A client always knows better! Is it true?

66 replies
Guess and hope I'm not the only one.

So, I was working with my client on his new website. You know regular stuff, nothing special. Then, at one moment, I thought it would be nice to throw in a couple of suggestions. So, I said, why don't WE (pay attention to "we," that's me thinking about us as a team) make/write a separate Why Choose Us page, WE have privacy policy, but I think WE should have terms and conditions, as well, finally, I think that a short news-like form would be more appropriate for your blog instead of long classic article form, etc.

My oh my, if I only knew what kind of a reaction my benign suggest would provoke. I'm the one paying here, I'm the only one talking here. Is that understood? Crystal clear sir!

What was I supposed to do? He wanted to be bossy, so it was at the tip of my tongue, go on knock yourself out. Your money, your rules. I did what I was told to do, no more, no less. I got my money for the work and wished the best of luck to my client with his new website.

Should I change my attitude because of this client? Should I keep silent all the time and just nod and smile? Should I offer my suggests, only when I hear the question, why do you think?
#business advice #client #client dilemma #project #true
  • Profile picture of the author vedremo
    Banned
    Originally Posted by neshaword View Post

    Should I keep silent all the time?
    Yes. Yes. Yes.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by vedremo View Post

      Yes. Yes. Yes.
      OK Vedremo, so it's a nod & smile strategy. Just curious. Is this your perspective as a client, or do you also work with your own clients in this way? Thx. N
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Burritt
      Banned
      Originally Posted by vedremo View Post

      Yes. Yes. Yes.
      Uh...NO. NO. NO. Seriously, the client does NOT always know better.
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      • Profile picture of the author neshaword
        Originally Posted by Jeff Burritt View Post

        Uh...NO. NO. NO. Seriously, the client does NOT always know better.
        lol, thx J
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by vedremo View Post

      Yes. Yes. Yes.
      No No and No

      What in the world are you in your own business for if the only thing you do is take orders. Thats great advice for the low paying customer who you finish up and send packing but in higher paying jobs with real businesses they EXPECT as part of your job to receive suggestions.

      Theres also nothing wrong with "we". Its telling the experienced person that you consider this part of your responsibility and you are on their side trying to get the best result. I've never had a client object to "we". I'd bet good money he isn't a high paying client either. Customers that react like that seldom are and don't understand business
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      • Profile picture of the author neshaword
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        No No and No

        What in the world are you in your own business for if the only thing you do is take orders. Thats great advice for the low paying customer who you finish up and send packing but in higher paying jobs with real businesses they EXPECT as part of your job to receive suggestions.

        Theres also nothing wrong with "we". Its telling the experienced person that you consider this part of your responsibility and you are on their side trying to get the best result. I've never had a client object to "we". I'd bet good money he isn't a high paying client either. Customers that react like that seldom are and don't understand business
        Mike,

        This one is a music to my ears. Hopefully, I will find clients who truly appreciate this WE attitude. The more successful a client is, the more down to earth he or she is. Not to mention the kindness and a friendly approach. On the other hand, I've learned the hard way that the former freelancers are the most demanding and bossy clients.

        The ability to motivate me without a single dollar paid to do something extra or provide an idea, which may or may not work, is a true business magic. I think this is the thing that separates successful marketers and the ones who are still trying. A successful client really doesn't have to prove a thing to either himself or to people who're working for him/her.

        Thx again. There are so many comments. I write in a separate window. If I don't find your comment later, I will thank you in some other thread, because JLo is such a sweet reminder, LOL.

        Cheers!
        Nesha
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    • Profile picture of the author Mehdib
      Originally Posted by vedremo View Post

      Yes. Yes. Yes.
      NO NO NO, you can never gain new customers if you keep silent. That is absolutely not true, you need to vet your clients and weigh their personalities and understanding and then talk. This is an invaluable lesson you learnt here and do not just give up because one person was not welcoming enough.
      The problem is most clients think they know their shit, but in fact they don't but you do not go to their face and blatantly say, hey you are stupid for not doing this, but you always raise a point to help, like you did here. Your approach to say "We" is a good one but does not work on all, trust me some people especially most entrepreneurs have a slight possessive feeling towards their business and feel threatened very fast.
      Although I do not know you tone when you talked to your client but that might be the issue too. Try it on a friend and ask them to rate you on your tone of voice.

      Now on the "customers are right!!!" customers are not always right, even the new customer service solutions and gurus will tell you that, but you should make them feel that they are right. It depends on your reliance on a customer, if you depend a lot on a customer you need to keep that customer happy until you can detach a bit and secure your work. I hope this helps a bit.

      And trust me I have been a marketer for around 11 years now so I know what you mean and feel.
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      Marketing dude in technology world
      Works as digital marketing manager at ID printers

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  • Profile picture of the author dana67
    They do say the customer is always right.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by dana67 View Post

      They do say the customer is always right.
      I know, but even when I'm in the customer's shoes, I like to hear a word of advice. For instance, I was buying a new laptop. I was talking to a guy in the shop. Wanted to hear, which one is a perfect match for me. That was a wise thing for me to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author BellaZee
    It really depends on the client. You get clients who obviously know what they want and what they’re doing. Funnily enough, a larger percentage of those clients are often the ones who tend to be more open to suggestions because they don’t have a stick up their rear and want to learn more. Plus, I’ve learned a lot from clients like those, too, which is why I absolutely LOVE them LOL.

    Then you get the clients who don’t know **** but think they know everything. You can sort of tell by the way they communicate, so in those cases I tend to keep quiet and go with the flow.

