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Reality Blog: Should You Fire Copywriting Clients?

Reality Blog: Should You Fire Copywriting Clients?

March 29, 2017 | By Steve Maurer | 3 Comments

Reality Blog: Should You Fire Copywriting Clients You Don’t Like?Hang around a bunch of freelancers long enough, and the topic will come up. Someone will mention they had to fire a copywriting client recently. After explaining the situation, the questions and war stories come out.

Some writers have clients they want to fire, but don’t know how. Soon, the advice and comments will start flying around the room. At times, the atmosphere is charged with emotion, and not always the good kind.

Last week, I took an informal survey of several Facebook groups. The answers were varied and some writers were downright vehement. The advice ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime… and every point in between.

But, some freelancers held a steady, even calming voice in the midst of the fray. In fact, some of the opinions were downright refreshing.

I was curious because of a situation I was recently involved in…

I had signed with a client that looked promising. But, one week into the agreement, I wondered if I’d made a mistake.

I talked it over with a couple of friends. And all of a sudden, clarity arrived. The conclusion? You can’t really fire copywriting clients, at least in my opinion. All along, I’d been one of the fist shakers. And now… my viewpoint changed.

The reason may surprise you.

 

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Steve Maurer

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3 Comments

  • Wait a minute Steve, I’m confused…what exactly do you mean by “fire” a client? Are you talking about “ungraciously” breaking up with a client? Or simply a situation where you both realize you weren’t right for each other? Do you consider that firing a client?

    I’m curious because I’ve had a few situations where a client relationship has broken down and we mutually decided to part ways. Sometimes because they weren’t happy with me, other times because I wasn’t happy with them. Are those considered “firing”?

    In my opinion, I don’t think it matters who found who, but if you’re not right for each other, you’re not right for each other. Sometimes it’s not worth the struggle to “fix” things as it will just take too much time and effort on both sides; time neither of you may have.

    This is why sometimes the test project can be a good thing. I’m not always a fan of it, but I have started suggesting a short project as an intro project to new clients that raise that a few warning signs to make sure we are a good fit. That way I can work through those issues and see if it really was me or them, or just the situation that didn’t work out. Plus I find my clients are always more receptive to comments/feedback from me if there were any bumps in the road during this project. We can determine right away if they are things that are worth fixing for the long-term relationship or not.

    Jb

    • Great points, Julia.
      Running a test or trial project is a great idea. It’s kind of like dating. If it doesn’t work out, it’s good that you found out early.

      And if both mutually decide to part ways, that’s different. What I’m talking about is when I hear a freelancer talk about firing a client, perhaps because of a misunderstanding or personality issue. The client may not even realize there’s a problem. But, the freelancer just dumps them, often with no explanation. They don’t even try to work it out, if possible.

      Thanks for your comments! Much appreciated.

      • Heh heh, dating a client, nice one Steve!

        Just up & firing a client because of a misunderstanding or personality issue isn’t the best way to go, IMO. You’re right that sometimes the client has no idea that there’s an issue. For them, you’re just perfect! 😉 In those cases, a good phone call can usually clear up things really quickly. Then you can decide if to keep going or not.

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