7 signs you should fire a client as a freelancer

Putting up with bad clients isn't just a headache. It can make you lose money. Here are a few signs that mean you should fire a client as a freelancer.
7 signs you should fire a client as a freelancer

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Having trouble finding the "free" in freelancer? We have all been there. As a freelancer, your clients are "the boss" in the sense they hire you for a job but the relationship is more like a partnership.

A healthy business relationship is one of mutual respect and mutual prosperity. Improving client relationships is an important skill in freelancing but some clients may not be worth the trouble.

When a client hires a freelancer for a project they certainly will have high expectations, as you are an expert in your field. But, a partnership goes both ways.

Just as your clients are free to part ways with you if they are not happy with your work, you are free to do the same and fire a client. Keep reading for our top 7 clues it may be time to say goodbye to a difficult client.

1. The client gets angry with you

Maybe, it is forgivable once or twice, if you can muster up the patience. Usually, when a client gets angry and uses abusive language it is a good sign it is time to part ways. Period.

There is much to be said for dealing with difficult clients successfully, but ask yourself this, "if I could get more clients, would I be inclined to keep this one?" After all, you only have enough time to work for so many clients, so why not work with people that appreciate your work and respect you as a professional?

Having trouble getting enough work? Check out this article for ideas on how to get more clients.

2. They have unreasonable demands

It is important that expectations are understood on both sides. As a freelancer, you must be prepared to explain the limits of your ability and the time it takes to complete projects they want to be done.

In today's fast-paced business world, your clients are under a lot of pressure to complete tasks under tight deadlines. This often translates to pushing their freelancers to step up their timelines.

Be accommodating when you can, but assertive when you need to be. As a freelancer, there is nothing more valuable than your time. You have to be extremely careful how much you give out to any particular client, especially when you already gave a fair timeline.

3. The work is draining

Out of no fault of your own, the work has just become monotonous and unfulfilling. There is no shame in seeking a different challenge. You know what they say – change is the only constant.

A long freelancing career is bound to have some stale periods. If you find yourself in a rut and can't enjoy your work anymore, it isn't doing anyone any favors. Change it up, even if it means changing clients.

Enjoy and work don't seem like words that belong together but they do. There is no reason why you can't find enjoyment in freelancing.

The trouble is that freelancers have to go out there and make the work happen. Define your goals carefully and make sure that the clients you serve help you to fulfill not only your financial needs but your purpose for freelancing as well.

4. The client is never happy

In creative environments, not everyone is going to see the genius of your work. Some clients will feel it should be different or better. It is important to not take it personally when your work is rejected, but you don't have to let it define you.

There is no point in arguing the fact that both parties need to feel their end of the agreement is being fulfilled, but when the client repeatedly asks for changes, it may be time to ask them to find someone else. If you can't make a client happy, then why not find one you can?

5. Communication is lacking

Freelance-client relationships are tricky. Without proper and professional communications by both parties, things just don't get done. Some people are better at expressing themselves than others but that doesn't mean they don't have to try to give you proper instructions and a clear vision of what they expect from your work.

If you find yourself constantly asking questions and getting no good response, think about putting your efforts elsewhere.

6. The money isn't there

Remember nobody pays you a salary. You must collect your fees from your clients yourself. In freelancing, this may be easier said than done.

It is human nature to seek the best benefit for one's own interest, but a balance is needed. When clients are not willing to pay you at least a fair fee and pay it on time, don't sell yourself short.

7. They broke the contract

An agreement is still a sacred thing, at least the best of us still think so. It is your honor and your word, so why not hold them to theirs. Whenever a written or oral contract is broken by your client, it is time to rethink the nature of your association.

Not to say there isn't room for forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes and we all appreciate it when ours are forgiven. It is when it becomes obvious that a client doesn't respect the scope of their obligations that the problem quickly spins out of control.

Go ahead and fire a client

If a client crosses the line, remember that not all business is good business. You deserve to be treated like the professional you are and there is always another client willing to give you more work.

Sometimes, we just need permission to do what we know we should do. So, go right ahead and fire a client – take back your freedom to do business with whom you chose.

Once you're free, use a discovery form on Hectic to engage new clients and sales pipeline to track your opportunities. Get started with our all-in-one home base right now!

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Our team of career freelancers writes about best invoice practices, what makes a great client, and repeats the mantra, "never work without a contract." We're opinionated about the future of work and will always be on the side of freelancers.
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