Let’s Discuss: The Client Conundrum

Always Gettin’ Poked

We love our clients…or at least we do until the work starts. Anyone in advertising, especially creatives can tell you how frustrating feedback can often times be. That’s not to say that all clients come with ridiculous requests, but there are the few that stand out for exactly that.

As a copywriter and freelancer, I’ve had my fair share of experiences in dealing with “picky” or “indecisive” clients, sometimes the end result still comes out great and other times…well, I wouldn’t be putting it in my portfolio any time soon.

The most frustrating of the lot? Those clients that came to you with a “new” project and want to see a number of mockups before the “work can begin.” In most instances, no matter how many mockups you give them, they always find an excuse and you’ve just done the work for free without ever seeing a paycheck in the end. But that’s ok, you get used to it…eventually.

Yet, how do we protect ourselves from difficult clients or those who just waste our time and resources only to leave us high and dry at the very end? The truth: you really can’t. Sure, there are contracts you should always have written up and signed ensuring that the work you do gets compensated for, but what about the “pitch” phase? Working at an agency you enjoy this part, no matter the end the result. But freelancing? Well, that’s the conundrum. You give every client the benefit of the doubt, why? Because you need the business and you jump into every project hoping they’ll sign off and the work will begin…no matter how many rounds of free mockups you create.

But that’s just one bit, the more frustrating and sometimes entertaining instances are those involving client feedback. Below are a couple of great ones heard around the interwebs, posters created by Mark and Paddy:








Check out more here.


It’s important to note that there’s no such thing as a “bad” client. It’s up to us to ensure the relationships work out and are beneficial to both ends of the party. If they don’t, simply let it go and move on.

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