How to Freelance for Mobile Developers lesson 5 - Dealing With Challenging Clients - Freelance Kung Fu


Published on
How to Freelance for Mobile Developers lesson 6 Dealing With Challenging Clients. In this episode we cover several different types of challenging clients you may run into and how you can use your Freelance Kung Fu to protect yourself from harm.

Published in: Education, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

How to Freelance for Mobile Developers lesson 5 - Dealing With Challenging Clients - Freelance Kung Fu

  1. 1. How to Freelance for Mobile Developers Lesson 5 of 6 Dealing with Challenging Clients – Freelance Kung Fu
  2. 2. The Facts● Like it or not, if you go down the freelancing road, you are going to have to constantly be dealing with clients.● It can be quite exciting to meet new people and and companies and work on new things.● It can also test your resolve and patience at times because you cant completely control or predict the clients that may come your way.● You do however have some influence and ability to control how you behave and this can make all the difference.
  3. 3. Your Approach● How you approach finding clients from the very start can have a huge impact.● Are you posting your services into Craigslist? Well dont be surprised to find questionable clients who dont want to pay very much.● How are you wording your posts and the copy on your website? Does it look and sound professional? Do you sound confident when you speak?● When you meet a client for the first time, what kind of message are you sending. Clients can smell fear and a lack of confidence a mile a way.● Just like Apple has proven, design matters! How you set up deals, communicate with clients and present yourself are all part of the design equation.
  4. 4. Freelance Kung Fu● The freelance world can be a tough place sometimes and there are a numerous questionable companies and individuals out there who will try and take advantage of you and your inexperience.● If you are not careful, you can get “beat up” and without a system or approach for protecting yourself, you put yourself at risk.● One of the best things that ever happened to me in my youth was being exposure to Martial arts. Martial Arts taught me discipline, self control and enabled me with the confidence and ability to protect myself in self defence when needed.● I believe these ideas can be carried over into the realm of freelance development.● I believe you can learn to develop your Freelance Kung Fu and once you have mastered it, learn to avoid taking on problem clients before they even have a chance to become a problem.
  5. 5. Opponent 1 - The Creeping Feature● The creeping feature attack is characterized by an initial agreement to implement a set of agreed upon features followed by a series of repeated requests for new functionality and additions that were never discussed.● The feature creep technique can be countered or even prevented by clearly defining and agreeing on the scope of the project before it begins.● Also, making it clear that extra changes or feature requests that fall outside the scope will cost extra will help to minimize this attack.
  6. 6. Opponent 2 – The Low Ball of Fury● This attack is characterized by the single minded focus on the price of the project right from the beginning.● Regardless of what your quote is, the low ball of fury will always try to get an even lower price.● There are several defensive techniques to this attack which include quoting an initial inflated price.● By quoting a higher initial price, you have room to back off, giving the low ball of fury the feeling of victory, but arriving at what you wanted to charge anyway.● Another effective technique is to hold your ground and be unwilling to compromise on your pricing.● When the low ball of fury senses your confidence and willingness to walk away, they will often back down.
  7. 7. Opponent 3 – The Octopus Hands● The octopus hands attack is characterized by micromanagement. In this attack, the many hands of the octopus reach in and try to control every aspect of the project, effectively overriding your judgements and experience.● Once they take hold, the octopus hands can be almost impossible to remove, so the best counter to this is to make sure then never get a grip in the first place.● Your clearly worded service agreement can help keep the octopus hands at bay, so make sure to put quite a bit of effort into describing the responsibilities of you and the client clearly.
  8. 8. Opponent 4 – Attack of Urgency● The attack of urgency is characterized by a series of blindingly fast requests that you are expected to deal with at a moments notice.● The attacker will make you believe that the fate of the universe is in your hands unless you can complete your task by the ridiculous deadline you are given at the last minute.● For reasons we dont quite now, this attack is quite frequent on a Friday at 4:00.● A good counter to this technique is to be very clear about what your contact hours are in your service agreement and to make it clear that work done outside those hours will be billable at a premium rate.● When forced to pay a premium for urgent work, these attack diminish greatly.
