How to get rid of a bad freelance writing client.
While most freelance writers are searching for ways to find new clients, there are times when a freelancer needs to get rid of a client. Bad freelance writing clients are unfortunately a risk that most freelance writers need to deal with at one time or another. Bad clients are those that do not pay bills on time, those who constantly request work done with short deadlines and those who do not communicate effectively.
Freelancers often need to extricate themselves from these types of writing clients in a way that does not damage their reputation and without burning any bridges. Walking away from a client must be handled as professionally as possible to avoid any type of a scene or to allow them an opportunity to badmouth a freelance writer online.
Evaluate the problem
The first thing that a freelance writer should consider before getting rid of a bad freelance writing client is the severity of the problem. Clearly a client who is not paying their bills is a significant problem for anyone who is depending on their income from freelance writing. The overall evaluation of the issues should be listed in the order of importance.
Open a dialog
Provided that the only problem with the client is not payment of invoices, it may be helpful to open an honest dialog with the client. Reasons have to be presented carefully so as not to alienate the client permanently. Explain the issues clearly and without attacking the person, instead focus on the problem such as unrealistic expectations, deadlines that are constantly too close to meet or whatever the issue is. Those who have made a decision to not work for this client any further should use some caution, clients may not only get defensive but, they may also offer to “correct” the issues.
When considering getting rid of a bad freelance writing client, it may be possible to offer alternatives to the client. There are typically several writers who are looking for additional work. As long as the client is paying invoices, it may be helpful to them to offer names of other writers who may be looking for additional work. One word of caution about this – it is a good idea to speak with the other writers before doing this and make sure they are aware of the issues.
While there are risks associated with this method, another possible method of getting rid of a bad freelance writing client is to increase rates. The danger in this method is that the client may agree to the increase which could potentially result in either telling the client flat out that there is no further interest in working with them or, sticking with the job in spite of any issues.
At all times a freelance writer must remain professional in their approach to getting rid of a bad freelance writing client. Any outstanding assignments should be complete before any dialog is started. Freelancers who typically communicate with clients via email should write a professional email with their desire to extricate themselves from the relationship. Those who communicate via instant messenger may handle it in that manner if desired. The most important thing to remember is to be professional and be honest. Provided that a client is paying their bills, the reasons for considering them a bad client can be subjective such as boring work, not enough (or too much) work or unreasonable demands. Think carefully before proceeding to protect your freelancing reputation.