Red Flags for Freelance Web Developers
I have dealt with all types of clients, ranging from mega-corporations such as AT&T, Sprint, AOL to mom and pop brick and mortar shops. Here are few things to look out for when acquiring new clients. Check out my Fiverr if you need some work done.
I NEED a website, but don’t know how to check email
You’ll run into this person at some point in your freelancing career. They are nice people, usually older, but don’t know how to log into their email let alone what it takes to run a website.
You can approach this in numerous ways. I usually run far away because I know how much time it will take to explain anything to them.
Another approach is hand holding. This includes allowing the client to contact you about non-business computer related problems such as how to check their AOL email. You will be on the phone more than you have ever been in your life. Run far and fast!
It is our job as web developers to let the client know what it will take to complete their project because we are the professionals and this is what we do for a living. This includes pricing and time frame.
When you are approached by a client that states they are on a “limited budget”, it’s best to let them know your prices up front. Don’t waste your time, let them know right away and don’t EVER let them talk you down to a lower price.
If the client says they don’t have enough money, no matter how much money you need at the time, walk away. There are always better clients that are willing to pay you what you are worth.
By doing business with them it will lead to problems in the future such as not being paid on time or not being paid at all.
Let them hire someone else that will offer them a lower price. Put on your running shoes and get the heck out of there!
The Next Amazon.com
I’ve run into these types of people numerous times. They have a “great idea” that will make them millions and it’s simple. Make a better Amazon.
This is where it gets good, they think that they can take on web-giants with a small budget and 1 developer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s possible to create a web-store or ecommerce platform with open source tools and sometimes it works.
You get a share of the profits
When a client doesn’t have money to pay for your services up front they will come up with schemes to get a project for free. One of the most popular that I’ve run into is profit sharing.
Here’s how it works. Client has an amazing and revolutionary idea that can only be developed with your help. Client has no money so in return for your hard work and determination they offer you a chunk of the business.
I have no problem partnering with people that actually have a great idea and I will put effort into things that I strongly believe in. I’m also smart about it and ask for the details of the business, including business plan, marketing strategy, funding opportunities, etc before even remotely thinking of joining up with someone.
If they are not willing to give up any financial information, run away.