I was talking with a mentor of mine last week and he said something that really got me thinking.
There are no bad clients, they treat you how you allow them to.
At a previous agency I worked at, almost every client was demanding, unreasonable and often rude. Or at least that was my perception.
We had created a situation where we reacted to every client request, regardless of how unreasonable it was.
We allowed clients to miss their deadlines but stuck to ones we were given.
We tolerated late payment, even though it put the company in financial difficulties.
This all changes when you show yourself a little respect.
Book work in to fit around your schedule. Most people will respect your process if you explain it clearly at the start.
Be strict with taking deposits BEFORE any work starts.
The RIGHT clients expect this and respect you more for enforcing it.
When you start out in business it's tempting to do everything you can to please your clients.
This is important but you must set reasonable barriers that can't be crossed.
I have a few simple procedures I follow.... And when I discuss them with prospective clients the vast majority don't bat an eyelid. In fact, it can make you appear more organised and professional.
When you provide a professional service many clients will appreciate you guiding them through the process... This is what will separate you from the disorganised competition they may have worked with in the past.
So next time you feel backed into a corner by a client, stand your ground. Be respectful, but have boundaries that you stick to.
It's difficult at first, but the more you take control, the better your client relationships will be.