Moving on from a Client

Moving on from a client. It’s never easy especially when that client is the one that started your entire freelance career/journey. Well, that’s what happened to me this week. My first client and I decided to part ways. This was not done lightly nor was it for negative reasons. In fact, it was for a very good reason. She felt that I had grown beyond what she could pay me. She told me that I deserved to be paid what I am worth and with the experience I’ve gained. I am beyond grateful for the amazing gift she gave me as my first client. She helped me set up my career and get it going. I count her as a colleague and friend.

Some of the best things to do when you and a client part ways are to remember that there are other potential clients out there. That’s not to say that the relationship you built with this client is not valuable. On the contrary, it’s more valuable than you may ever know. However, when it comes to the next steps after parting ways I want to offer some advice.

Moving on From a Client? Do These Things:

  • Thank the client for their business (do this right away. it shows professionalism and integrity)
  • Mourn the loss for a bit then move on
  • Start pitching to new clients! That’s right, get your name out there again if you haven’t already been searching to add to your business.
  • Evaluate what went well with the client and what you can do to make your new and other clients happier. Even if the parting was on good terms as mine was, we can all learn from the end of client relationships. Take stock and make changes if you can.

When you move on from a client, no matter the reason, it’s important to remember that it is usually for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit, other times it’s because you as the freelancer have grown or the needs of the client have changed. There are so many different reasons but don’t always go to the worst case scenario. Most of the time it’s because of some kind of growth or change on your part or theirs. It’s always wonderful if you, like me are able to count your former client as a friend as well as the client. Who knows, you may even work together again some day.

As always, to our continued success!

 

Client Relations: An Important Aspect to a Successful Career

When I started my freelance career I realized something very important. The relationship I have with my clients is of the utmost importance. They are not just my clients. We are partners in a business relationship. What this means for me and that client is that communication must be open and honest. If a client is not happy with my work for some reason I want them to tell me so I can fix it. If something is not working from my side of the aisle, I want to be able to tell them.

The relationship I build with my clients is one of mutual respect and understanding. It is important to me that from the beginning we all know the expectations and needs put forth in the contract. Clients are your bread and butter. They can often help you pay your bills so keeping that relationship positive for both of you is so important.

You may be asking yourself how to do that. Let me share a couple of ways. I already said open communication. That is true. Another way to keep it positive it to give the air of positivity in your communications, even if they are not always positive. That is important. Try not to focus on anything negative. If something comes up, acknowledge it, fix it, and move on.

Another way to keep the relationship positive is to be a fanatic about response time. If you can, get back to your client within 12 hours. If you cannot do 12 hours, do not let a reply go unsent over 24 hours. It’s just unprofessional.

I do not want to bore you with a ton of examples so I will leave you with this final thought. In order to keep your relationship with your client positive and hopefully ongoing, don’t think of them as just a client. Think of them as a new friend (at least in your own mind) and remember to keep it professional. You will get to learn their communication style quickly, trust me. Use what you learn to build that relationship to its fullest. You will both reap the rewards!