how to deal with difficult clients as a freelance content writer

How To Deal With Difficult Clients As A Freelancer Content Writer

As a content writer, the freelancing realm has its own challenges and barriers that you have to overcome during your career. One of the most common challenges a freelance writer faces is dealing with difficult clients. A failure in strategically dealing with these clients can lead to a tense working environment and affect your productivity. 

These clients can impact your productivity and motivation negatively with their extra demanding and over-critical behavior. However, you can utilize some strategies to deal with these difficult clients and build a balanced long-term work relationship.  In the article below, we will discuss what issues you could face while dealing with difficult clients and how you can avoid the mess professionally. 

Keep reading to the end and get expert tips and insights that will help you while dealing with difficult and challenging clients.  

Who Is A Difficult Client:

In the world of freelancing, you will have the experience of working with different types of clients. Some of these will be like a supportive leader and some can be irritating and hard to work with. A difficult client is one who always makes your job more difficult with their demands, lack of communication, and expectations without understanding the reality and effects.  

There are many types of difficult clients, i.e. perfectionists, micromanagers, scope creep, unsure of what they need, bad communicators, non-payers, and rushers. All of these make your work more difficult with their uncertain behavior and demands. It is fundamental to recognize a problematic client from the start and pursue strategically to avoid most of the conflict while dealing with difficult clients

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Main Reasons for Client Difficulties:

The most common reasons for clients’ difficulties are unclear instructions, inflexibility, and lack of trust. 

Unclear Instructions:

Some clients struggle to clearly define their needs and specific requirements. This can lead to a huge misunderstanding between the client’s needs and the writer’s understanding. The best way to avoid this is to ask as many questions as you can to get every little detail of what your client actually needs. 


Sometimes clients can be egotistical and inflexible to others’ opinions. They never compromise on their terms without understanding how badly it can affect the interests of the project. So, don’t try to convince them instead try to understand their perspective, highlight the red flags, and work accordingly. 

Lack Of Trust:

When a client is not sure about your skills, experience, and professionalism, it leads to a lack of trust and micromanagement. You have to build your credibility and trust by showing your expertise and efficiency by showing the best results and output.  

Signs You Are Dealing With A Difficult Client:

It is crucial to figure out and take precautions while dealing with a difficult client. You can identify a problematic client by the red flags mentioned below. 

  • Unwilling for a written contract
  • Unachievable deadlines 
  • Changing at the final moment
  • Unnecessary revisions
  • Lack of communication 
  • Micromanaging and netpicking
  • Negative feedback
  • Late payments

Tips For Dealing With Difficult Clients:

Set Clear Boundaries:

You can manage client’s expectations and ensure a smooth working environment by clearly establishing the boundaries before starting work. This includes defining the project scope, expressing the final output, mentioning deadlines for each task, and sharing communication channels to clear any misconceptions and some creeping. 

Clear Communication:

Effective communication is the key to success in freelancing. Clear communication can help you to build strong relations with your clients and build trust. It is fundamental to maintain regular contact with your clients to listen and clear their concerns while dealing with difficult clients. Always keep your client updated about your progress and any unexpected delays. 

Don’t Involve Your Ego:

It’s necessary to be professional and not involve ego and personal feelings when working with challenging clients. Always take the criticism professionally and be focused on the needs and goals of the project without taking it personally. 

Focus on the Solution without Getting In Arguments:

Don’t get into an argument with a difficult client while facing challenges. Instead, focus on the solutions and get rid of the problem without wasting your time and energy in arguing and discussions. 

Maintain a Record of Everything:

Maintaining a record of agreements, project requirements, changes, and client interaction can save you in case of a conflict later. Always maintain a record of your project from day one to ensure clarity about the scope of the project and the client’s expectations in case of a dispute. 

Try to Relate To the Client’s Perspective:

Understanding your client’s point of view and concerns can help you find better solutions and solve the problems. You can get their perspective by discussing everything in detail and listening to their POV. 

Be Patient and Professional While Dealing With Difficult Clients:

Patience is a virtue while working with difficult and problematic clients. Avoid reacting impulsively and maintain professional behavior in every frustrating situation. A calm behavior can keep you more productive and keep the tensions away while dealing with difficult clients.

How To Walk Away From A Difficult Client Without Making It Worst:

At the last, the final option for you is to walk away from that problematic client without making things further worse. It is better to respectfully express reasons for your walk away from the project professionally. 

If you are quitting, complete your current assignments and follow any pre-settled terms of the project. You can also show professional behavior by offering a good alternative or recommending any other freelancer to the client. A professional walkaway will keep the opportunities for future collaboration and recommendations from the client.  

What To Learn From Your Experience of Dealing With Difficult Clients:

As a professional freelancer, it’s your responsibility to take valuable lessons from any bad experience to deal the things in a better way next time. Here are a few things you should do after a bad working experience.

  1. Document the whole case for a better understanding 
  2. Reflect on the situation and think of any better alternate solutions
  3. Identify the areas where you may have mishandled the situation
  4. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses 
  5. Discuss with other colleagues and get their point of view

Conclusion: Dealing With Difficult Clients

As a content writer, you need a multifaceted approach while dealing with difficult clients

You can avoid making things worse by following some effective steps including effective communication, documenting everything, and setting clear boundaries. 

Keeping a proper record of everything can diffuse the tension and unnecessary arguments about the scope and deliverables of the project. Always be patient and professional and try to solve things professionally, but if nothing works as a solution gently walk away from the project while dealing with difficult clients. 

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FAQs: Dealing With Difficult Clients

How can I set clear boundaries while working with difficult clients?

You can set clear boundaries by clearly defining scope, deliverables, limitations, and other necessary insights to your client from day one. 

How to maintain professionalism while dealing with difficult clients?

You can maintain professionalism by staying calm and focused on the solutions and not taking any type of criticism personally. 

What should one learn from a bad working experience?

You have to learn about your strengths and weaknesses and flash back on the alternative options for dealing with this. 


17 responses to “How To Deal With Difficult Clients As A Freelancer Content Writer”

  1. Aiman Fatima Avatar
    Aiman Fatima

    Good job Abdul Haseeb 👏🏻
    I want to appreciate your work on describing the detail strategies of how to deal with difficult clients as a Freelancer. Your article offers valuable insights and practical advice that can greatly benefit fellow freelancers facing challenging client situations.
    I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.☺️

    1. Thanks a lot for your detailed feedback. I am happy you found this helpful

  2. Very well articulated.
    Great tips shared to handle the tricky clients.

      1. Great job Abdul Hasseb. Well articulated..

  3. Afeera Saqib Avatar
    Afeera Saqib

    Good job! Abdul Haseeb
    Have highlighted effectively all the major issues faced by freelancers & their logical solutions while dealing with difficult clients in freelancing.

    1. Thanks for your kind words: I am glad my content deals best with the reader concerns

  4. Okechukwu Ramsey Avatar
    Okechukwu Ramsey

    Very well penned down,
    A difficult Client is a bad client, that is like a sharp pain in the neck, that wants to suck out your life with their boring jobs of risk and uncertainty.

    Thank you for sharing this
    Abdul HASEEB

    1. Exactly, thanks a lot for your brief feedback about the topic.

  5. Shabana Akhtar Avatar
    Shabana Akhtar

    You have provided good solutions and suggestions for effectively handling difficult clients. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I am Glad you found this helpful

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