    The third category are the ones who have limited knowledge, ask questions but then fail to heed your advice, even when that advice will save them money, as in: this is not going to work and I don’t want to take your money for nothing. You explain to them the same thing seven times and it still doesn’t work. Then, I just shrug and finish the job, because if I don’t, they’ll go elsewhere anyway. And I’m fine with that because I’ve done my best to help them. After all, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, right?

    Finally, you get clients who want guidance and actually take the advice on board and do something good with it. And even if there aren’t too many of them, they’re definitely worth getting a few “I’m paying and I want it like this” responses. At least in my book. Knowing I’ve helped someone even marginally makes me feel good and I just ignore the “lovely” people who don’t have a polite bone in their body or two neurons to rub together
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      This was great and refreshing at the same time. Just loved the idea about categories, lol. Gonna give it a serious thought. You adapt. You survive. Guess that is the best way. You're also painfully right about one more thing. If a client doesn't get what he wants with my work and services, he's gonna move on and offer his money to someone else. So, I wanna feel good about myself. I did my "duty," but at the same time I don't wanna suffer or lose money for being a "smart idiot." Thx. Appreciated.

      Originally Posted by BellaZee View Post

      It really depends on the client. You get clients who obviously know what they want and what they're doing. Funnily enough, a larger percentage of those clients are often the ones who tend to be more open to suggestions because they don't have a stick up their rear and want to learn more. Plus, I've learned a lot from clients like those, too, which is why I absolutely LOVE them LOL.

      Then you get the clients who don't know **** but think they know everything. You can sort of tell by the way they communicate, so in those cases I tend to keep quiet and go with the flow.

      The third category are the ones who have limited knowledge, ask questions but then fail to heed your advice, even when that advice will save them money, as in: this is not going to work and I don't want to take your money for nothing. You explain to them the same thing seven times and it still doesn't work. Then, I just shrug and finish the job, because if I don't, they'll go elsewhere anyway. And I'm fine with that because I've done my best to help them. After all, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink, right?

      Finally, you get clients who want guidance and actually take the advice on board and do something good with it. And even if there aren't too many of them, they're definitely worth getting a few "I'm paying and I want it like this" responses. At least in my book. Knowing I've helped someone even marginally makes me feel good and I just ignore the "lovely" people who don't have a polite bone in their body or two neurons to rub together
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    • Profile picture of the author [RyanMilligan]
      Banned
      Originally Posted by BellaZee View Post

      It really depends on the client. You get clients who obviously know what they want and what they’re doing. Funnily enough, a larger percentage of those clients are often the ones who tend to be more open to suggestions because they don’t have a stick up their rear and want to learn more. Plus, I’ve learned a lot from clients like those, too, which is why I absolutely LOVE them LOL.

      Then you get the clients who don’t know **** but think they know everything. You can sort of tell by the way they communicate, so in those cases I tend to keep quiet and go with the flow.

      The third category are the ones who have limited knowledge, ask questions but then fail to heed your advice, even when that advice will save them money, as in: this is not going to work and I don’t want to take your money for nothing. You explain to them the same thing seven times and it still doesn’t work. Then, I just shrug and finish the job, because if I don’t, they’ll go elsewhere anyway. And I’m fine with that because I’ve done my best to help them. After all, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, right?

      Finally, you get clients who want guidance and actually take the advice on board and do something good with it. And even if there aren’t too many of them, they’re definitely worth getting a few “I’m paying and I want it like this” responses. At least in my book. Knowing I’ve helped someone even marginally makes me feel good and I just ignore the “lovely” people who don’t have a polite bone in their body or two neurons to rub together
      You are implying that you know better than these clients. Some you have even been taught things you wouldn't have known otherwise you say. Kind of sounds like a magician never reveals all his tricks kind of thing. People can act whatever way they want and say things that might not be true but when you spend enough time with someone you can read them easily. 'I'm sick I'm not coming to work today' yeah yeah, but personally I make business promises with some clients and I'll stick to them. When they as in 'clients' start to do things that you didn't think was part of their character then that's where I cross the line. No going the extra mile, only living up to my promise. It's unique I come across clients like this though. I tend to stick with my small group that I ghostwrite copy for because then I don't have to deal with the trouble of them trying to tarnish or put marks on a reputation I have built amongst my clients if they can't communicate with me properly and are unhappy.
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  • Profile picture of the author vondur
    I agree with BellaZee

    And remember that junk-bonds pay higher rates because of the risks involved in holding them, thus you must charge the clients in the junk category more, because of the risks involved. Because if a client takes the project completely off a cliff on his own he will likely blame you for it in the end anyway.

    Then there are the triple A rated clients that can actually teach you a lot, maybe they have been super successful for many years even before the internet, there's always something new to learn from those clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by vondur View Post

      if a client takes the project completely off a cliff on his own he will likely blame you for it in the end anyway.
      I like this point, but with a twist. If a client is like my way or the highway, then I can't accept any kind of responsibility. If my opinion doesn't matter, then should I worry about the project's outcome? Right? So, in a way this is a good news for me. Thx.
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  • Profile picture of the author JennieB
    If you're hired to do a job specified by the client, do the job. If you're hired to be a consultant and come up with ideas and solutions, be a consultant.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by JennieB View Post

      If you're hired to do a job specified by the client, do the job. If you're hired to be a consultant and come up with ideas and solutions, be a consultant.
      The perfect comment. Really nothing to add or change. I'm NOT a consultant. So, I'm leaving a note for myself: Nesha, don't do a job you aren't paid or asked to do. Hope, I'm gonna remember this one for a long time.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by neshaword View Post

        The perfect comment. Really nothing to add or change. I'm NOT a consultant.
        Then become one. Seriously

        Ignore the other advice you are getting. Its VA advice and VA doesn't pay well long term. The only writers I know making good money have a specialty and sell their expertise in that area. So look toward improving your experience and skills in an area you can command respect in not be talked down to

        One writer I know writes in the medical field and when she gives advice the client better listen
        Others are known for SEO writing (not a fan of the term but it is what it is - they make sure the piece is high in LSI terms AND well written)
        We have a writer on our staff whose specialty is conversion and you can be darn sure he suggest quite a bit as part of his writing job.

