#202: How to Fire a Client

Letting go of clients that are no longer a good fit for you can feel awkward, uncomfortable and scary.

And so you put it off.

But actually, “firing” clients is a good and healthy thing to do.

Because it makes room for better clients!

And that’s why I recommend that you review your client list annually (at least), and let go of those that are no longer a good fit.

In this short podcast episode, I discuss what you need to consider when deciding whether to let go of a client.

And I reveal the best (and most painless) way to do it.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

Which Clients Should You Fire?

So how do you decide which clients you should let go of?

There are a number of factors to consider, including:

  1. Their value

What kind of revenue is the client generating for you? What does your internal hourly rate work out to? Is the work consistent throughout the year or only occasional?

  1. Hassle factor

Does the client treat you with respect? How much maintenance do they require?

  1. Joy

Do you like the people you’re working with? Do you find the topics interesting? Does the work spark any joy?

  1. Your interests and passions

Does the client’s work line up with what’s important to you? Or does it leave you cold?

No client will score high on all these factors. But they should score high on at least a few.

How to Let Clients Go

Letting go of clients isn’t as hard as you might think.

In some cases, the client may actually be relieved. If you feel they’re no longer a fit for you, they may feel you’re no longer a fit for them. You might be doing them a favor by letting them go.

It’s better to have this conversation over the phone rather than just sending an email.

When you let a client go, have the conversation over the phone — don’t just send an email.

Let them know you’ve decided to move on and say why. You can explain that your other clients are paying you more, and you can no longer afford to work at your current fee. Let them know how much you enjoyed working with them and thank them for their business.

You don’t have to elaborate beyond that. Be courteous, professional and succinct.

I recommend that you go through a review process at least once a year to see if there are any clients that are no longer a good fit.

Review your client list every year to see which clients are no longer a good fit for you.

Usually, it’s better to let of “bottom rung” clients (and fill those slots with new clients) than to try and raise your rates with existing clients.

And through this process, you’ll slowly build a business with clients that you enjoy working with — and pay you well.


Plus … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:

1.  Grab a free copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers/copywriters.

You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here

2.  Download a free copy of my new book for writers who are NEW to freelancing.

I’ll show you the 3 things you need to do to get your business off the ground safely and land your first paying client faster.  — Click Here

3.  Join my implementation program and be a case study.

I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’d like to work with me to grow your income quickly with better clients (and become one of my new success stories). Just email me at [email protected] and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

4.  Work with me privately.

If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Email me at [email protected] … put “Breakthrough” in the subject line and I’ll get back to you with more details.