Client: The illustrations on this file look blurry.
Me: (internally) WELL YEAH IF YOU'RE ZOOMED IN 423% YOUR 2-INCH FILE'S GONNA LOOK A LITTLE BLURRY KAREN.
I was hired to write copy for an app marketing company as a freelancer. Right after I was hired, the marketing manager told me he had a "small" projects that needed to be done right away. He needed the copy by tomorrow.
Client: I just need 6 cold e-mail options. I want people to sign-up to use the app. This will go to business people on LinkedIn. The job should only take you a couple of hours.
Me: Can you give me more information about the desired tone, audience, or main selling points of the app?
Client: I just want executives to find out more about this app. That's all.
Me: I think this will take more than a couple of hours with research and drafts for us to review, but let me see what I can do.
I researched the app, researched cold e-mail copy examples, and wrote 6 versions of a friendly and approachable e-mail trying to describe the benefits of a generic app. He then criticized the copy and said he wasn't very happy with any of it (even though I have been a copywriter for over 6 years with lots of happy clients).
Me: That's what you get when you don't provide a Creative Brief and you want a quick turnaround.
The client never paid me and we never spoke again.
I was working with a company in Nairobi.
Client: Here are some photos of our team doing tech. Use them, please.
Client: Uum...these don't look 'techy' enough.
Me: Those are the photos you gave me. What do you want to be changed?
Client: Can you maybe make us look more professional? More tech-focused?
They were all already sitting in front of computers.
Client: Here are some photos of our chief investors. Digitally insert them into the previous ones. Make them look like they're really in our Nairobi office with us.
They gave me new photos. All of their investors were white.
Client: Oh, and can you make their eyes blue and their hair a little blonde, please?
I'm not sure who I'm upset with here, but the answer might be "everyone."
A client who runs a software company wanted me to design an e-mail newsletter. He didn't give me much direction, just that his goal was to get people to sign-up to receive for a promotional giveaway. I was already seeing red flags, but I decided to go ahead with the work anyway.
I designed a newsletter that matched the colors and fonts of his logo and website, with tech-savvy phrases, modern colors, and fonts.
Client: Here, let me work on it.
A day later, I looked at how he re-designed the newsletter. It had neon BOGO!! and BUY NOW!! phrases all over it, in bright green and red colors and large bold Times New Roman Font.
I didn't follow up with him after that.
At the time I was working as a solo attorney. I knew this guy who owned a few small businesses, who would often post about people in our ethnic community "not supporting each other" or "always trying to get something for free." Imagine my surprise when I received this Facebook message at two in the morning:
Client: If you have a minute and won't charge me $$ like my lawyer is by the minute right now, I was wondering how serious is this language in a contract
He then pasted a large non-disparagement clause from some contract.
I didn’t respond because I don’t work for free, especially not at two in the morning for someone who didn’t even pretend to plan to pay me.
Later the next day, I got this message:
Client: Hey not sure if you got a chance to think about it, our lawyer said we should be good with it. Thanks anyways.
I was hired by a company to build up its brand online. I looked at what they already had done, and I noticed that the client's daughter was in charge previously. Sales had been very, very low.
As a digital marketer, I had about 10 years of experience. I proceeded to double the sales of the business over the next few months. During this time, I was bullied by the business owner's family members, who didn't understand how digital marketing works.
Client: We have hired someone new who will be coming in soon to work on marketing with you.
Me: Ok, thanks for letting me know.
The next week, I get an e-mail from the client's daughter (only a couple of years out of college, the one who had previously almost sunk the brand), stating she will be my new Director.
I quit that day.