1. Wants to Be #1 on Google
Of course, this is “the goal” for any SEO strategy, but improving keyword rankings, gaining good backlinks, and engaging search engines organically takes time, quality content, and trial and error. If your client tells you he wants to be #1 on Google, chances are they want this to happen tomorrow, and if that's true, there’s little chance you’ll ever keep them happy.
2. Questions the Strategy...Constantly
There’s a big difference between not understanding a plan of action vs. not liking the approach, so you constantly call the process into question. If you’re noticing that your client expects you to reexplain your strategy each time you meet, it could spell trouble.
A good way to decipher whether the questions derive from genuine confusion vs. manipulation is by taking notes during each meeting to chronicle which questions were asked and how they were answered. Following each meeting, send all finalized notes to your client. And if the same questions arise, and you find yourself experiencing a repeat of the previous discussion, then you have your answer.
3. Has Multiple POCs
When you work with business owners, it’s not uncommon to collaborate with other members of their team. However, if no one on the team is communicating with one another, you could find yourself in the middle of all the chaos. Take, for example, you submit a design proof to the “designated” POC of the project and learn a few days later (past its deadline) that no one else received it because the POC forgot to share it with the rest of the team. Though this isn’t your fault, this minor misstep can make you look unprofessional and unreliable.
4. Wants No Involvement in the Project
Yes, your client hired you to handle all the intricate details of the creative project. But if clients don’t want to invest their time, collaborate, or give feedback, the chances of making them happy are slim. As a business owner, you care about your brand’s image and how customers connect with your products or services. If your client is showing little interest in the work you’re putting into the brand, you might experience delays in the approval process, miss out on information that’s crucial to the success of the project, or create something that doesn’t align with the client’s goals.
5. Has No Budget
Similar to not having the time investment for a project, if your client doesn’t have the financial investment, this usually means they have no plan and no perspective on the cost for professional design services. Payment plans are a good option for clients who genuinely want to make the investment, but can’t give you the full retainer up front. However, if it sounds like they want a Porsche for the price of a Kia, that’s where you’ll run into trouble.
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