Not all clients are created equal. I’ve worked for bosses who insist every client has to be treated as God (“the customer is always right”) but since starting my own business, I’ve learned that the best money you’ll ever earn is the money you don’t burn trying to make a horrible client happy. Here are a few giveaways that you’re dealing with… The Client From Hell!

  1. “Can you make it more conversational, like you’re talking to your friend in a cafe.” In the real world, BFFs don’t have technical conversations about menstrual blood absorbency rates of sanitary pads in a Starbucks. They don’t! Even if your client believes they do, the copy has to be written conversationally to sound conversational. Even the world’s best VO can’t make a poorly-scripted sales pitch sound like buddies chit-chatting over a chai tea latte.
  2. “Play with it, have fun.” You’ll hear this when a client has no idea how to direct but still isn’t happy with the takes so far. Voice talents are not mind-readers, so once you hear this, know that the session is now being direct by Lady Luck, and the session will stretch on way longer than it should.
  3. “Have the talent sign an NDA.” This is OK when the talent is about to step into the booth, but when clients ask us to sign an NDA before they even tell us how many words are in the script or the usage – it’s a red flag. Way too precious about their project translates to impossible to please later on. Plus, if they’re pitching on a project and don’t get the gig, the NDA’s fine print might stop you accepting the job from the agency that does win the pitch.
  4. “I can’t supervise, my time is too valuable.” When a client can’t come to the studio / be available via Skype or telephone because they tell you that their time is better spent on other things, they’ll never be happy with what you do. After you send over the takes from an unsupervised session, they will insist the results are unacceptable and demand an unpaid 2nd session – which they STILL WILL NOT SUPERVISE. Avoid these morons like the plague.

You Have Been Warned! 🙂