How NOT to get a freelancer

If you are a potential client looking to work with me (or most designers) there are a few things to keep in mind regarding your job post that will affect whether or not I respond to your request. The following is a list of things I encounter most often that make me decline to bid on your project.

1. The “Code Word”
I absolutely despise those job posts that you get to the bottom of and it says something like “Start your bid with the word ‘Rainbow’ so we know you read the full job post”.  Really? Because you can’t quickly tell the difference between someone who truly read your post and responded intelligently and those which are robotic responses?

2. “It’s A Simple Job For A Skilled Person”
How would you know how simple it is if you aren’t skilled enough to do it yourself? Even if it is simple, this comes across as in you don’t place much value on this task or the person doing it.

Don’t scream at me, I have a headache. Is this a Napoleon Complex thing? Do you feel bigger when you write in all caps? Or, is it a lazy thing, because I love working with lazy people.

4. Repeat Requesters
Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Can I have a cookie? Can I have a cookie? Can I have a cookie? I hate it when my kids do this to me. You ask me to bid on your job and I decline the invitation citing I am unavailable, so 5 minutes later I get the same request again… how about now? 10 minutes later…ok, how about now?

5. Once Burned Twice Shy
I’m sorry that your previous experiences working with other artists have been less than perfect. And I will do my best to show you a positive experience. Putting unreasonable timeframes and pricing on me just because your last freelancer couldn’t deliver is no way to start a good working relationship.

6. A List of Demands
If you write your request as if it is a list of demands that I must follow “or else” you sound like a tyrant. Sorry, I don’t negotiate with tyrants. Would you want to work with you?

7. Empty Promises
“I have a small budget but if you do a great job I may have a lot more work.”  or “If you can just discount this job I’ll have more work coming”. I fell for this more than once when I was first starting out, but not once did this lead to a steady loyal client. I guess they just move on to the next sucker. Now I reserve discounts and freebies only for loyal clients with return work.

8. Can you do it for $5?
There are those clients who say things like “But most of the estimates I received are $X, I’d love to work with you if you could match the price.” Of course you would, because it would be one hell of a deal! I don’t compete with ridiculous pricing. I price all projects fairly on the amount of time and skill needed. If you don’t place a fair value on your projects and the artist who help you achieve them, then how am I to value you?

9. These are Elance related:  Some clients copy and paste the Elance sample job post text, with little or no actual info about the job. Yet, they expect me to write a custom tailored response? Equally unfair are the clients who expect me to have a full profile but have nothing but their name within theirs. Another favorite is when you invite me to the cattle call (you invite me and 30 other people whose names popped up first in your search) I always answer when invited to bid, but certainly give more weight and interest to those who seemingly have more interest in me. Same goes if you post your job as “featured” that doesn’t say you are looking for the best talent – it says you are looking for a bidding war for the cheapest. Plus you’ll end up with so many bids, whats the chance that you are really reading more than the first few?