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Why I don’t work with clients who do these things

Emma L
2 min readJun 20


And why you shouldn’t, either.

As a freelancers or business owners, we’re told to provide a level of service to keep clients coming back: regular communication, meet deadlines, deliver, deliver, deliver.

But what about how clients work with us?

This matters, too.

I’ve heard many stories about the way some clients treat freelancers and have been treated poorly, too, without questioning it.

Well, no more. I will no longer tolerate certain behaviours from clients because I value what I do, and I value myself.

And you should, too.

Micro-managing me

Some clients think of you as their employee and want to treat you this way. I had one client who was continually messaging me through the day, asking me what I had done, if I’d sent an email yet, if I’d heard from their customer yet. Some clients need to remember that you’re a business owner like them, you don’t work just for them and you have a bunch of other clients you provide services for.

Irregular contact

When I’ve completed a piece of work, I expect to hear from the client within a reasonable time frame. Even if they can’t reply, it’s nice to get a message to say they’ll be away for a period of time. Then you know where you are.

Threats to take their work elsewhere

This has happened when a client has had unrealistic expectations. Like expecting a response to their email sent at 2am. Or having a draft ready within 2 days. (This is why it’s so important to set boundaries right from the beginning.)

When a client says ‘there are hundreds of others I could turn to who would do a much better job’, it’s a way of getting me to do what they want in case I lose them.’

Don’t be afraid of that. It’s not worth it.

Being ghosted

It doesn’t just happen with dating. Clients ghost you, too.

One client had some regular work for me, and after a couple of weeks work, I never heard from them again. Repeated attempts at contact, and I was ignored.

I get that things happen, but always let you know where you stand.

These behaviours I just won’t tolerate anymore. Badly behaving clients can make you lose confidence and feel like you’re not good enough.

What behaviour do you not tolerate from clients? I’d love to hear what you think!

About me

I set up my writing platform and business to help guide and coach others on how to find a better job, earn more, have better working relationships and find another income later in life.

You can find out more at



Emma L

Content writer and editor | Sustainability| Career & Workplace | Education | Career coach |