Prepare to Start Pruning Those Trees

This week, we’ve been talking about how to let go of a client who’s been sucking the enjoyment (and in some cases, the income you deserve) out of your writer’s life.

Yesterday, I gave you the warning signs of a bad client so you could consider if one of your clients has to go.

Now we’re going to decide whether a split needs to happen … and begin preparing emotionally and mentally for the breakup.

Keep in mind that if you’re financially dependent on this client, you’ll need to have someone waiting in the wings.

Step 1 is to decide once and for all if you are going to replace your client.

If you’re uncertain … or you keep looking back … then any further action is going to be based on a shaky foundation.

You can make a list of pros and cons to help you decide.

For example, the cons of keeping your client are that you’re underpaid, projects are not in your niche, and you’re generally stressed out. One pro may be that you enjoy the relationship with them.

You can bounce your feelings off a friend, family member, or fellow copywriter. Most people would be flattered to help you with a business decision. Plus, more often than not, an objective observer will help you get a fresh perspective.

Or just go with your gut feeling.

It also helps me to keep this in mind: you are NOT obligated to any client unless you’ve signed a contract. This is YOUR business, and you are the one with the power.

So, if you have time right now to sit and make a decision—do it.

If not, please don’t let this go on for much longer. If you are even considering that this client may not be a good fit for you anymore, you need to make a decision one way or the other.

Step 2 is to get any emotions you may be feeling about this client in check.

If you have gone for weeks, months, or even years working with material that doesn’t excite you, and you’re being underpaid, you may have some strong emotions.

My suggestion is to write your client a letter that you’ll never send. Be as harsh as you like.

Just get everything out—I promise it helps!

Step 3: Remember that business is business. And this is your freelance career.

You are not obligated to anyone when your goals, your financial freedom, and your writer’s life are in question.

So, are you ready to ditch the client(s) that are holding you back, reclaim your business, and let it grow to its fullest potential? Share with me by leaving a comment below.

Stay tuned because tomorrow we’ll take the plunge together.

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Published: May 2, 2012

3 Responses to “Prepare to Start Pruning Those Trees”

  1. If a person in the advertising and copywriting business ,with little experience, and is looking for advice about whether they should hold onto a low paying copywriting job or not.....need not look further!Most freelance copywriters started with not much money so they understand when you are spending too much time with a low paying assignment that you need to be business like and terminate the association immediately or you won't pay the bills.

    Guest (Mick Depp)

  2. Life is too short to be little, so there is no point in sticking to a client who is holding you back.

    It may be time to let the client go.

    You can be polite but firm. Write a one page letter that explains briefly why you think the relationship is not working out and why it is time to search for greener pastures.

    In the final analysis, this may be good for both you and your client. In a fast paced world, time is money and there is no point dilly-dallying.

    Time and tide wait for no man.

    Archan Mehta

  3. I am in this exact situation. I have been writing for this client for several months and it should go on for a long time. The biggest thing is that the job gives me the weekly financial security I need. But it is so boring and time consumming. I don't really have time to take assignments that would excite and pay me more. Now and then I will take a week off from him in order to do a job that interests me, but these are usually just one time jobs. Another problem I am having is finding a niche.

    Guest (Mary)

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