Wanted to share this email with you guys - if you think that since I wrote Verbal Kung Fu for Freelancers, that clients have stopped trying to take advantage - not a chance. Below is an email I received on 7/6 from a client who was snarking around for free stuff (you can tell from the email that I haven't heard from him for quite a while).
If you've been a freelancer for a while I am sure you've seen something like this, if you're new to freelancing, don't worry...you will. As you read it think about how you would interpret it and how you might handle it:
"Hey Jeremy! Long time no talk!
I’m assuming you are happily married now. Hope all is well. I’m in the process of bringing on a partner and I need to get some business cards going for him. Can you just do the digital side and send me the files and I’ll get them printed? His name is Joe Carrols, Phone: 555-555-5555, Email: email@example.com
Here's a sentence by sentence breakdown on exactly what I believe this jackass tried to pull:
The Friendly, Innocent Opening
"Long time no talk! I’m assuming you are happily married now. Hope all is well."
He hasn't talked with me in a while, so he starts out friendly...like this is a social email and that he actually cares about me.
Laying the Groundwork
"Can you just do the digital side and send me the files and I’ll get them printed?"
In this sentence he starts to lay his plan. What he means here is I want you to handle the digital stuff this time, but instead of having you handle the printing (and making some extra money on it), I've got a guy that will do them cheap.
The Big Close
"Appreciate it...Thanks! -Chris"
The coup de grasse of this bloodsucker's plan is his salutation at the end, by saying "Appreciate it, thanks" he's telling me that he's assuming that this is a done deal, that I'll do the work and get it over to him without any messy delays like paying me or anything like that. Absolute horse crap.
- If you would have received this email, would you have thought this guy was looking for free work?
- Was my analysis "on target" or did I misread this?
- How would you have responded to this email?
I'd really like to know what you think on this, drop in your 2 cents by leaving a comment or pass this along to others in the design community.
PS - In a later post I'll share what I did to this guy :)
PPS - Just wanted to thank Stephen down in Houston for his feedback, "...BTW, the Contract and More package is freakin' awesome. Well done, my friend. Your stuff is such a valuable resource for designers everywhere...Thanks so much for producing books and material that designers can actually use to build their businesses. AWESOME!!!!". Thanks Stephen, get on out there and start kickin' some arse!