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Re: Do you have tips on how to recognize good customers?

Ace Contributor
Giacomo U Member Since: Jul 12, 2019
1 of 4

There are different kind of customer on upwork. Some professional and polite, others who have never worked with a freelancer and turn work into a nightmare,  sometimes the customer just because he pays is convinced that he can behave like a dictator (sometimes it's the freelancer's fault!). I found some excellent clients on upwork, kind, polite people with whom it was a pity to collaborate but I also found some clients, with whom I couldn't wait to finish the job. Do you have any tricks to understand which customer would best be avoided in the initial negotiation stage? Thanks

Community Guru
Robin H Member Since: May 28, 2019
2 of 4

Giacomo U wrote:

There are different kind of customer on upwork. Some professional and polite, others who have never worked with a freelancer and turn work into a nightmare,  sometimes the customer just because he pays is convinced that he can behave like a dictator (sometimes it's the freelancer's fault!). I found some excellent clients on upwork, kind, polite people with whom it was a pity to collaborate but I also found some clients, with whom I couldn't wait to finish the job. Do you have any tricks to understand which customer would best be avoided in the initial negotiation stage? Thanks


Giacomo:

 

"Customers" on Upwork are referred to as "clients".  Yes there are all types of clients on this platform from around the globe.  Some have tons of experience working on Upwork; others don't.  Some respect freelancers and their work; others don't.  You will come across all different personalities.  It's YOUR job to use better judgement as to who you should work with.  

 

Here are some red flags that MAY prevent me from working with someone:

 

* They haggle - my price is my price.  If you want to pay less, hire a different freelancer.  I establish costs based on my abilities.  If it only takes me 30 minutes to do something another freelancer could do in an hour, know that you're paying more for my experience

 

* They want it tomorrow.  Depending on my availability, I may or may not work with someone who "demands" a deliverable within 24 hours.  But usually they want it ASAP and don't submit payment for a few days (if ever).  This isn't too much of a concern if it's a fixed-price project or I hourly price via the time tracker since I get paid anyway.  It's more of a nuisance.

 

* They seem combative on the phone.  You can tell a lot of about how the client will be once you have a phone conversation.  I strongly recommend it.  Once I spoke with a client who wouldn't answer some of my intake questions.  She didn't want to tell me her list of direct competitors for fear I would plaigiarize the site.  Then she didn't care about SEO (I'm a marketing copywriter).  I kept explaining my reasons but her ego was bigger than mine.  I started the work, provided the first piece and then she closed the contract without me sending a completee deliverable (she paid though).  I should have refused to work with her from the beginning.  

 

There are other more common red flags you will find written about in the community including:

* They want you to work for free

* They "scope creep" - which is hard to determine in the negotiation stage.  Outline the project and refuse to do more unless you are paid accordingly

* Their previous freelancer comments are poor.  Definitely read them as other people's experiences provide valuable insight.

 

Hope this answers your question!

Ace Contributor
Giacomo U Member Since: Jul 12, 2019
3 of 4

Thank you so much Robin you were very kind, your description is very detailed! Usually, if I see 3 stars or 3 and a half stars I don't even read the job description. It is very complex to understand how the customer will behave during work, is always a surprise.
Those who are attracted by my style of work frighten me and then ask me anything. Or those who are undecided and would like to see a thousand drafts (they don't understand that time and hours work for me). I'm sure that only with experience will I learn to foresee their behavior, at least in part.

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Community Guru
Robin H Member Since: May 28, 2019
4 of 4

All I can say is the more jobs you complete, the better you will be able to figure out which clients would work well with your style.  It took me a year to get into a groove and now I'm turning away projects!

 

Good luck to you!

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