How I Got Rid Of A ‘Bad’ Client


If you are into freelance graphic design then this scenario may not be new to you.

I got a whatsapp message this morning from someone who claimed he wanted a logo, I’m not sure if it was a he/she but for this post I’d refer to this person as a he. So he said we had connected on LinkedIn, he wanted to know how good I was and I referred him to my website and blog, he said my work was “impressive”. He sent me a sample logo, what he wanted his logo to  look like, then he asked for my rates, I gave him the different brand identity package options, apparently in his opinion my rates were high.

He said “it’s just a 3 letter word and it’s a 10 minute work” (now st this point I got upset but I tried to remain calm). I told him if it’s a 10 minute work he might as well do it himself, then he said he didn’t have a computer- they why do you think it will take me 10 minutes?! Still maintaining my calm I asked for his budget, it was really low, I brought my rates down over 60% and amended the brand identity package option, he agreed.

He asked my how the payment process works, I requested for full payment before I start. If this was a client paying my actual rates then I usually request for 70% before I begin the the rest when the brief is complete, but since this guy is paying just a fraction of the rates, he should pay in full before I start!

Now here is what he said “Never heard such payment method before in my 38 years of existence, even for a N2 job” “Goodluck my dear, I’ve had enough, you are not doing me a favour”

He is not doing me a favour either and he obviously wasn’t ready! And the chat ended.

Dear graphic designer’s, please avoid these kind of ‘clients’, they are not worth it, they will drain your energy, not pay you and they are the ones that request for amendments 1,000,000 times, they are never satisfied and you will spend the most time on these kind of jobs.

And if you are one of these type of clients, please change your perception about graphic design services, why would you assume graphic designers can and should work for free! Do you work for free? And no, there are no 10 minute designs, if there is, it will not cost a meager amount of money.

Here is what to look out for to avoid ‘bad’ clients

  • If you need to bring down your rate to less than half of what you usually charge, then it’s not worth it.
  • If they tell you they have other job’s lined up for you when this one is complete
  • If they will refer you to potential better paying clients
  • When they make unreasonable demands and they appear rude

If you have a client that falls into these categories, please say good bye to them. Instead keep developing your skills, learn something new, position yourself with a well put together website/portfolio and someone who appreciates the value of good design will pay you.

Photo Credit: Corlin Harman, Pixel Ink