How to Stop Freelance Clients From Being Unreasonable

Another tale from client hell…

So I got this client that required them to provide all there new graphics, to create a video on how to demonstrate how to use there new website. They kept informing me it needed to be done immediately, so I provided them the cuts as fast as possible even working over the weekends.

When I gave him the video they said that one part the timing was off, so I asked them what’s the time code off so I can adjust the timing appropriately. Then they told me I have to come in to know when the time code is, unfortunately I was busy all week so inform them that the fastest way would provide the time code and we can get the video done quicker but if not I have to come in next week.

Then I get a phone call where the guy starts yelling at me that it’s ridiculous that I’m asking for the timecode a for these revisions and that “it’s not part of his job description to be going back and worth”. “He doesn’t want to be part of this nonsense”.

I just feel very annoyed and upset by this whole situation and I just want to rant. I gave them the option of doing it over the phone or a zoom meeting since it’s basically the same thing as if I went and they weren’t having it.

A couple things…

You HAVE to tell them how it’s normally done. It’s like if I went into McDonald’s and started dictating how the burgers were made. I’d get a hearty “GTFOH”. As I should. Also, when clients were unreasonable, I started saying, “No problem. I can do XYZ unreasonable thing. It’ll cost…”

You can pay me for half a day to come in for 10 minutes.

Puts the kaibosh on that stuff quick.

It sounds counter-intuitive, mainly because the koombaya crowd of freelancers out there has filled your head with a bunch of pie-in-the-sky fairytale nonsense… but, the more you bend over for some clients, the more they push.

You have to set boundaries.


The most important word you can learn how to use.

Even better is when they fear you from the start. When you’re more recognized and well-known in the industry than they are. THAT is why I constantly push you to specialize and to create authority.

Instead of just being another nameless, faceless freelancer.

When everyone in the industry is following YOU…

Listening to YOU…

Asking YOU for advice…

Not only is selling your services a cinch. But, clients don’t jack with you. And, in my opinion, until you accept that… until you get over your fear of “putting yourself out there” like that, until you decide to be THEE guy/gal in your industry…

Client work will always be rough.

And, not pay what you’d hoped when you started.

In any case, that’s the underlying theme to my Turn Content Into Clients course. Social media, your blog, YouTube… all the online platforms and tools… using them to build an audience, establish authority and sell your services.

The course is available for nothing over on Skillshare when you pick up their 2-month free trial. All the details on the course and the free trial are here:



P.S. If you have questions about the trial, just go here: Should answer them.

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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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Lewis Howes

John is amazing at building membership sites. He converted one of my sites over from it’s existing (hardly working) platform over to the clean and simple to use WishList membership platform. I highly recommend using John and WishList for any of your membership site needs.

Chris Aitken

He significantly improved my site through his expert knowledge of PHP, CSS and Javascript. Would definitely recommend John to others.

Jim DeJonge

Jim DeJonge

John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.

Steve Dimmick

Steve Dimmick

John has provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!

Thabo Motsoahae

John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.

Andrew Malone

Andrew Malone

John Morris is exceptional in his ability to give focused insight into Freelancing and starting one’s business. His direct methods inspire confidence in his honesty.

Michael Skye

Michael Skye

John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.

Daniel Mohlendick

On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”

Jason Rumley

Jason Rumley

John has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.

Bob Patterson

Not only is John a very talented programmer and developer, he is also an excellent communicator. He has a talent for taking complex subjects and communicating them in terms that anyone can understand. This is a rare combination. This ability has enabled me to take my skills and knowledge to the next level. Thank you John for for all that you do.

Ray Edwards

I recommend John every chance I get. If every person I worked with were as committed to excellence, punctuality, value, and unquestionable integrity… the world would be a better place. Highest recommendation.

Sukh Plaha

John is a fantastic and patient tutor, who is not just able to share knowledge and communicate it very effectively – but able to support one in applying it. However, I believe that John has a very rare ability to go further than just imparting knowledge and showing one how to apply it. He is able to innately provoke one’s curiosity when explaining and demonstrating concepts, to the extent that one can explore and unravel their own learning journey. Thanks very much John!