Freelance Tips: How to Say Goodbye to a Client

Low pay, monotonous tasks, disagreements with the client motivate you to look for new projects. Fear, insecurity, and a lukewarm relationship with the customer stop them. But to develop and earn more, sometimes you have to say “goodbye”.

Freelancing is project work. Changing customers is part of the job and a necessary point for growth. In this article, we will tell you how best to leave projects and whether it is possible not to offend anyone.

Fear of being left without money

Giving up part of your income is a difficult step. Finding a new project can take several weeks. Even if you understand the prospects of such a decision, you do not want to be limited in spending money.

Tip: it’s easier to take risks with the money on the card. It is optimal to have a financial reserve for six months, but it isn’t easy to accumulate so much at once. But the freelancer works with several clients – this is also a safety net.

If you lose one, the others will continue to pay. Therefore, it is more reliable to take projects from different spheres. For example, the fields of tourism, restaurants, offline events lost income during the pandemic, while the online business, on the contrary, increased it.

When a hired worker quits, a freelancer loses 100 percent of his income; a freelancer loses some. So before leaving a project with no savings, a freelancer can accumulate that portion.

Fear of not finding a project 

It’s boring to work; they don’t pay much. And it seems: it is better to have such a project than to remain completely without work.

Tip: it’s scary to remain without orders when the technology to find clients is not perfected.

Suppose the first project freelancer found on acquaintance, the second received by chance. And the third time may not be so lucky.

The fear will go away if you understand the strategy for finding new clients. Create a portfolio, read tips on responding to a job, take advice from an HR specialist.

It’s essential to practice this skill like any other. For example, open job channels every night and send out portfolios to 5-10 places. Even if you don’t need a new project right now, positive responses boost self-esteem and remove fears.

It is inconvenient to let a customer down

Leaving pleasant, friendly customers is more complex: you don’t want to let them down and add to their troubles.

Tip: the customer chooses a freelancer rather than hiring an employee: he understands the benefits and risks of his decision. Problems begin, not when the performer leaves but drops all tasks when he goes without warning.

It’s enough to talk to the client in advance about leaving, discuss the status of tasks and area of responsibility. Then, agree on things that are important to finish.

It is better to discuss the rules of leaving before you start work. Rules spoken beforehand will help you to be less nervous.

Psychological barriers

Communicating about leaving, losing stability, and changing what you’re used to is difficult. But it becomes a problem when the performer postpones leaving for months. Psychologists recommend following 4 steps if you find it difficult to change jobs or clients.

Step 1. Determine what’s going on by consistently answering the questions:

What do I think, and how do I feel?

What does the interaction with the customer look like? Have there been any similar relationships in the past? There are times when meaningful people have mistreated us in the past. We can internalize these ways of interacting and reproduce them.

What happens to me if I refuse an order if I no longer take orders that I am not happy with?

What’s the worst thing about it?

Step 2. Evaluate the realism of your predictions: how much do you believe in it?

Step 3. Then evaluate the realistic outcome: what you’ll gain and what you’ll lose if you turn down this order. Relate the emotional cost to the income you receive.

Step 4. Think about how to stop taking orders that take a lot of emotional energy. It’s not just about the size of your safety cushion. It can also be confidence in your skills, the value of yourself as an expert, the ability to deal with anxiety, the ability to say “no.”

When working on your own doesn’t work, it’s better to find a specialist. He will teach how to realistically assess the emotional, energy and time costs of work and the income received, assess the risks of work, tolerate criticism, self-respect, and tolerance for uncertainty.


Giving up what you’re used to, reporting withdrawal, is unpleasant for everyone. But when it gets out of control, it is better to consult a professional. Give advance notice of quitting, finish things you’ve started, or pass them on to others. It’s safer to leave with a portfolio and savings. Look for a new client before you leave.

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