If you’ve had a bad experience with a client, you may have thought about using your blog or social media to shame them.
The practice of client shaming seems to be growing. Just in the past month, I’ve seen at least four blog posts and social media complaints about companies who did everything from not paying the freelancer to using the freelancer’s work without permission. And let’s face it, it some cases making a client’s transgressions public can feel pretty good to a frustrated freelance web designer.
Of course, there’s the popular Clients from Hell website that could also be fueling the trend. While the clients are not identified on Clients from Hell and the stories are posted anonymously, I always wonder if clients ever read it and recognize themselves.
While the decision to publicly expose a bad freelance client is a personal one, you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of doing so before you decide to do it yourself.
In this post, I share three reasons why some freelancers choose to expose a bad client publicly and three reasons why you might not want to do it yourself. I also list five alternative to going public with your client problems.
If you liked this post, you may like How to Evaluate Prospective Clients and Choose the Best Ones.
Personally, I don’t recommend publicly shaming a bad client in most situations. My own opinion is that shaming is usually unprofessional and can easily backfire. That being said, I also understand why some freelancers do it.
Here are three of the most common reasons why a freelance web designer or developer may choose to vent publicly about a bad client:
You’ve just read some of the reasons why freelancers decide to expose a bad client. You may feel tempted to expose a bad client yourself, but hold on. There are some definite negatives to calling out a client publicly.
Venting about a client in social media or on your blog may feel like the only solution to your client troubles. But, in some cases, exposing a troublesome client could actually bring on even more problems than it solves.
Here are some negative results that you should consider before you expose your bad client in public:
It’s a good idea to take these reasons into consideration before doing something rash.
Fortunately, there are some alternatives to publicly humiliating a client who doesn’t keep up with their end of the bargain. Here are five of them:
Personally, I’ve never shamed a client. In fact, in all my years of freelancing, I’ve only had one client who didn’t pay me for the work I did (because they went bankrupt).
What are your thoughts on exposing a bad client? (Please don’t leave any client names in the comments.)