Contracts are one of the most important things when working with a client or a freelance web designer. Trusting your instincts will help but only get you so far. Google search for a web design contract template or word doc. This will ensure that both parties are protected. Makes sure to be specific in the contract, the last thing you want is to lose out due to a technicality. If you are a client make sure that you see everything that you have agreed on in the contract. If you are a designer make sure that you word everything proper so the client does not think they are entitled to all the revisions in the world. No one likes bad business so make sure to be clear and honest and I know this will help you get good results.
Get a Feel for the Person
Well I know with past experience working as a freelance designer I have notice some quick signs that lead to either bad business or a waste of time. No ” CAPITAL LETTERS “ If you see a post on craigslist or receive an email that does not contain any capital letter’s or proper punctuation this usually is a bad start. If this person can’t use proper punctuation or at least take the time to capitalize letters I can only imagine how the rest of it will go. Try to contact them on the phone or at least an online messenger. Most people with something to hide like to keep away from close communication. I do understand that this is not always the case. Some people are just busy or not available for that kind of communication. Things like this really help you get to know who you would be working with. If all else fails check for references or move on to the next one, there are plenty of people to work with in this world.
Keep a Cool Head
Sometimes working remotely or with someone new can be frustrating. There will always be creative differences, bad moods, and lack of trust to cause meltdowns. Sometimes patience is the most important thing. You just have to stay calm and understand that everyone is doing their part. Make sure not to hold any thoughts back if you feel the need to question it will only cause for more of an outburst when things continue to not go your way. Client after client I am still amazed how many good people there are that remain calm collected and patient throughout the process. I give trust to a lot of people and even though I have been scammed, lied to and have had a lot of time wasted I know there are people you can trust who are only looking for cheap personal service. Good luck!!