3 Powerful Strategies for Pain-Free Client Relationships

3 Powerful Strategies for Pain-Free Client Relationships

Reader Comments (8)

  1. I’d want to add that you should avoid clients that are your acquaintances.

    My father’s friend opened a pizza shop near my apartment and I wanted to give him a little boost by running his Instagram and Facebook profile. We agreed on terms (I charged him 50$ a month for photos, editing and posting regularly) and everything was fine for about 20 days, until he started questioning my methods. All of a sudden, he wanted studio photography with pro editing, which was not part of the agreement. I didn’t even try to ask for more money, seeing that he is an idiot, and I ended cooperation.

    • Excellent point! Working with friends and family can get really tricky (and awkward).

      It’s great that you had the foresight to end the relationship early. Firing bad clients (confidently) is a skill I think we all need to develop. I actually had a paragraph addressing how best to approach that kind of conversation… but then took it out as I feel it deserves its own post!

      Thanks so much for reading, Milan 🙂

  2. Hello Claire,

    This is a wonderful post about freelancers getting a life and respect they deserve. It can be difficult to separate work from life in many instances. And the biggest culprit here is the smartphone.

    To stay off work when needed, one important step towards that is to turn off ‘tempting’ notifications. It’s easier to focus on other things in life when you’re not getting distracted with notifications.

    I love your point about getting the right clients. These people see a writer as a partner in business that promotes their business with content. Rather than someone to be given instructions.

    • I agree completely, Olumide. Smartphones are both a blessing and a curse! I have very strict rules about my notifications. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always stop me from getting distracted and choosing to scroll away the day. But I have found a few helpful ways to curb the addiction 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading! And yes, the partnership style of client relationships is so much better for everyone involved. Takes a bit of extra effort but totally worth it.

  3. As an account manager, and not a freelancer, these strategies still apply.
    Thanks for writing this piece- it gives voice to much of what I strive for in client communication, as well as the cringey feelings when you know you’re NOT setting the right boundaries!

    Onboarding processes can help define a mutually successful relationship from the beginning and is KEY.

    • Thanks for reading, Anna! I think we’ve all had our fair share of cringey feelings. But getting those high-value clients — who really respect what you do — eliminates so much of that.

      I’m a huge fan of onboarding (and systems in general, really)…such a simple strategy to implement and makes a huge impact. Glad you liked the post 🙂

  4. Claire,
    Well done! This covers many of the pitfalls I see struggling copywriters and other service providers falling into. Your recommendations are simple although not easy to implement, since they involve changing some longstanding habits that may not seem central to business but actually are.
    Thanks for putting your thoughts together in this piece.

  5. Hi Claire, thank you for this article.

    I’ve found that doing a bit of background check on the client before working with them is the most important step. This is because, some clients, no matter how good your communication is, are still going to be difficult.

    I’ve only had one or two clients that are difficult to work with. And by difficult, I mean, not paying on time or replying to messages on time. Even that, to me, is not difficult.

    Most of the clients I work with are generally great, which is often a result of doing adequate research on them before starting a relationship in the first place.

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