The Business of Freelancing, Episode 51: Bryce Bladon on Avoiding “Clients From Hell”

By Brennan Dunn

Today I am talking with Bryce Bladon. He is the curator of “clients from hell”. Today we talk about everything from qualifying new clients to setting expectations. He runs a website whose sole purpose is to showcase crazy clients. We both feel that sometimes we can do things a bit differently to help avoid having clients from hell. So the theme of this show is to have fewer clients from hell.

Bryce has been involved with Clients from Hell, a collection of anonymously submitted tales of woe, since 2009. These tales are from designers and anyone who deals with clients. Today we are going to talk about how freelancers can avoid getting these bad clients. We want high quality clients who respect us.

Today’s topics include:

  • New freelancers run the risk of getting bad clients by not qualifying clients and knowing when to say no to a potential client
  • Clients that aren’t a good fit need to be weeded out
  • Sometimes people create crappy client situations for themselves
  • Bad client experiences are usually the result of bad client communication or unrealistic expectations
  • Set expectations on how to bill and what to expect up front
  • Qualify yourself by asking what kind of work, people and projects do you want to work with
  • Does the client trust me, how much education do I need to give them
  • Have regard for yourself and your time
  • If a client doesn’t respect you and doesn’t appreciate what you deliver, they won’t be a good fit
  • Structured business processes can be used to sell, qualify, onboard, communicate, and follow-up with clients

Resources and links:

Clients from Hell

Bryce Bladon Website

Twitter @BryceBladon

Project Prescription Paul Jarvis Client Qualifying Tool

Hell to Pay