5 Red Flags Every New Freelancer Should Watch Out For

Brad Bartlett
8 min readMar 6, 2024

(Trust Me, I Learned the Hard Way!)

Hey, I’ll tell you from experience, when you’re just starting out as a freelancer, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of landing your first few clients.

You may think you should take on every gig that comes your way… but you’ll soon find that not all clients are created equal.

Let me share a little story with you.

When I first began my freelancing journey, I was over the moon when a client reached out with a project that sounded like a dream come true.

They promised big bucks, long-term work, and creative freedom. I thought I had hit the jackpot! Over the next few weeks, I poured my heart and soul into the project, working tirelessly to deliver top-notch results.

But as the project progressed, the client became more and more elusive. They stopped responding to emails, dodged my invoices, and kept moving the goalposts.

By the time I finally “finished” the project, I was exhausted, frustrated, and worst of all, I never saw a dime for all my hard work.

That nightmare client taught me a valuable lesson: as a freelancer, you need to be on the lookout for red flags that could signal trouble down the road.



Brad Bartlett

Professional Freelance Copywriter. (www.bradleebartlett.co) Musings on #freelancing, #productivity, #self-development, and more!