Working on projects with clients generally takes tact, diplomacy, good communication skills, a willingness to compromise – and sometimes, a lot of patience. This is especially true when you have clients who have a tendency to be a bit difficult and persnickety. I mean, you want to produce a good product and make your clients happy! But fussy clients can sometimes be difficult to please.

So if you find yourself in this type of situation, here are a few ways to keep things running smoothly:

  • View criticism in a positive light – If you share an idea, a mock-up, or first draft of a document with your clients, and they respond with a lot of criticism, try to see this as a positive thing! Even though it would have been wonderful if they had loved what you produced, their critical feedback is actually very valuable. It helps you to gain a better understanding of what they’re looking for. And it should help to get you all on the same page.
  • Try not to take it personally – It’s hard not to get upset when clients criticize something that you’ve worked hard on. But unfortunately, it’s often part of the job. Even though you’re doing quality work, people often have different opinions about how things should be done. Remember that it’s not a reflection on you or your skills.
  • Focus on finding solutions – If a client is unhappy with a sample or draft that you produced, you can apologize briefly. But don’t go overboard. Instead, try to focus on what will make the clients happy and what you can do to make them pleased and satisfied. Ask your clients to be specific about what they like and don’t like. Stay calm and positive.
  • Keep trying – Don’t give up. You CAN make these clients happy! Just keep listening to their feedback and trying to incorporate it into the product. Eventually you will be able to produce something that makes everyone satisfied!


Hamill, K. (2014, August 15). “I’m not happy”: What to do when a client hates your work. Freelancers Union. Retrieved from