Get Paid To Be Creative

Find out how I make a living by being creative! Download my FREE ebook, get access to productive challenges, and learn how to make money with your creativity! (learn more)
Please wait...
Loader

When and How to Sever Ties With a Bad Client

By Anum Yoon

When and How to Sever Ties With a Bad Client

As a freelancer, your clients are your bread and butter. You need them to survive, and unfortunately, that sometimes means putting up with a lot from them. 

Hard work is great, especially when it’s necessary for a paycheck, but what happens when that hard work is accompanied by endless, nitpicking revisions or impossible-to-meet deadlines – or even worse, a refusal to pay? The reason you got into freelancing in the first place was to have more freedom to work remotely, and to be more flexible, so having a difficult client can really put a damper on your business.

Here are some tips on how and when to cut off your problem clients.

For Projects You Just Can’t Take On

Your clients aren’t bad people, it may just happen that you have a steadier stream of projects from other clients, and would like to focus on those instead. Handle these transitions in between projects, when they send over their next request.

Remember to explain the situation, be professional and set expectations for what will happen next.

For example:

“Dear [Name],

Thank you so much for all the work we’ve done together, and for thinking of me on this next project. Unfortunately my other projects don’t allow for me to take on any more work at this time. However, I’m more than happy to help you find another freelancer for this project, or any others you may have coming up.

Best wishes,

[Your Name]”

For Clients That Don’t Align With Your Goals

At the beginning of your freelance career, you likely took on jobs from wherever you could get them. Then, as your career and business progresses, you start to reevaluate your business model. Certain clients just may not make the cut when all is said and done.

That doesn’t mean they’re problem clients necessarily, just that your working styles don’t complement each other. Maybe you’re looking for creative freedom and they want a rigid structure. Perhaps they’re looking for web design while you’re shifting your focus to app development. Whatever the reason, try something simple and professional.

For example:

“Dear [Name],

It’s been great working with you over the last [time period]. Over the last few months, I’ve been evaluating my strategy, and have decided to shift my focus to [new areas].

Unfortunately, that means I won’t be able to take on any more work from your company, but I am more than happy to discuss with you some freelancers who will do an excellent job on your project.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]”

For Clients Who Don’t Pay Enough

When you find you’re able to pick and choose the projects you work on, the first projects to go are usually the ones with lower rates. Regardless of whether or not you enjoy working with the client, you have to let them down.

Let them know they’re priced out upfront. If they truly love your work, they may be willing to pay you more to do it.

For example:

“Dear [Name],

Thank you so much for thinking of me for this project. It’s been a great year for me, and I’m starting to analyze the growth potential for my business.

In order to accommodate an increase in demand while maintaining a focus on my clients, I am raising my rates from [$] to [$$] as of next month. I know this may not work for you, and if you like, I’d be happy to help you find someone within your budget for this project.

Regards,

[Your Name]”

For Difficult or Abusive Clients

If there’s one thing you should not put up with in your freelance career, it’s a client with red flags throughout your time working together. When you’re dealing with a client who is unresponsive, unreasonable or downright rude, you have to take a more direct approach in letting them down.

For example:

“Dear [Name],

In my business, I hold professionalism and a good working relationship with my clients in the highest regard. Recently, I’ve noticed some friction in our working relationship, and it does not seem like our working together is a great fit.

I think it’s best that you find another freelancer to complete the project for you. I will complete the following tasks by the end of this month, after which time our contract will be terminated:

  • #1

  • #2

  • #3

Regards,

[Your Name]”

Having to fire a client isn’t pleasant, but it’s a necessary part of being a solo entrepreneur. After a certain point, you can’t accept all projects, and some of them have to be cut loose. Hopefully these suggestions will help you let your former clients down more easily, and give you peace of mind doing it.


Need blog topic ideas? Check out 365 Blog Topic Ideas on Amazon!

Follow (CLICK TO FOLLOW ALONG AND STAY UPDATED)
Anum Yoon
Anum Yoon
blog
About me

Anum Yoon is a twenty-something blogger, writer, and working professional living in Philadelphia, PA. She is also the founder and editor of Current on Currency, a personal finance blog she started for fellow 20-somethings who can't adult well enough to be savvy with their money. She has lived in 5 different countries throughout her lifetime, and hopes to travel to money more in the years to come. She's also a fierce advocate for the sustainability movement, so you'll often find her writing about the environment.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

How to Stop Jealousy in the Workplace
How to Stop Jealousy in the Workplace
August 26, 2016
How to Make the Most of Your Commute
How To Make The Most Of Your Commute
August 15, 2016
Airplane
How to Stay Productive While Traveling on Business
August 12, 2016
New City, New Job: Tips on Relocating for Work
New City, New Job: Tips on Relocating for Work
August 08, 2016
How to Keep Your Individuality in a Relationship
How to Keep Your Individuality While In A Relationship
August 04, 2016
How to Pull Off a Stress-Free Vacation
How to Pull Off a Stress-Free Vacation
July 25, 2016
Journal2
Why You Should Be Journaling And How To Start
July 20, 2016
How to Spark Your Inner Happiness
How to Spark Your Inner Happiness
July 13, 2016
Business tips: how to make your work life easier
Business Tips: How to Make Your Work Life Easier
July 11, 2016