Five reasons to consider saying goodbye to your freelance client

Hate my Job
Image by luke.skywalker79 via Flickr

Once in a while, you’ll find as a freelance writer that the client you picked up to write for just starts getting on your nerves. Maybe it’s the assignments themselves, or the expectations, or the pay – but there’s just something that tells you that maybe it’s time to go. Still, as freelance writers, it’s hard to be willing to give up a paying client. From my experience, here are a few signs that you should consider writing a resignation letter to a client.

No communication. A client should be giving you regular feedback on whether your submissions are what they’re looking for, need editing, or if they’re looking for a new direction. Ideally, they should also be communicating information like holidays and payment issues. Unfortunately, some clients become a silent inbox: you drop your submission in an email and don’t hear from them ever again. If your client doesn’t talk to you at all, and rarely (if ever) responds to your emails, it’s time to look for someone new.
Bonus reason: Your client’s communication often comes to you through a third party.

Payment woes. Freelancers are like any other worker, contracted or regularly employed: they deserve regular, accurate paychecks for their work. A late payment once in a while is fine so long as there’s communication, but a regularly late payment shows disregard for the writer. Worse, when payments are constantly inaccurate – even after an invoice system is in place – there’s reason for concern.
Bonus reason: Your client has continued paying you incorrectly for months, is given a warning, and still makes errors.

The work is tiresome. Freelance writers often feel like they have to keep writing for a client, especially if the client is well-known or pays well, even if they hate their work. The beauty about being a freelance writer, however, is that you’re paid to do what you love – so if you’re not loving what you do, why continue? There are plenty of other opportunities, and if you manage multiple clients, many are more than happy to make room for you to do extra work to help you mend the loss of pay.
Bonus reason: You wait to the last possible minute, and/or employ the help of friends or family to get something done.

Your readers tell you to leave. Many freelance writing gigs are posted online or in another form of media that allows the readers to respond via comments or letters. If your readers are constantly leaving comments that the client doesn’t deserve you, that you’re far better than anything else the site has to offer, or that you’re the only reason they come to the site, there’s indication that your client may not be the right fit for you.
Bonus reason: Some of your readers get to know you personally and swear to jump ship the moment you do.

They don’t care if you go. Even if you are providing the most value for your client, sometimes, they just don’t care whether you stay or go – they’ll keep plodding on without you. If you talk to your client and suggest that you’re unhappy and are considering resigning, or even put in a two weeks notice, and your client doesn’t say a word of thanks or good-bye, and doesn’t ask you to reconsider, they’re truly not concerned about your worth to them. And if they don’t care about your worth, why should you care about theirs?
Bonus reason: You’re happy that they didn’t respond – it made the choice that much easier!

Have you said goodbye to a client recently? Wanted to? I’d love to hear your stories!

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One Response to Five reasons to consider saying goodbye to your freelance client

  1. Melody Jones says:

    Good points to remember! Writers do have choices.

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