  9. 9. Opponent 5 – Hands on Hands Off● While the attack of the octopus would be considered overly hands on, there is an opposite attack we call hands off.● The hands off attack consists of the attacker doing or saying very little if anything at all.● With no feedback to go by, good or bad, the freelancer is more less left to make their best guess and hope it sticks.● While many of the counters thus far of been defensive, you must take an offensive stance to neutralize this attack. You need to take control and guide and move the client along and ensure you are delivering what you promised.
  10. 10. Opponent 6 - Golden Peacock● The golden peacock attack can be effectively employed on both the novice and fairly experience freelancer.● The technique essentially involves dazzling the freelancer with the “You should be so lucky to work with client or company xyz on project abc” move, enticing the freelancer to agree to work for next to nothing for the glory of working on the project in the first place.● The most effective counter to this is to remain steady in your pricing and be willing to walk away.
  11. 11. Opponent 7 – The Extortionist● The extortionist is an opponent you dont ever want to deal with as a freelancer.● Essentially the extortionist client uses money to control and abuse the freelancer.● This attack typically happens right before a major or final payment in a project and involves the client extorting extra work and services from the developer by withholding payment until they comply.● For me, this is the kiss of death. Any client that does this, will never get a second shot, because I wont ever do business with them again.● If you feel you may be dealing with this type of client, an effective technique is to get them to pay up front for each phase of the project.
  12. 12. Opponent 8 – Crouching Tiger Hidden Promises● This is one of the most common attacks used on the newbie freelancer.● Essentially the client baits the freelancer with the promise of future riches and success if theyre willing to take the hit now and give the client the sale of the century on this project.● In interesting counter move to this attack is to propose put these future promises in writing.● When the client backtracks and says they cant guarantee what the future will bring, stick to your guns and your original price!
  13. 13. Confucius Say...● Confucius say ... “He who fail to plan, plan to fail”.● This is characterized by the client who lacks a solid understanding of the process, technologies and business of the project they think they want to start.● The bottom line is they just really havent taken the time to think things through and this makes them among one of the most dangerous clients of all to take on.● The best counter to this attack is to steer clear of it in the first place.● You may also choose to counter this attack with a series of paid consulting sessions to help the client clarify and focus their thoughts and plans.
  14. 14. The Dream Client● They do exist ... but they are rare.● They always pay on time.● They dont haggle on your rate and price.● The have real integrity.● They express appreciation for your work.● They treat you with respect.● The provide constructive and timely feedback.● They have realistic timelines and expectations.
  15. 15. One Client or Many● While it can be tempting to latch onto one big client to bring in the bacon, this can be problematic.● Basically you are putting all your eggs in one basket and taking a risk if you adopt this approach.● If the client becomes a problem, then your major source of income could quickly dry up or disappear.● Ive found that having multiple clients at the same time is a healthier approach. By doing things this way, I am not relying on any one particular client to supply my income. Its kinda of like diversifying your assets when investing.
  16. 16. The Client is not Always Right!● There are a lot of armchair quarterbacks out there that will tell you “The Client is always right”.● Lets be honest, clients are wrong sometimes and make mistakes just like you and I.● One of your jobs as a freelancer is to provide them with factual information and unbiased advice.● Sometimes you are going to have to tell clients things they dont want to hear, but you need to be truthful and assertive.● When you argue with reality, reality wins .. and only 100% of the time.
  17. 17. Cutting the Cord● There may come a day in your freelance career that a client has become a liability.● There are certain types of clients that can become toxic to your mental and financial well being● When you identify a client has become toxic, there is usually one one course of actual, which is self preservation.● You need to cut these toxic clients out of your business and out of your life as soon as you recognize its happening and move on.
  18. 18. Integrity● Integrity is the adherence to moral and ethical principles.● There are far to many companies and people who lack integrity in this day and age. It needs to stop.● Just like the warriors of old lived by a code, so should you.● As a developer and human being, you should strive to say what you do and do what you say.● You should be truthful and honest.● You should be ethical and moral and fair in all your business decisions and in your actions.● In the future, your reputation will be your most important currency you have, so dont tarnish it.
  19. 19. ● If you are interested in learning more about how to develop mobile Apps, visit and get instant access to over 30 free videos today!● Follow me on twitter at @appbuildertv