We've seen a lot of serious situations lately where client relationships have broken down and the situation reaches a point where it may escalate. One pattern we've noticed is that a lot of freelancers don’t have the confidence to handle these situations, so in this episode we talk about how to deal with these situations and remind you that you deserve to be treated with respect and are aloud to have boundaries. The information in this podcast is for general guidance and is not legal advice.
- With Jack
- Most of the claims we see are to do with poor project management, either on the freelancer or client's side
- This can cause friction in the working relationship and lead to clients feeling like they haven't got what they paid for
- A difficult client relationship can also be down to a bad apple client who is always going to be difficult to please
- One of most important aspects of a fulfilling freelance career is to learn how to set and stick to boundaries so have a contract, include a statement of work, have set hours you're available etc
- However, the real test is how you react when clients try to take advantage of you
- The way you respond to bad situations is important because it can be the difference between a smooth project that ends harmoniously and one you regret taking on
- If you don’t set boundaries you’re teaching the client that it’s OK to undervalue you. If you do that certain clients will continue undervaluing you, pushing you closer to burnout and putting you under pressure
- Some freelancers struggle with setting and sticking to boundaries because they don’t want to deal with conflict and feel uncomfortable telling a client “No”. Or there’s a fear of losing a client so freelancers are willing to overstretch themselves to accommodate their client
- Being insured should give you the confidence to stand your ground with clients who try to mistreat you or extract more from you than has been agreed
- If you stand firm and the client doesn’t back down, saying they'll take things that little bit further with a threat of potential legal action, that’s when your professional indemnity policy is triggered so you'd have help to navigate that situation
- The practical element of insurance is getting affordable legal help should you need it, but it’s the aspirational element of being insured that most freelancers benefit from
- Insurance should give you the confidence to stand firm with clients who are trying to take advantage of you, knowing that if they do push things that little bit further you have the help to get you through it
What is Unsure? Insure!?
After so many years helping freelancers stay in business, I’m no stranger to the kinds of problems you face. But freelancing doesn’t mean having to face these problems alone. A lot of the time there is help available. I’d like to share these stories with you so you can be a confident freelancer.