The Two Step Approach That Will Save You From Bad Agency Clients

You’ll thank me later.

Ian Greenfield


Sammy Williams — Unsplash

As an agency owner, the only constant is people. It’s one of the great things about the job. Connecting with interesting, creative people is the reason I started an agency in the first place. But there’s a downside. And if you’ve been in the agency game for long enough, you know what it is. Sometimes people suck.

There is a myriad of literature about how to deal with people inside your organization. I’m not going to try and convince you for a moment I have better advice than what already exists. What I want to talk about today is the other set of people you encounter in an agency — the clients. Specifically, the bad ones.

On Bad Clients

A million things come to mind when thinking about a bad client. The sound of their stupid voice as they ask for things never agreed upon. Their constant mistrust, even after lengthy contract negotiations. Their stupid laugh. Their stupid assistant. Their stupid fuc****…

It’s a sore subject.

The only way to succeed in this business is to develop a system that directs attention away from the bad, and focuses on the good. If you don’t, you’ll spend your life dealing with nonsense.

I live by two key tenants that keep me focused and centered on the things that will move my business forward. They’ve been learned the hard way, after years of dealing with bad clients that sucked the joy out of my work. I’ve punched holes in walls, amid many sleepless nights. But not anymore.

As I write, I’m running Shockmouse Media, and things have never been better. Here’s how.

1. Remember That the Client Is Almost Always Wrong

Think of a time as an agency owner when a client has been right, and you have been wrong. You can’t. It doesn’t happen. The client is almost always wrong. The issue is, they almost never know it.

It’s a phenomenon almost exclusive to operating an agency. You wouldn’t tell a contractor you’ve hired how to hammer in a nail. Nor would you instruct your surgeon on proper incision placement. Yet at an agency, suggestions come flying in left and right. About web page…



Ian Greenfield

Nashville, TN. Founder @ Shockmouse Media, a better website and design solution.