Should You Fire Your Problem Client?

Photo of a woman with her head in her hands in front of a laptop.

As a freelance writer, you know that working with clients can sometimes be challenging. In many cases, you can salvage a difficult client relationship with some careful communication—and lots of patience. However, in other cases, it makes sense to let a client who is making your life difficult go. When is it time to fire that problem freelance writing client? Here are some of the instances in which you may want to give up a bad working relationship for a better one.

The pay doesn’t match the amount of work you put in.

Sometimes, you agree to a project and what seems to be reasonable pricing with a client. Then, as you start working, you realize that the project’s scope is a lot bigger than you thought. Maybe the client wasn’t clear about the materials he or she would provide and you end up needing a lot of research time. Perhaps the additions to the agreed-upon work keep adding up, and while you didn’t mind a few tweaks to the project, things are just getting out of control. Maybe you have other clients who pay you much more for the same kind of work, but this client won’t budge.

If the rate you agreed to with a client doesn’t seem to be appropriate for the amount of work you’re being asked to do, speak up. Once you explain why increasing the rate for the job is appropriate, your client may see the light. If that doesn’t work, it doesn’t make sense to do a project on which you are losing money, so it’s time to move on.

You’re putting too much time into managing the client.

It’s normal to have to give clients a certain amount of handholding. This is especially true if they haven’t worked with a freelance writer in the past. If a client is dominating all of your time, however, it’s often best just to move on.

The problem with a client who needs constant attention is that he or she is keeping you away from other paying clients and from devoting time to finding new opportunities. As a freelance writer, customer service comes with the territory. You must keep your clients happy, but not at the expense of effectively running your business.

You hate working with the client or you hate the work itself.

Life is too short to do work that you hate. If you dread working with this client, you’ll feel stressed and your satisfaction with your freelance writing career will suffer. You’re not going to love every client, but you shouldn’t let the dread of dealing with them take over your business.

In some instances, you may like the client but hate the work that he or she brings to you. Again, there is no reason to build a career you don’t love. Too many people are hiring freelance writers for you to settle for work you hate.

Writers Work makes it to build a client base you love with constantly updated job listings and our Writers Marketplace, where you can build an online profile that lets clients find you. Join today to explore our features and to start finding the writing work you really want to be doing.

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