How many times have you been burned by an a-hole client? We've all been there and while we hope it's the last one we will ever encounter I'm gonna share two tricks with you on how to weed out the A-Holes so only the best and most perfect clients riding unicorns get to work with you.
I've been there. Just today I was looking through some of my old files and found a contract where I put a big fat stupid ZERO on a contract. Like really. I'm going to hold you to this contract where you owe me exactly nothing. WTF was I thinking? It was early on in my business and that client knew how to take advantage of me. As for me, I was ripe for the picking. I learned my lesson.
Trick #1 Know Who You Really Wanna Work With
Make sure these people are awesome and a pleasure to work with. You can spot an A-Hole if they tell you:
They've worked with 37 other designers before you OR
They only work with designers that give free consults OR
That you'll get great exposure by doing this work for free OR
They ask 631 questions about you and you can't get a question in about them OR
They want you to guarantee that there won't be a single problem through the entire project and YOU are responsible for it all.
Trick #2 Make Them Jump Through A Hoop
Because you're not a 24-hour convenience store, you are not available when they snap their fingers. If they would like to work with you, the design goddess of creativity and slayer of shitty decor, you should have a qualification process in place before you take one single dollar from them.
This is about making sure you're both an ideal fit for each other. Have them fill out an application to talk to you on the phone. Find out their history. Find out what they deem a success when it comes to completion on a design project. What are their expectations?