A potential client asked me to design a marketing campaign for his new soap and body products store. I sent him a detailed proposal and my rates.
He responded that it all sounded great, and that he was excited to bring me onboard. But, a few days later, he told me that with the budget constraints of starting a new business, he couldn’t afford to hire me just yet. I told him I would be happy to discuss this all again when he was ready, and we left on good terms.
I went into his store once and it was mostly empty, so I bought myself some nice soap and we chatted about politics and the news. It was all very friendly.
Over the next month, he sent me several emails asking questions and making suggestions about his campaign. I answered his questions, assured him that his ideas were great, and I told him that I would be happy to implement some of them if and when he could hire me.
Two months after our initial discussion, he emailed me in a panic, angry about how his sales weren’t increasing. When I responded, asking what sort of marketing he was doing, he was shocked.
Client: You mean to tell me that you haven’t been working on my campaign at all over the last eight weeks? All this time you’ve been sitting there doing nothing!?
Me: I’m sorry, there must have been a big miscommunication. We never signed a contract and you made it clear you didn’t have a budget to hire me. So no, I have not been working on your project for the last two months. But we can fix this- let’s meet tonight and get this campaign started!
Client: Why bother? Don’t you know the first few months of business are the most important time for marketing!? I thought you understood. This is a disaster. I can’t believe you did this to me.
Needless to say, his fancy storefront has since shut down.