        Get yourself to a place where you are and are seen as an expert in something. You'll get better higher paying clients who will then expect and value your expertise.

        As it is you are dealing with a bad human being. I might thanks you for your advice even if you are not a consultant and respond that I have a clear focus in my mind of what I want and need so that you get the message your advice won't sway me - not respond the way he did. Thats not an adult way to handle the situation regardless of you being a consultant or not
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          Then become one. Seriously

          Ignore the other advice you are getting. Its VA advice and VA doesn't pay well long term. The only writers I know making good money have a specialty and sell their expertise in that area. So look toward improving your experience and skills in an area you can command respect in not be talked down to

          One writer I know writes in the medical field and when she gives advice the client better listen
          Others are known for SEO writing (not a fan of the term but it is what it is - they make sure the piece is high in LSI terms AND well written)
          We have a writer on our staff whose specialty is conversion and you can be darn sure he suggest quite a bit as part of his writing job.

          Get yourself to a place where you are and are seen as an expert in something. You'll get better higher paying clients who will then expect and value your expertise.

          As it is you are dealing with a bad human being. I might thanks you for your advice even if you are not a consultant and respond that I have a clear focus in my mind of what I want and need so that you get the message your advice won't sway me - not respond the way he did. Thats not an adult way to handle the situation regardless of you being a consultant or not




          I already told OP to specialize in a niche but he doesn't want to hear that...




          [source]


          Originally Posted by yukon

          ...Write about a subject you know. Specialize in writing for a niche you know and understand from experience.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post

            I already told OP to specialize in a niche but he doesn't want to hear that

            well if thats the case then he should get used to be talked to that way and making pennies. I do see many writers here delusional that their niche is "we write well". Better separate yourself from the pack because when the pack will write for $3 its going to affect your own pay in the market place unless the client sees you as more than just a higher charging writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    The customer IS always right. While you can suggest whatever you like, you can't force your ideas on anyone. Often I will make subtle suggestions and if a client is not keen, I simply move on and carry on with what they have asked me to do. They are paying you to provide a service and you do need to provide this service. It is frustrating however I once worked with a graphic designer who used to take advantage of his creative licence and didn't ever listen to customer briefs and it was one of the most frustrating things. That said, I don't think it is acceptable for a client to be rude or derogatory and I would be pulling them up on this. I have ended professional relationships when client's have stepped over the line and started to bark orders and act in a way that I felt was unprofessional and rude. At the end of the day, you are your own boss so you don't need to cop rudeness.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by gingerninjas View Post

      The customer IS always right. While you can suggest whatever you like, you can't force your ideas on anyone. Often I will make subtle suggestions and if a client is not keen, I simply move on and carry on with what they have asked me to do. They are paying you to provide a service and you do need to provide this service. It is frustrating however I once worked with a graphic designer who used to take advantage of his creative licence and didn't ever listen to customer briefs and it was one of the most frustrating things. That said, I don't think it is acceptable for a client to be rude or derogatory and I would be pulling them up on this. I have ended professional relationships when client's have stepped over the line and started to bark orders and act in a way that I felt was unprofessional and rude. At the end of the day, you are your own boss so you don't need to cop rudeness.
      I'm not gonna cross the fine line, and above all, I don't see as enforcing of any kind. I see something isn't right or could be done better, I will say what's on my mind. That's it. Yet, after this unpleasant experience, I'm gonna think twice the next time I'm to suggest something. I have this talent for creating a trouble out of nothing. Or maybe, I just haven't found a client, who's gonna appreciate it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Minded Bro
    Great i have 3 content writer for my blog. but it is more difficult to active daily on blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Every customer (including ourselves) think we're always right. However, every person has their own viewpoint and ideas as well.

    When I receive an email from a new potential client, I ask a lot of questions. I want to know that, if I accept the job, that I can handle it to the best of my ability AND meet a customer's expectations.

    If I can't do what the client wants, I will say so. If the client is very bossy AND things don't make sense, then I won't blindly go along with what they want, even if it means I lose the job.

    One example recently. I received an email from, for the sake of a better name, "Bill." He wanted me to write 2 eBooks for him so I asked my usual qualifying questions and then provided a quote which he seemed to be happy with.

    Then Bill asked me to write a sample article so he could gauge my experience on his topic. I gave him a small discount on the sample but he couldn't see why he had to pay "such a high price" and said he would pay $X for it (a figure I wouldn't turn my computer on to do.)

    I explained my reasons for not doing the job for his low price, including the fact that I had been scammed previously in similar situations when I was a newbie.

    In the end, I suggested he think more and decide but if he didn't want to pay more for the article, then I couldn't help him.

    We were both amicable and, who knows, maybe one day he will pay for my services.

    So, I say NO, a customer is not always right (in my eyes, anyway).
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      When I receive an email from a new potential client, I ask a lot of questions. I want to know that, if I accept the job, that I can handle it to the best of my ability AND meet a customer's expectations.

