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3 Signs You May Be an Abusive Client

As a freelancer I have had the honor and privilege of working with a plethora of different clients from across the world. It’s been an incredible blessing to work with so many different types of people and while I don’t take my freelance career lightly, I would be remise if I didn’t admit that working with various clients daily does have it’s bad days.

You see, whether you recognize it or not a freelancer to client contract is a relationship. Any relationship that is not properly nurtured or cared for is subject to toxicity and it’s no different in the client to freelance relationship.

As we approach the 4th quarter of the new year it’s time that we properly analyze our business interactions because those who know better, do better.

Here are 3 signs that you may be an abusive client:

You Set Unrealistic Expectations

Have you ever set expectations for your employees or freelancers and knew beyond a doubt that your expectations were unrealistic? If yes, how did that make you feel? Did it give you a sense of power? A sense of “getting over” on someone? Whatever emotion you had by setting those unrealistic expectations, pause. Setting unrealistic expectations is not only stressful for your freelancer but it’s also a source of stress for you as an employer because you’ll never get the results you seek from a stressed out employee.

You Pay Low Wages

When is the last time you bragged to your colleagues that you got a graphic created, piece of content written for less than it’s market value? While receiving work for lower wages may seem harmless it’s also a silent form of abuse. It’s especially abusive if you demand edit after edit after paying below market value. No freelancer or employee voluntarily works for cheap but often times these creatives feel they have to either settle for low wages or nothing at all. Don’t use that against them. I once heard a client say “the freelancer needs me more than I need them and that alone screams toxic behavior.”

You Expect Your Freelancer/Employee to be Available When You Are

As an employer or entrepreneur it can be easy to assume that just because your life revolves around work that everyone else’s does too. If you find yourself expecting your freelancer/employee to always answer your calls and or emails you have a problem. Prior to beginning any new contract with a freelancer or employee take a moment and ask what their availability is. There’s a reason why they are freelancers and not full time employees, remember that.

While there are other signs that you are an abusive client these are just my top 3 signs. If you ever have to question if in fact you’re abusive, you probably are and it’s time reevaluate your behavior.

What are your thoughts on abusive client behavior? Leave your comments below.

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