4 Myths & Facts of Freelance Client Management
Incoming understatement: It’s not easy to manage clients, especially as an HSP or neurodivergent business owner. Here are 4 myths and facts of freelance client management I’ve learned the hard way in the last few years.
Myth: You’re worried about coming across “pushy” or “salesy” by sending a detailed proposal, insisting on a particular payment structure, or refusing to move forward without a test project.
Fact: Well, there are two facts here. One is this: Any time you have a lack of clarity, no matter how miniscule the detail, that shit will come back to haunt you. No exceptions.
Other fact: If you’re tentative or hesitant about what you need, the client perceives this as wishy-washy. And anytime they sense your uncertainty, it makes them nervous AF. (It also makes them think your rates are negotiable, which…no.)
Myth: Clients are surprised / offended when they get a long, legal-sounding contract from a freelancer.
Fact: Contracts make you look super profesh. When you send a contract, it signals how seriously you take your business (and yourself). Any client that acts surprised or offended, or tries to rewrite your process is a 🚩HUGE RED FLAG. 🚩
Myth: “So-and-so’s cool! We’re not going to have any problems. I don’t need to do all that official shit for THEM.”
Fact: What you avoid today in the name of getting started right away, or being “easy to work with,” or being friends with somebody, will cause endless hours of extra labor, frustration and anger on both sides, and eat up whatever time and mental energy you thought you were saving.
Myth: “I’m auditioning for this great gig. I hope they pick me!”
Fact: You are not auditioning; the client is. Are you the best person to help them, or not? That’s up to you. You’re the expert. If *they* act like you’re auditioning… you probably won’t get the gig anyway, so don’t sweat it.
Clients want to feel like they’ve made the right choice. They don’t want to feel stupid or get f’d over.
Your clearly defined processes, policies, and fee structures, as well as a clear roadmap of what’s going to happen when, is not just about protecting your own boundaries—
It’s good customer service.
Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.
She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.
Emails for cult thought leaders.
Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?
I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.
(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)
*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.
Books. Cats. Rants. Drawrings.
(and every couple months or so, an unexplained absence 🤷🏻)