      If I can't do what the client wants, I will say so. If the client is very bossy AND things don't make sense, then I won't blindly go along with what they want, even if it means I lose the job.
      Laurence,

      This is a great advice, no question about it. Yet, the bitter reality of my freelance life is that you fight to win a job, you need enough info to deliver a proper result, but at the same time you need to keep it simple. It's a living nightmare trying to find the right balance. If you don't ask questions about the project/task, you seem like you aren't interested or motivated enough for the job. If you ask too many questions, then you're facing a danger of presenting yourself in a bad light, like you aren't the perfect match for the job. Sometimes, I just don't know what to do and how to approach a client. So, I listen to my seventh freelancer's sense.

      I liked your example too. No wonder, it's so personal to me. You negotiate, you talk, you work, it's a crazy and an unpredictable ride. Finally, you're forced to draw a line and say, hey let's stop here and evaluate our position. This isn't working. Not all of clients are like this, but the ones who are will make sure you remember them for a long, long time.

      Many warriors ask questions like, what are you doing the whole day? When and how you find time to work on your projects, when you write here 24/7? Well, this is my therapy. I use two laptops, side by side. When I'm crushed and with no energy left, I like to check what's happening here. Some comments hurt. Some make you think. Some put a huge smile on you face.

      Thx,
      N
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I don't know if this is a serious question or not. You have started several threads complaining about or making fun of clients. If you truly have this many client problems - then attitude may well be your problem. However, it may be a lack of insight into what the client wants from you.

    You might - if you know the client - suggest a page to add to his blog. But you would not speak of it as if you are a partner in the site. If you were hired as a content writer - stick to writing and let him decide the length of articles and pages on his site.

    If a client is like my way or the highway, then I can't accept any kind of responsibility. If my opinion doesn't matter, then should I worry about the project's outcome?
    What you should worry about is the quality of the work YOU were hired to do. Learn to listen to clients that hire you so you know when they are open to suggestions - and when they just want the work done.

    The biggest mistake I've seen freelance writers make is one that limits their ability to build a regular, loyal clientele. What is that mistake?

    Trying to make their role more visible/important/participatory than the client wants. They want frequent contact and feedback and approval and discussion - and the client wants them to do the job they were hired for.

    There is an English saying - "The squeaky wheel gets the grease". It means someone who complains a lot gets attention. It doesn't work well for a freelancer. Producing good quality work while using as little of the client's time and attention as possible - is what builds a freelance business.
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    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

    I'm going to work on being less condescending
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I don't know if this is a serious question or not. You have started several threads complaining about or making fun of clients. If you truly have this many client problems - then attitude may well be your problem. However, it may be a lack of insight into what the client wants from you.

      The biggest mistake I've seen freelance writers make is one that limits their ability to build a regular, loyal clientele. What is that mistake?

      There is an English saying - "The squeaky wheel gets the grease". It means someone who complains a lot gets attention. It doesn't work well for a freelancer. Producing good quality work while using as little of the client's time and attention as possible - is what builds a freelance business.
      KK,

      In order to ask a serious question, you need to be a serious warrior first, lol. My clients pay me bills, so the last thing I would dare doing is to make fun of them. Yet, I have every right to question their decisions and attitude. On rare occasions I had a chance to be a client myself. I was outsourcing parts of the project to my friend a German translator. My client didn't want to waste time so I recommended my colleague. When we're doing business we aren't friends, but business partners. This is the moment when I say, just do your job, you know what you're doing. You've shown me more than once so far.

      If a long-term partnership is a measure of a freelancer's success, I've had a few more or less respectable freelance relationships in the last five years. These guys were and still are easy riders. They obviously don't have any ego-related problems and they're looking for freelancers to do a job quickly and simply.

      I'm a wheel already. Yet, I only squeak here on WF, hoping to get a greasy comment, lol.

      So far - so good.

      Thx KK.

      Cheers,
      Nesha
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    What is your username on freelance sites? I need to make sure I don't accidentally hire you.
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  • Profile picture of the author rishwoj
    I would always ask them if they would like your feedback/advice and if they say yes go for it if not don't bother at least you have tried. That way they can't come back to you at a later date and say "hey why didn't you tell me I need a cookie policy" etc etc. Plus you need to take into account that every job you do effects your reputation not just theirs.

    With all said, they may be experts in their business you YOU are the expert in yours so they would be foolish not to listen to you!

    Your thread title is "A client always knows better! Is it true?"

    I would say "A client THINKS they know better! until you educate them otherwise!
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by rishwoj View Post

      I would always ask them if they would like your feedback/advice and if they say yes go for it if not don't bother at least you have tried. That way they can't come back to you at a later date and say "hey why didn't you tell me I need a cookie policy" etc etc. Plus you need to take into account that every job you do effects your reputation not just theirs.

      With all said, they may be experts in their business you YOU are the expert in yours so they would be foolish not to listen to you!

      Your thread title is "A client always knows better! Is it true?"

      I would say "A client THINKS they know better! until you educate them otherwise!
      This is great, lol, thank you. This also reminds me how important is to write and write, and save and save all you've written. So, when I hear, why didn't you do this and that, I show an email where it says that I did my job, but hey, someone didn't bother to look. One warrior nailed it with a comment, that we just wanna do our job and have a clear conscience. What was that saying? Ah, I just remembered it.

      A clear conscience is a soft pillow. So, I did everything right and it's now up to a client to decide what and how to do next.

