There are going to be times when you’ll encounter and have to work with difficult clients during your copywriting career. The sad fact is that writers all too often get abused by a customer which can be hard to swallow, especially as we work in one industry where the client receives the goods BEFORE they’re paid for!
Difficult clients come in all shapes and sizes. They may demand more for their money than they originally asked for and as such hold you to ransom refusing to pay until the extra work is done, which can be very annoying as it tends to mess up a work schedule.
Other excuses often used by the “difficult client” include the following:
- I am TOO busy to get back to you until I feel like it
- I have another full-time job and will only get back to you when I get home from work
- I am the client, therefore what I say goes!
- I have changed my mind, please rewrite the copy
- You misread my brief
- I forgot to say, I need to copy back tomorrow at the very latest
All of the above are a real ‘pain in the butt’ for copywriters because it puts us in an impossible position. We want to keep the client “sweet”, but at the same time we know they have to be told about acceptable boundaries. Holding a copywriter to ransom is a definite NO-NO and this type of client not only needs to be exposed, but taught a lesson in professionalism and manners too!
But what is the solution? How do you cope with difficult clients? How do you deal with a situation that puts you as a copywriter in a very awkward position?
The answer is to remain polite but to make it quite clear that you are not amused nor are you happy about the situation and the clients behaviour. If the client threatens to leave negative feedback on the site you’re working on, contact Admin immediately and cover your back. Admin will go over all the messages between you and the client and will soon see if they have been difficult or not. The key is to never work offsite and to never leave an angry message in your client’s workstream that could negatively impact the outcome of a dispute.
Sadly the internet is a breeding ground for people who behave badly and still remain anonymous. They use it to their advantage whenever they can. The need for so much content and the number of copywriters around today, makes it that much easier for difficult clients to make your life miserable. The key to avoiding these situations, is to carefully vet an employer BEFORE you agree to work with them. It won’t stop the abuse from happening altogether, but it will certainly reduce the chances of having to deal with difficult clients too often!
Author: Honey M Wood – copywriter extraordinaire!
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