How to get shitty clients in 3 easy steps

You want the shittiest clients possible, and today I'm going to show you exactly how to do it. You know the client types: Low paying, highly controlling and never happy with your work, no matter how great the project comes out.

These are the clients you want and these are the clients I am going to teach you how to get.

Curious to know how to get the shittest clients? Here's a few quick tips to put you on your way to the most horrible working experience possible as a freelancer.

Ignore buzz kill phrases

Since you want to get the most horrible clients possible, you'll want to look for clients who constantly mention these 5 dreaded buzzkill phrases, even though most freelancers avoid them at all cost.

Things like, this is an easy job, this is the perfect project for your portfolio, it should only take an experienced freelancer an hour, and I have a huge network I can promote your work to are just some of the phrases you want to find, because these will be, statistically, the shittiest clients you'll ever have the pleasure of working for.

They're generally low paying, over demanding, and never satisfied with the work you do, because they're used to hiring out cheap labor and that's all they expect from you.

Promote yourself as a fast, cheap solution

Most freelancers know that there are three things you can be: Good, Fast, and Cheap. You'll generally never be all three of these things, but that's ok, because you want to pick up the shittiest client, so you only need to be two of those things: fast and cheap.

Odds are though that you'll want to also create great work, so you're going to over extend yourself and put out the best output possible, while taking the lowest pay available and do it as fast as humanly possible.

Ignore every gut feeling you have

If you've been freelancing for more than a couple months, you're more than likely able to spot out horrible clients almost immediately. From specific types of clients who you've consistently had problems with in the past (certain niche markets are much more prime for crappy clients than others).

Maybe you recognize the buzz kill phrases, or maybe something about the potential client just bothers you. Regardless, you're going to want to ignore those gut feelings, because we all know they're never right anyways, and if you're looking for the shittiest clients possible, your gut will just get in the way.

Obviously this is all sarcastic

Who wants a shitty client? I know I don't, and I doubt you do either.

So if you're going to read over this post and gain anything from it, you're going to want to re-read it and do the exact opposite of what I'm recommending here.

Follow your gut, keep an eye out for buzz kill phrases, and always put your best work out, charging accordingly. Never put up with a shitty client, fire them if you need to, and always value your work.

If you don't, those shitty clients will recognize it, prey on you and use you, and we don't want that.


  1. Isidora says:

    Oh, my personal favourite are those that are all ‘I want high quality work for low price’. You know the type, if you could do this and this and that for $0.nothing, then you’re my man :D O, and they always want a freelancer that is friendly and communicative. They actually want you to smile while being robbed blind :D
    The sad thing is that there are quite a number of freelancers that agree to this.

    • Mike Smith says:

      Yes, a lot of these shitty clients will push the boundaries as far as you let them. On the flip side, I’ve had a client who I’ve done work for over the past 3+ years and if it’s something really small they need done, I’ll offer to just knock it out for him, but he refuses unless he pays me.

      The trick is, spotting the weak clients and avoiding them like the plague :)

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