      Cheers and thx!
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    Being in the large tree moving business for over ten years as well as being online for the past 6 I would say No that is untrue! A lot of times the customers is polity say uneducated or is missing the understanding of a certain part. Do you want it done correctly or do you want me to do it your way... Something like that
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by EPoltrack77 View Post

      Do you want it done correctly or do you want me to do it your way... Something like that
      Exactly!! Thx!
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  • Profile picture of the author linuxthefish
    Not always true. It depends if the client knows what he has bought, most don't.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by linuxthefish View Post

      Not always true. It depends if the client knows what he has bought, most don't.
      They learn the hard way then. True!
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  • Profile picture of the author gabrielrala
    I say no, they just know little about product or service that is the reason why they like it, but the moment you explain and compare products that's the time they always switch their mind because their knowledge is limited to what the product or service is, and that is the reason why they ask! unless they are super geeky or mr. knows it all!
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by gabrielrala View Post

      I say no, they just know little about product or service that is the reason why they like it, but the moment you explain and compare products that's the time they always switch their mind because their knowledge is limited to what the product or service is, and that is the reason why they ask! unless they are super geeky or mr. knows it all!
      Very often Mr. Knows it all - ruins it all. My job is to do a good job. My duty is to warn you about some obvious things. The rest is up to you my dear client. We get what we give/deserve. Thx for sharing! Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
    Hi Nesha, a great question from your side. I have always hated bossy clients. They are so mean and don't know how to pull out best out of their hires. Usually, working with such clients reduce our creative freedom. And make us more of a robot, following instructions (even when we know it's not going to work). I have always wished I could scream at such clients "What's the point of hiring a copy writer(in my case), if you already know what will work and what not? if you are so confident, go ahead with your BS!" Sigh. Lol i never dare saying that. But I plan doing it, someday Recently, I was going through some blogs on how to deal with such situations(when your client is kinda bossy and acts over smart). Here is what I found:
    Design an agreement template that can be used over and over again. Before, you finally agree on getting on board with your client, send him the agreement template and ask him to please agree with all the terms and conditions. In your agreement, you should mention following things:
    1. A clear instruction on how many revisions you are willing to do. Mention the instances where you will be warmly agreeing on editing and also, instances, where you will be charging extra bucks for each revision.
    2. Explain that you are here to form a business relation. Not a one-sided love that hurts. Mention the importance of your time (by telling the sheer volume of work-load you handle each day) and also describe why both parties should value each other time.(time is money etc etc).
    3. Explain the fact that, when you are hiring an expert, you should give value to his advises and instructions.

    Nesha, I think, with such an agreement at hand (written in a friendly tone) we can achieve two important goals:
    1). An agreement such as this will increase our client's confidence in our services and prove the point that he/she is working with a professional expert - not some newbie trying to crack a job.
    2). We will save ourselves from being exploited! At least, the client will feel reluctant to ask for unnecessary favors, revisions and 'being bossy'.

    Hope this will be of any help to someone. And thx Nesha for raising a good argument.Cheers!
    Junaid
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by Junaid khawaja View Post

      Hi Nesha, a great question from your side. I have always hated bossy clients. They are so mean and don't know how to pull out best out of their hires. Usually, working with such clients reduce our creative freedom. And make us more of a robot, following instructions (even when we know it's not going to work). I have always wished I could scream at such clients "What's the point of hiring a copy writer(in my case), if you already know what will work and what not? if you are so confident, go ahead with your BS!" Sigh. Lol i never dare saying that. But I plan doing it, someday Recently, I was going through some blogs on how to deal with such situations(when your client is kinda bossy and acts over smart). Here is what I found:
      Design an agreement template that can be used over and over again. Before, you finally agree on getting on board with your client, send him the agreement template and ask him to please agree with all the terms and conditions. In your agreement, you should mention following things:
      1. A clear instruction on how many revisions you are willing to do. Mention the instances where you will be warmly agreeing on editing and also, instances, where you will be charging extra bucks for each revision.
      2. Explain that you are here to form a business relation. Not a one-sided love that hurts. Mention the importance of your time (by telling the sheer volume of work-load you handle each day) and also describe why both parties should value each other time.(time is money etc etc).
      3. Explain the fact that, when you are hiring an expert, you should give value to his advises and instructions.

      Nesha, I think, with such an agreement at hand (written in a friendly tone) we can achieve two important goals:
      1). An agreement such as this will increase our client's confidence in our services and prove the point that he/she is working with a professional expert - not some newbie trying to crack a job.
      2). We will save ourselves from being exploited! At least, the client will feel reluctant to ask for unnecessary favors, revisions and 'being bossy'.

      Hope this will be of any help to someone. And thx Nesha for raising a good argument.Cheers!
      Junaid
      J,

      It's always a pleasure to hear from you, because I'm more than sure you'll have an interesting point to share. I like this legal thing. You put it on a paper and you don't have a thing to worry about. Of course, I'm a little bit afraid that is the way to complicate things. All clients like to get the results as quickly and simply as possible. Yet, if you are a true pro, then you aren't going to mind signing a short contract. Right? This way, no side will be in a position to play smart, because it's all there in this contract. Some kind of terms, as you said it yourself.

      Or, on the second thought, I think I would make a document such as this, but I'm not gonna use/offer it by default. When I see I'm in a bossy danger, I will use it in self-defense. Otherwise, the business will be as usual, with no stress, presure, and my unnecessary questions. One more time thank you for this idea. Definitely worth remembering and applying.

      Thx.
      N
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    This thread has gone way off the topic the OP started with.

    Seriously, the client does NOT always know better.
    ...and neither does the freelancer he hired.

