Anyone who’s self-employed lives or dies on their clients. I remember when I first started and the idea of losing a client was like losing a limb.
I would bend over backward to satisfy their every whim. But one of the most important lessons I learned was that letting a client go can be a profitable choice.
Giving Up Space for Better Clients
Every freelancer has dealt with a client who expects them to do a lot of work for little money. Whether it’s through project creep or they just don’t pay enough, you spend a lot of time working for little money.
I know what it’s like to need to satisfy all your clients. So even though you know they’re not paying you what you’re worth it’s better than that perceived $0 you get from letting them go.
But sooner or later you need to progress. The more they take advantage of you the more locked in you are.
When you’ve been relying on the same guy for six months, it’s hard to accept change and to move on.
By giving up on them you’re freeing up space in your schedule to go market for better clients.
It might not feel like it in the beginning, but you can get that better client. So take the plunge and get rid of them.
Get Rid of that Stress
Sometimes you also need to be aware of the fact that clients are stressful. That’s fine for a time, but if they’re a constant hassle and you dread receiving an email from them it’s time to let them go.
Working for yourself is not just about the monetary value alone. It’s also about your stress levels.
How much stress you’re dealing with on a regular basis can also be converted into a monetary value.
When you’re feeling burned out you work slower, your work gets worse, and it becomes harder to keep your higher-value clients happy.
It’s amazing how much better you feel when you look forward to getting messages from your clients.
They Might Come Back with a Higher Offer
I let clients go when I believe they’re not paying me what I’m worth. You need to be honest and upfront about how much you want, or when you want a raise.
It’s not uncommon for them to say no. If you’re being reasonable, you shouldn’t be scared about doing this.
Many times, I’ve let a client go because they didn’t want to pay me more. I allowed them to go and, in many cases, I think they’re quite surprised. They expect the freelancer to fold and to accept it.
So I let them go and I know what they’re going to do next. They’re going to try to find another writer who can produce the same quality for the price they want.
The funny thing is they often don’t. So it happens quite regularly that a few months later the client returns with their tail between their legs to ask if you’re available for work.
They’ll never say it but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened. You’ve worked with them for a while and you know what they want and how their system works. They found someone else and they didn’t get the results they wanted.
And if they don’t return, I refer you back to reason number one.
Now, this only works when you’re truly not being paid what you’re worth. If you’re trying to squeeze a client unnecessarily this isn’t going to work. And I would argue you’re not being fair at that point.
The whole point of letting a client go is to boost your business. It’s to cut out the deadwood and give you the space to earn what you’re truly worth, thus taking your business to the next level.
All Rights Reserved for Samuel James White