Fire Your Bad Clients!

You’ve probably had a bad client. Every freelancer has. Maybe they paid you late (or never), or were rude and unappreciative, or called you late on Friday night to demand that something be done by Monday morning. It’s likely they did all of these things.

You’ve probably had a good client too. They were grateful for the value you provide them, reasonable when things didn’t go according to plan, and responded promptly when you needed their feedback. If they asked you to do something on short notice, you’d go out of your way to make it happen.

Good clients make freelancing rewarding and enjoyable. Bad clients make freelancing suck. They take up a disproportionate amount of your time and energy, and pay far less than your good clients do.

The good news is that you can choose who you work with. Doing so will make you happier and more productive.

Once you identify a bad client, you can go about ‘firing’ them in one of two ways:

  1. Tell them straight up that you don’t want to keep working with them.
    Politely let your client know that things aren’t working out, and that you can’t continue working with them. Be clear and firm. If you cop an earful, you’ve confirmed that they’re definitely not worth putting up with.
  2. Increase your rates, significantly.
    Determine how much the client is actually costing you, and increase your rates accordingly. Most likely, they’ll just move on. If they don’t, they’ll stop taking up so much of your time, and you’ll be better paid.

Firing a client is a daunting task, but it beats continuing to work for them any day.

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