyway, be sure to protect yourself. Send the client an invoice, and wait until they’ve paid you before you do any work. And if they don’t pay you, then you can contact some of the authorities listed below for help.

Excessive Communication

If a client is excessively communicating with you by phone or email, this could be a sign that they’re trying to keep you from communicating with others.

For example, if they’re asking you to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDAs) but don’t have the funds to pay you, then they’re probably trying to silence you later on. If a client is excessively communicating by phone, then they could be trying to keep you from communicating with others.

Unrealistic Expectations

If a client expects you to work for free, get paid a really low amount, or work in a way that doesn’t sound realistic (for example, expecting you to write a 10,000 word article in one day), then this is a warning sign.

Realistically, only a small percentage of clients will pay you what you’re worth, and you should be prepared for that. However, if a client expects you to do an unrealistic amount of work, or they expect you to work for free, then they’re likely not a high-quality client.

Unclear Scope

If a client wants to hire you but doesn’t want you to do what you usually do, or they don’t give you details about the work, then this is a warning sign.

The client might be hiring you to do something unethical, or they might just be an amateur who doesn’t know what they’re doing. If the client doesn’t give you details about the work, then you might be better off finding another job.

Unrealistically Tight Deadlines

If a client asks you to do a lot of work in a short amount of time, then this is a warning sign. In general, if a client asks you to do a lot of work in a short period of time for a low price, this is a warning sign.

This isn’t always the case, but it’s important to be aware of the risk. If the client doesn’t have the money upfront, then they’re probably not paying you at all. This is especially true if the client is a large company, like a government agency.

Not Getting A Deposit

If a client doesn’t want to give you a deposit before you start working, then they might not ever pay you. In some cases, a client might not be able to give you a deposit but still want to hire you.

In these cases, it’s important to set strict terms, like setting a payment deadline. Make sure to hold the client to those terms and get your payment as soon as possible once the work is finished.

Providing Vague Feedback

If a client doesn’t provide you with any constructive criticism, then this could be a sign that they’re trying to scam you. If they’re not providing you with any constructive feedback, then they might be trying to scam you. This isn’t always the case, but it’s important to be aware of the risk.

Conclusion

Freelancers are at a higher risk of being scammed than employees, and it’s important to be aware of red flags that could signal problems. If you’re working online, then you’ll never know who you’re hiring, which means you have to be extra careful.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to avoid scammers and work with high-quality clients. So don’t be afraid to say no to a job if something about it doesn’t feel right.

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