    If a site owner hires you (a freelancer) to write articles...he may not be the least bit interested in YOUR opinion about the site or what it needs or how long your posts on it should be.

    Does he "know better"? Doesn't matter - he's paying YOU to write...not to critique his site if he hasn't asked for your opinion.

    Explain that you are here to form a business relation.
    Mention the importance of your time
    save ourselves from being exploited
    How about this: If you are advertising your writing services on a freelance site - and someone offer to PAY for your services....do the work. Do it well...do what you were HIRED to do...

    The biggest mistake I've seen new writers make is overestimating their importance to clients. If someone hires you to write 20 articles and gives you the details and keywords....write the articles on time, without errors and don't bother the client unless you have a question you need answered.

    It's interesting that people who are the most demanding of their clients are often the same folks complaining in other threads how hard it is to find clients. Could there be a connection? Worth thinking about.

    These comments are not for those in this thread as much as for new freelancers who may be reading this thread. Your BEST friend as a freelancer is a client with the money to pay for the services you ADVERTISED.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      The biggest mistake I've seen new writers make is overestimating their importance to clients. If someone hires you to write 20 articles and gives you the details and keywords....write the articles on time, without errors and don't bother the client unless you have a question you need answered.

      It's interesting that people who are the most demanding of their clients are often the same folks complaining in other threads how hard it is to find clients. Could there be a connection? Worth thinking about.

      These comments are not for those in this thread as much as for new freelancers who may be reading this thread. You BEST friend as a freelancer is a client with the money to pay for the services you ADVERTISED.
      KK,

      So, let's agree that a client - freelancer/agency/contractor relationship is a two-way street. You made a painfully true point. If you're playing smart as a freelancer and keep complaining, then you're going to make it impossible to find new clients and establish a long-term business relationship. On the other hand, if you're the boss, then you'll get exactly what you want, no more - no less. However, you'll lose an opportunity to get something an extra pair of eyes and writing hands suggested. So, it's either a win-win or a lose-lose for both parties.

      Talking about new freelancers, I also have a word of advice. Don't be afraid. The clients need us as much as we need them. I like to say that the Internet is an endless ocean where everyone can find his goldfish to grant him more than three wishes. So, when I hear, I have the money and I can find a new freelancer, I reply, I have my set of skills, and I can find a new client. This doesn't mean I'm disrespectful, but rather a down to earth honest and hardworking freelancer.

      This was an honest question, and I got quite a few honest answers and comments. I'm grateful. I fell better. I have some new ideas I wanna try out.

      Thx,
      N
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by dana67 View Post

    They do say the customer is always right.
    "They" say a lot of things. And most of them seem to get twisted out of shape. Like this one.

    As far as I can tell, the origin of "the customer is always right" came from deciding what products a company should offer, or which services to provide. It meant let the marketplace decide, not every boob with a checkbook is infallible.

    Nesha, as Kay pointed out, you seem to have more problems with clients than many. Or at least you seem more open to discussing them publicly.

    Consider that part of your problem may be less in what you say than in how you say it.

    If I hired you to write a collection of articles, and you came back to me with "we should add a privacy page, a new contact page, etc.," my first thought would be that you were trying to pad your assignment. And what's with this "we" stuff?

    Maybe if you had said something like "I noticed that you seem to be missing several pages many other sites have, like[list]. After I finish this assignment, maybe we could discuss how this might benefit you. If you think it will, I would be happy to work with you on the project." you might have gotten a better reaction.

    The customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer. If they are not open to suggestions, shrug it off, do the job and pocket the fee. Unpleasant clients are sometimes part of the deal when you freelance.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Thx J,

      Always good to hear from you.

      I would like you to believe me that I'm more an honest than a conflict-oriented freelancer. Not only freelancers, but any kind of a service provider, who's complaining too much sooner or later has to look for a new job. So, I'm just being honest. Kay King likes to say that I'm asking ridiculous questions. What can I do? This is my life and my questions I need to ask. You have two options, lol. I can always go back to writing articles, lol.

      Two approaches you mentioned. Two results. OK. So, I guess it really matters how and when you say. After all, even the freelance road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      Appreciated.
      N



      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      "They" say a lot of things. And most of them seem to get twisted out of shape. Like this one.

      As far as I can tell, the origin of "the customer is always right" came from deciding what products a company should offer, or which services to provide. It meant let the marketplace decide, not every boob with a checkbook is infallible.

      Nesha, as Kay pointed out, you seem to have more problems with clients than many. Or at least you seem more open to discussing them publicly.

      Consider that part of your problem may be less in what you say than in how you say it.

      If I hired you to write a collection of articles, and you came back to me with "we should add a privacy page, a new contact page, etc.," my first thought would be that you were trying to pad your assignment. And what's with this "we" stuff?

      Maybe if you had said something like "I noticed that you seem to be missing several pages many other sites have, like[list]. After I finish this assignment, maybe we could discuss how this might benefit you. If you think it will, I would be happy to work with you on the project." you might have gotten a better reaction.

      The customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer. If they are not open to suggestions, shrug it off, do the job and pocket the fee. Unpleasant clients are sometimes part of the deal when you freelance.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrickyDick
    Laurence gave you some awesome advice.... You need to qualify your Clients...

    If your sales process is not solid, you'll allow jerk Clients to "slip in."

    The biggest lesson I've learned over 22 years is go with your gut... If you have a feeling that a prospect is difficult or not financially stable, walk away.... It is simply not worth the headache.

