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When Is It Okay (and NOT Okay) To Work for Free?

If you’re relatively new to the freelance game, or even if you’re well-established with a lot to offer, you’ll likely get asked to offer up your services pro bono.

“We can’t pay anything, but it will be great exposure!”

This was my number one warning sign of a sucky clientNo matter how much you like doing what you do, you work to make money, and if you don’t respect your own time no one else will either. That said, there are exceptions to every rule, for both rookie and veteran freelancers. So when is it ok to forget the invoice and work for free?

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6 Ways To Avoid Sucky Clients

Part II

In the first post I outlined Warning Signs of Sucky Clients. “That’s all well and good,” you may be saying. “How do I not get those?” Well, reader whose mind I just pretended to read for dramatic effect… I’ll tell you! What follows are six ways to avoid troublesome clients in the first place. The first two points deal with standards you should implement anyway (preferably before you land your first client); the ones after will either weed out sucky clients or prevent clients from becoming sucky.

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5 Ways to Identify Sucky Clients

Part I

With some hard work and maybe a little investment, any freelancer can land a client once in a while. And once you get the hang of it, establish repeatable processes, and get a few referrals, you can land a lot! The problem for any freelancer (or really any business that operates off a clientele) is that, frankly, some clients suck. Some will try to screw you over, some don’t communicate, some will be extraordinarily difficult to work with… some, all of the above. So how do you weed out the all-stars from the undesirables? Here are some red flags to watch out for.Read More


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