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Creative Gist: How Do You Deal With Difficult Clients?

Every creative wants to work smoothly and without stress. But not all creatives get their wish. Instead, the very people who should create a conducive environment for them to expertly deliver their tasks end up causing problems for the creatives.

From unrealistic reviews to incessant calls and more, these clients prove difficult. So in this episode of the Creative Gist, we ask: How do you deal with difficult clients?


Tobi Ibrahim

Graphics designer

Dealing with clients can be difficult at times. Some people say, "I am the client, and whatever I say is right and final."
What I do is before beginning any design project, the client and I have a one-on-one, physical or virtual. We discuss, introduce ourselves, vibe a little, and get to know each other a bit before discussing business.
During this stage, I forecast and iron out most of the possible scenarios that might be problematic and understand what the client wants. Then there is a mutual understanding that corrections and iterations can be exhausted past a certain point, so you might be charged for any extra work or time-consuming edits. Also, we have an agreement that there will be a 30%deposit (untouchable for a number of days) and then the balance of 70% upon completion of the project.

Hans Van Dyck

Content Creator

Clients mostly become difficult when communication isn't clear. When you clearly state what is going to be delivered and they understand, everything will go on smoothly.
Most importantly, think ahead of your client so you can deliver your best.

Kehinde Savage

Food Entrepreneur

Sometimes I fake a smile, and other times, I give a straight face while being forthcoming with whatever concerns they have. Either of the two has worked so well in making sure that the issue doesn't escalate more than it needs to.

Sonibare Kayode


I'm always courteous when dealing with clients and apply patience with difficult ones. I do not let insensitive words and pressures exerted by difficult clients get at me. Instead, I focus on delivering a good job, the best possible. In circumstances where I cannot go ahead with their demands or offerings, I politely decline and give sufficient explanations.

Aladejebi Alex Olumide

Aladejebi Alex Olumide


To be honest, difficult clients are always difficult clients. They want you to see things their way and do it their own way. So most times, if they don't see reasons to understand what I'm trying to say, I tell them, "thank you". But there are some days I'm content lacking; then I can take up some of those gigs. But most of the time, it's an "I'm sorry I can't do this".


Every creative has their own way of dealing with difficult clients but they do have a central theme: “Avoid difficult clients if you can.”

If you can’t, these creatives have shared some adoptable skills to use when a client proves difficult.

What about you? How do you deal with difficult clients?

PS. If you would like to be considered for future episodes of the Creative Gist, send us an email to [email protected] or reach us via WhatsApp +2348088809311

Angel Umez

With an aim to be a top gun in the marketing world, Angel creates diverse forms of content to connect brands with their customers. She is also adept at creating content strategies, especially for creative, marketing, product and tech brands. Known as the “Fashionable Parrot”, she’s an avid reader and an SDG advocate.

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