3 Signs It’s Time To Fire Your Client! A Guide For Freelancers

Freelancing in pretty much any field can be fun, financially rewarding and just plain cool. Of course, just the very nature of freelancing means you’re going to have feast or famine days. But hey, it comes with the territory.

Another thing that comes with the territory is dealing with clients. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to fire a client.

For a lot of freelancers, just the thought of doing that is pretty scary.  Confrontation even when done as professional as possible can be nerve-wracking for some. But I think what’s scarier for most, is the money they stand to lose if they do fire a client.

As a freelancer myself, I’ve had to fire a client or two. At some point you have to make a decision. So, here are three signs it’s time to fire your client:

Sign No. 1

​If a client is calling and emailing you for insignificant petty issues it may be time to say “buh-bye.” Here’s why. There are some people who for whatever reason, think that because they’ve hired you to design something, write an article or code some software believe it gives them the right to drive you up a tree with constant calls and emails about nothing.

​It doesn’t.

If you’re starting to avoid their phone calls and have stop replying to emails this is a sure sign the relationship is not working. ​If this sounds familiar then it may be time to cut your losses and move on.

Sign No. 2

Let’s say you have a client providing you with a steady stream of income. The problem is, that steady stream isn’t very profitable because this client always want a “deal.” To make matter worse, you cave in every time your client wants a discount.
Bad client, bad idea.

You are giving your client too much control over your business. It’s different if you, for whatever reason, decide to give a client a break on the price. But when it’s the client dictating lower fees, you are sending the wrong message. You want clients to work with you because of the quality of your work. Not because you’re cheap. If it’s a long time client, schedule a meeting to renegotiate your fees. A client who values your talent will be willing to work something out with you. If they only hired you because you were cheaper than the other guy, they’ll walk. Wish them well, raise your rates and move on. Consider it a lesson learned.

Sign No. 3

If  a client becomes condescending and rude, well, need I say more? You should never allow anyone but especially a client to treat you poorly. You’ll see signs of it pretty early on. You should also take responsibly for the role you play in their behavior. Why? Because as the saying goes, “We teach people how to treat us.”

Talk to your client and give them the opportunity to adjust their behavior. If it continues you’ve got to end it.

Firing a client is not an easy thing to do. But if keeping them around means you’re stressed, frustrated and no longer enjoying the work, it may be time to let them go. Yes, you’ll lose some money. But you’ll regain your self-respect, your confidence and the fun of doing what you do best.

Then you’ll go out and find a client that respects you, and what you do, and is willing to pay the price. Who’s with me?

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