    One vital point is being overlooked. Clients only hire you for results..... If they are stepping in and trying to tell you what to do.... and you are the expert, they are going to blame you for their poor results. The Client will NEVER step back and see they were the one who is responsible. In the end, you''ll always be the fall guy (or gal).
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  • Profile picture of the author MobileMonkey
    As someone who both did the hiring and was hired at one point or another...
    I do recommend giving suggestions to people, but be nice about it and definitely leave out that "we" part. It's not your site, it's his. Period.
    If you were working for him full time and you already established that whole "team" thing then "we" may be appropriate, or it may not. Either way, I wouldn't use "we" unless my boss used it first.

    If your client does not want any suggestions then don't give them any. It's like (oh good I only know a Chinese saying for it), playing a lute to a cow...meaning there is no point to it.

    Bottom line, your client pays you for your time and skills, how he/she uses them is up to them (as long as it's in the job description I guess)...this includes listening to suggestions too.
    It really doesn't matter whether they are right or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    In my mind, the client / service provider relationship is quite simple.

    The client pays me what is in the contract and I, in turn, give the client my deliverables. Both sides can negotiate anything in the contract prior to it being agreed upon.

    It's always a good idea, up front and before the contract is signed, to meet with the client and go over the contract. "Meet with" could mean by phone, Skype, email, or smoke signals, but set the ground rules upfront and in advance of any signing anything.

    This is the perfect time to get to know the client and to learn both how much expertise he has in your field and also how much input and advice he will want and accept from you. You'll quickly be able to tell if he is the "know it all" type and if you should simply stick to just the deliverables.

    On the other hand, if he asks for some suggestions and/or hand holding, you might want to consider adding another deliverable to your list for the contract. It gives you the basis for charging more for your help than you might otherwise.

    Instead of using the phrase "the customer is always right" I simply prefer to say "the customer is always satisfied." Why?

    If one side is christened "right" then it means the opposing side has to accept being "wrong" and no one that I know enjoys that label.

    Instead, try this. In every argument, confrontation, or stand-off, the blame doesn't always lie solely on one party or the other. So I view my role as the business owner to be the one that finds a solution (a compromise or middle ground) and implements the solution to make or allow the client to be satisfied with his purchase and my performance.

    I have this goal in mind: I want every one of my customers to believe that "my business is the only logical solution in the niche."

    Just my thoughts,

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      Instead of using the phrase "the customer is always right" I simply prefer to say "the customer is always satisfied." Why?

      If one side is christened "right" then it means the opposing side has to accept being "wrong" and no one that I know enjoys that label.
      Worth remembering. These right/wrong phrases and way of thinking obviously give you nothing more than an invitation for a trouble and a potential dispute. Instead of labeling we should focus more on working. Had to rhyme these two, lol.

      Refreshing.

      Thank you.

      N
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  • Profile picture of the author vondur
    You have to work on what you believe in, otherwise your work will never improve. This "you were hired to do a task" way of thinking is very thin and weak. Here's what you lose out on with that kind of mentality.

    1. You work on failed projects that never amount to anything (the vast majority of projects out there btw)
    2. You wont learn how to make your customers projects make them money
    3. You won't get referrals word of mouth over to new customers (because your stuff doesn't make money)
    4. You might get bad reviews "avoid this guy" posts from frustrated customers
    5. Your customer lifetime value is restricted down to only one order per customer which is a real wing clipping on your marketing budget, basically makes your marketing ROI non existent.

    There's more but I think these points are enough for now.
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  • Profile picture of the author EAllen@FinEdPro
    You did the right thing no doubt, at the end of the day you got paid and the client got what they want, so win-win
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    Clearly state in your ad the services you are offering.Once you take on a client make sure the service you deliver is good and on time so you can further the business relationship.
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  • Profile picture of the author insideyouweb
    There's always people with different mind-sets and upon their mind-set draws out their characteristic attitudes. Well I love teamwork and team contribution so towards working Together on something the attitude will be a more positive towards each others ideas... Maybe your client likes do it their way so just finish the work and let them mind their own business. In my opinion it be a learning process for your future reference if you ever looking for a winning team, those experience will come in handy so when you do get these red flags it be towards your advantage for you to choose whom to work with or not.

    Maybe you could ask your future clients if they are happy to hear alternative ideas or if you know a better way to help your client would they like to listen if not then you will know what to do, finish the work they given out and move forward. Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author toma0
    1000% true matter that a worker cannot accept.
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  • Profile picture of the author thirdhandbd
    There's all kinds of people out there, more true to the internet. Do keep offering suggestions because your best clients will appreciate your expertise and keep coming back. If your client is a jerk, look at him/her as nothing but business so keep it professional, do the job and move on. You can't do business if you can't accommodate​ and highs and lows.
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    • Profile picture of the author DeePower
      Having worked with hundreds of clients in our business plan consulting business as well as freelance writing (we've written thousands of articles) and marketing services there is no general answer to your question.

      Some clients have their mind made up what they want and regardless of the results of the research and analysis we do they refuse to change.

      Others expect us to be brutally honest with them about their business or project. We have told clients, "the probability of your business succeeding is low because of XYZ."

      Others want us to hold their hand through the entire process of creating a business plan.

      Some clients have said "I want you to write a book on this niche." We come up with the outline. Others have said "Here's the title of the book, the niche, and the chapters I want the book to include. Here's a list of research sites and materials."

      As long as both sides have the same expectations, the client-contractor relationship works. The trouble begins when the two sides don't match.

