Have you ever heard phrases like "make it pop" or "give it more flair"? If so, then you are on the roller coaster ride to a potentially nightmare design client. The interesting element of design is experiencing the unpredictable factor. For example, what do you do when a client sends you websites that they want to emulate. So, in return you send them a few mockups that mirror the aesthetic and they reply saying they hate it. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst is all you can really do.
Ways to protect yourself is to get at least 50% up front. Additionally, have a contract signed and have a detailed check list from the client of what they want. The thing to avoid is miscommunication and any design discrepancies off the bat. Furthermore, you will want to backup and save all designs as well as giving them the proofs. This will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.
From: Top Web Design Schools