Category: Client Nightmares

The #1 Thing Your Clients Secretly Don’t Want You to F*ck Up

So the other day I almost got a boob job. Except by “boob job,” what I really mean to say is BREAST REDUCTION. You know how some people spontaneously splurge at, like, Target? It was sort of like that, except I had already been doing tons of research on the website Real Self, and had selected a doctor or two in Philadelphia that I thought would do a pretty snazzy job. Fast forward to when I just spent October and

The Three-Deadline Rule for Requesting Client Feedback

I’ve worked with a loooootttttttttt of kick ass writing clients over the years, and you know what’s always the hardest part? Never the writing. Always the logistics. If you do any kind of creative work, at some point you will need to request client feedback before you can move onto the next stage. Maybe you need an opinion; maybe you need more information; maybe you want to get a gut check before moving forward. (I actually really like this part

“I AM The Best—And I Didn’t Get That Way By Letting Other People Call the Shots”

There’s a line in the show Suits when Harvey Specter says: “I AM the best. And I didn’t get that way by letting other people call the shots.” By “other people,” he’s referring to his clients, of course, all of whom have paid him very good money to do what he does best—and yet still attempt to drive the boat themselves. They’re difficult; they disagree; they push back; they become little green monsters the moment money has changed hands. Because

My Two-Word Trick for Getting Over the Hump When You Have ZERO Motivation to Work On That Awful Client Project and You Sorta Kinda Hate Life and Humans In General and SOMEBODY SAVE MEEEEEEEE

When you’re having trouble finding the motivation, reframe it. Back in the day when I was young and silly and wasn’t selective about the types of clients I was writing for (AND WE ALL KNOW HOW FAR THAT RABBIT HOLE GOES), I’d often find myself doing work I didn’t particularly want to be doing. Can you fucking imagine? Work that felt like actual, physical torture. I’d look at the page and my brain would be like, SHUT DOWN NOW! SHUT

The Other 50%: What Your Clients Really Want

She looked at me with worried eyes. “Do you really think my business is going to be great?” she asked, clenching her hands together. That’s when I knew what she needed. Not more advice. Not more brand strategy. Not more discussion on what she’s selling, and how she should position it. “J,” I said, turning to face her. I placed my hands on her shoulders, and looked her directly in the eyes. “I’m the best writer in this business. And

Turn Your Preferences Into Little Policies—And Your Stress Levels Will Thank the Shit Out of You

Know the way you work best. If you hate email, ask your clients to Vox you, instead. If you hate being that accessible, ask them to set up a call. If you never want to answer another Facebook message again, don’t. If you don’t ever want to work another Monday in your life, design it into your schedule—and then stick to it. One of the cool things about starting your own gig is that it really is your own. Your

You Don’t Have to Be an Asshole to Be an Authority

There’s a conflict between authority and earnestness. You want to be viewed as an expert…but you also want to be down-to-earth. You want people to respect you…but you also want to be relatable. You want to command high fees…but you also want to be accessible. Most people flip flop back and forth between these two extremes. They’re either all business—but missing any real connection—or they’re all earnestness—but missing the respect. But this isn’t a zero sum game. You don’t need

Sometimes “It Is What It Is” = Best Business Policy of All

Yesterday I stumbled across a website called—are you ready for this? Yoga For Bad People. Now, when you just read that, you either had one of two reactions: 1) Fucking love it. 2) Not for me. And that is what the branding is meant to do—attract the people who will love them, while actively repelling the people who won’t. Too often, we go to great lengths to attract, but not repel. We don’t like to tell anyone they don’t belong.

Ass-Scratching Business Conundrum: Is It Worth It to Go Out of Your Way…Or Not?

You know what’s really messed up? Internet connections. Here we are building these creepy little awesome robots that get injected INSIDE YOUR BODY to cure cancer….making camouflage suits inspired by the octopus that automatically read their environment and adapt to mimic their surroundings, and coming out with wireless electricity, for the love of Edison…but you think I can get Gmail to load? Forget it. I’m pretty sure I have an internet curse. No matter where I go in the world,

How to Say No To Your Clients Without Being a Bitch

I want to talk about managing clients today, because everybody seems to have a love/hate relationship with theirs, and my theory is that the hate part comes from one of two sources: Tightwads. (Don’t work with them.) Not knowing how to tell them to BACK OFF, HOMIE. Begin a slow clap if you’ve experienced this popular scenario: Client pays you. Client feels entitled to your soul. Whether they’re being stage-five-clinger needy, asking for more (more & more), showing up in