      Dee
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  • Profile picture of the author yvettepinchback
    Always define who your customers should be. Define the service you provide, meaning are you a consultant (suggestions, offer strategy) or are you a task master (do what they say) because your work is your testimonials). Then you can remind the client what the contract states oppose to feeling defensive or upset. Are you clear enough about what you do?
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  • Profile picture of the author gooroo
    Originally Posted by neshaword View Post

    Guess and hope I'm not the only one.

    So, I was working with my client on his new website. You know regular stuff, nothing special. Then, at one moment, I thought it would be nice to throw in a couple of suggestions. So, I said, why don't WE (pay attention to "we," that's me thinking about us as a team) make/write a separate Why Choose Us page, WE have privacy policy, but I think WE should have terms and conditions, as well, finally, I think that a short news-like form would be more appropriate for your blog instead of long classic article form, etc.

    My oh my, if I only knew what kind of a reaction my benign suggest would provoke. I'm the one paying here, I'm the only one talking here. Is that understood? Crystal clear sir!

    What was I supposed to do? He wanted to be bossy, so it was at the tip of my tongue, go on knock yourself out. Your money, your rules. I did what I was told to do, no more, no less. I got my money for the work and wished the best of luck to my client with his new website.

    Should I change my attitude because of this client? Should I keep silent all the time and just nod and smile? Should I offer my suggests, only when I hear the question, why do you think?
    Interesting question, I haven't read the rest of this thread but I'll still reply.

    It's a common bullshit theory, that the customer is always right, in fact, they're very rarely right.
    Some customers will have unreal expectations, come up with dumb ideas or opinions, ask you to do things that will clearly hurt them in the long run, would you still say that they're right? Just because they're customers? No, probably not, you wouldn't think so at least.

    Does it mean you should stop working for them or ignore some of their instructions regarding the project? No, probably not, I'd say suck it up and do whatever you're told to, unless you decide to not work with that person.

    The "customer is always right" policy is no more than a hook that's supposed to attract more customers to whatever you're offering, nothing more, don't take it to serious and don't think about it too much, just do the job as you would normally do.

    If I was going to offer any suggestions I'd probably first ask if they're open to consider anything I might suggest, some will disagree, most will probably be okay with that, depends on the customer. When you ask them the question, it makes them feel like they're still in the control of the project(and they should be), if you just throw your suggestions out there it might throw the customer off and I completely understand why.
    Think of it as opting in to receive promotional emails. Instead of sending them your suggestions only because they hired you, ask them the second question once they hire you, if they would also like to receive suggestions.

    And the last question? Do whatever you like, both actions will have their own consequences, it's your business and your choice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gallag97
    All you have to really do is respectfully approach him and talk to him with a great deal of patients because he is going to be a twat about what you say.( its sometimes hard to keep under control because they can be so disrespectful)
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  • I would not agree that a client would always know better, it would of course all depend on the situation and circumstances surrounding that event
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  • Profile picture of the author naveena4nk
    what a client is requesting is wrong and that you have to find a way to tell them.
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  • Profile picture of the author semalaia4n
    The initial explanation/project layout to the client, and the inability to properly communicate the reasons behind our choices.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    The problem is most clients think they know their shit, but in fact they don't but you do not go to their face and blatantly say, hey you are stupid for not doing this, but you always raise a point to help, like you did here.
    It's something you should consider long and hard before you decide to take on clients of any kind.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOExpert104
    The client is NOT always right. However that is irrelevant as it's in your best interest to keep the client happy. An unhappy client will give you a strong negative impact on your business compared to several happy clients. Always be positive and smile. Even if the client is cussing at you, don't cuss back. Keep hitting them with positivity no matter what the situation. And on top of that I'd like to say it's OK to fire clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tricey
    It all depends on your client. If you conclude that their direction is still misguided, open a dialogue with them in language they relate too: business language, talk in business terms, not in subjective art terms. Rather than say it won’t work, ask them what goals or return on investment they think the direction will help achieve. Establish yourself as the digital expert from the moment you make contact with the client by conducting all aspects of your work with professionalism. Do everything you can to position yourself as someone who has the experience to suggest alternative solutions. And where possible, back up your recommendations with third-party material and user feedback.
    You might want to consider going all CSI on them and producing evidence that backs up your recommendations, for example
    • Blog posts from world-respected web experts.
    • Statistics from large usability studies.
    • Well-known cases where the same thing was tried and had negative results.
    If all else fails, be direct with the client. But know which clients you can be direct with and when you will have to back down. Finally, don’t let being overruled be the end of the debate. Suggest testing periods, and let the web analytics do the talking. All clients respond when they see important metrics go up rather than down!
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  • Profile picture of the author gurutard
    No they don't always know what's best. But since they're paying you to do a job just give them what they want, no more, no less.

    When you get more clients you will get a feel for who you can make suggestions to and who you can't. In the meantime, I wouldn't work with that guy again if I were you. You obviously do not mesh well together.
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  • Profile picture of the author RonGold
    If the client is being a dickhead.. let him do it!

    Arrogance and ignorance can bring a project down to it's knees before the speed even begins to pick up.

    Why are you hiring a content writer if you don't want writing suggestions? The dude is just an idiot/has an inferiority complex that is holding him back (or her, I don't think you specified).
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  • Profile picture of the author David45
    Although it is not very much liked.If you want to develop your business, you will have to reckon with the opinion of the client.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChetanSingh
    Yes, I am with you did right. Client's satisfaction is more important than any other things. You can't get into your client's mind. There is a whole different set of perspective that your clients has which you cannot have. Definitely, you should suggest your ideas based on your experiences but that is it; let him take the final call.
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