Squeaky Wheels Should be Replaced NOT Oiled

squeakywheel.jpgYou know the client, the one who pays the least but demands the most attention.  I call them ‘squeaky wheels’ and I have had enough of them.  They either know more than you or want to micromanage everything you do. I have actually had one ask to see EVERY pitch I prepared before I sent it.  Didn’t they hire me because I know how to do this?  This association did not last more than one project. I wish I could say that for all my SW experiences.  

I don’t mean to sound harsh, I understand that these individuals are spending what they consider to be a lot of money and they want to be sure it’s well spent.  But for the love…I can’t take it.  Squeaky Wheels call way too much. They are needy.  They are clueless as to what it really takes to do your job but they think they know how to do it better than you!  They can be rude and they’re never afraid to tell you what a bad job they think you’re doing. Seriously.  Many have selective memory, which is the worst because they call more than they email and you don’t have a written trail with which to call them out!  I think I spend more time on the phone listening to them rant about their ‘big ideas’ than actually doing the work they hired me to do (well, the work I think they hired me to do.)  With SWs the project often takes a lot of strange twists and turns.  

Okay, so why do I continue to work with squeaky wheels?  I don’t meant to, I think they bait and switch me with their squeakiness!  They make you think they’re this great person with a great idea and not a lot of money, they suck you in somehow with their charm or wear you down with persisitence.  Or you just feel badly because you don’t want another slick pr person to take advantage of them.  Or business is slow and you think it could be easy money, a job your intern can do.  But there is nothing easy about it!  They can seriously suck the life out of you and make you cringe when you hear the phone ring. And it rings. A lot.

All this glamour for very little income.  Brilliant business move on my part!  Especially because SWs never pay on time. They drag out the process as long as they possibly can. Some even suggest you did not fulfill your part of the deal.  Oh what fun.

First, I am adding NO MORE SQUEAKY WHEELS to my last posting and next I will begin to hone my skills at sniffing out SWs.  I have no idea how to do this, but you can bet I’ll post it when I figure it out!


3 responses to “Squeaky Wheels Should be Replaced NOT Oiled

  1. Oh please do! I can’t wait to figure out how to punt these types…Ihave about 10 of them right now! And the one PR client is the worst…mid October and she just finished paying for September…so not working for her right now, and even though I’m going to one of her many “events” on Friday she still wants a meeting next week…*bangs head against wall* Yep…SW, that’s the nice way of putting it. =)

  2. OUCH, this is pretty sad. I think you need to get your shit together and put your foot down. It’s your business, not there’s. Either you suck at getting them publicity, or maybe you need to slowly build the relationship and gradually charge them more. Find out what their max budget is, and tell them you’ll give them 10% off of that. That should oil those squeaky wheels. Or you could just take them off and get some new ones.

  3. I come across squeaky wheel photography clients too! they want to see every photo on the digital camera as I’m taking it, begin directing the shoot themselves…makes me want to start saying “Nope, this is film, we’ll just have to see what turns out!” 🙂

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