🤬 12 ways to deal with difficult clients

Happy Monday! Avatar: The Way of Water opened to $134M at the box office this weekend, despite clocking in at a bladder-busting 3 hour and 12 minute run time. The movie reportedly cost (at least) $350M to make, and according to director James Cameron, will need to be one of the highest-grossing movies of all time just to break even.

Discussed in today’s edition: Netflix, agency compensation, and 2023 predictions. Plus 12 ways to deal with difficult clients, where most freelancers go wrong in operating their biz, and 23 sentences to make your paid ads more profitable.

Read time: 3 minutes and 34 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Netflix gives some advertisers their money back. After launching their new ad-supported tier back on November 3rd, the company has struggled to provide enough inventory to meet demand from advertisers, missing reach targets by as much as 20% in some cases, so they’re offering refunds to make up for the shortfall.
  • Big advertisers are moving away from paying agencies by the hour. We’re big advocates of fixed-price billing because it means expectations are clear on both sides. Now with a potential recession coming in 2023, a new study shows big advertisers are catching on and encouraging their agencies to quit billing them by the hour and start billing them by the project instead.
  • 13 predictions for tech platforms in 2023. ChatGPT is just the latest reminder that the rate of change is accelerating in the tech industry. And the coming disruptions will have major implications for those of us working in the gig economy. Check this article from The Verge to see their predictions for 2023.

Working With Clients

12 Ways to Deal With Difficult Clients

Difficult clients are almost impossible to avoid.

Sometimes it’s because you missed (or ignored) red flags during the sales process…

And sometimes it’s because they start out super laid back…

Only to assault your inbox with 47 emails once you actually start working together.

Either way, it’s important to know how to deal with them…

Because firing them isn’t always an option.

(at least not right away)

So check out this article from our friends at Forbes to discover 12 different ways to deal with difficult clients:

[READ]: 12 Effective Strategies For Dealing With Difficult Clients

Working For Yourself

SPOTTED: Freelancer Preparing to File Their Taxes

As a freelancer, you wear two hats at all times:

1) Technician

2) Operator

Where most freelancers go wrong is by focusing strictly on their responsibilities as the technician.

Doing a great job for your clients is key.

But don’t shirk your duties as the CEO of your freelance biz.

Particularly when it comes to bookkeeping and finances.

Since you’ll be classified as an independent contractor, that means you’re on the hook for paying income taxes.

So make sure you’ve got enough left over to cover your bill.

On a related note, you might want to check out Catch — a free personal payroll tool specifically for freelancers.

But whether you use a fancy piece of software or a plain ol’ Google Sheet…

What matters most is that you stay on top of it.

From The Paid Ads Gig

23 Sentences to Make Your Paid Ads More Profitable

1. Don’t test away all your profits

2. Retarget warm audiences to lower-commitment offers.

3. Build separate funnels for each traffic source.

4. The most important part of a video ad is the first 5 seconds.

5. The most important part of a Facebook ad is the first 125 characters.

6. If you want to get attention, disagree with mainstream wisdom.

7. Study the advertisers in your niche who spend the most money.

8. Reposition your offer to reach new segments of the market.

9. Create a swipe file of all the best ads you see in the wild.

10. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is not touch anything.

11. Analyze leading metrics (CPM, CTR, CPC) to find out where the boat is leaking.

12. Preview your ads and landing pages on desktop and mobile before you launch.

13. Memes make for great creatives but can also get you banned, so be careful.

14. Winning ads can run for much longer than you think.

15. Run low-budget retargeting campaigns on other platforms to capture more of the top-of-funnel interest you’re generating.

16. First-mover advantage is real, so don’t ignore new platforms.

17. Compliance gets stricter as a platform matures.

18. Low CPMs usually mean junk traffic.

19. Manual bidding still works.

20. Thinking outside the box is how you create breakthroughs.

21. Don’t change too many things at once.

22. Always test the link.

23. Paid ads can’t fix a bad offer.

Gig Alerts

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Featured Newsletter

It can be challenging to find unbiased news sources these days. 

There is one outlet we trust for everything from culture and science to sports and politics: 1440

The team of PhDs and industry experts at 1440 scour over 100 news sources to create one daily email that gets you caught up on the day’s events in just five minutes. It’s independent and 100% free; sign up for 1440 here.

Quote of the Day


“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”

— Socrates