Just now came across this interesting post on Copyblogger – Is It Time to Say Goodbye to Your Current Client? – that says that it isn’t always prudent to cling to a client, especially when he or she is creating a toxic environment.
How do I decide whether I want to work with a client or not? To be frank, it is often difficult to let go of a client with whom I have been working for a few months. There was some initial spark and that’s why we could survive beyond the initial documents.
It’s like a messy relationship – you feel committed, and you feel that it would be a failure on your part if you let things fall apart easily. Besides, it is difficult to see a source of money going away – one bird in your hand is better than two birds in the bush.
The post on Copyblogger rightly says that if you are providing a service like content writing or copywriting, you are constantly improving. Which means that a year ago if you were accepting clients matching your expertise back then, right now you need to accept clients that match your expertise now.
This is also important because if you’re still working with clients who hired you last year based on your expertise back then, they are still going to treat you like a less experienced content writer. Even if they grudgingly admit that you’re much better than you were last year, it will be difficult to make them pay you more.
According to the author, here are some reasons why you should stop working with a particular client:
- He or she doesn’t respect your time.
- He or she doesn’t recognise the extra effort you are putting to give your best.
- He or she is paying far less than what you deserve.
Coming back to my own question: do I sometimes refuse to work with certain clients?
Yes, I definitely do, just as some clients decide not to work with me.
I like to work on projects where my work is appreciated not for the heck of satisfying my ego, but where I really contribute. Even if I contribute and my client does not realize that I’m contributing, this is not a good situation to be in, and I politely bow out.
As far as I can control, I never sully my relationships with people, because you never know the situation on the other side. I remember there was a client last year who talked very gruffly when I presented a counterargument. I was wary of moving forward but we were amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and I was taking many decisions that I wouldn’t take in normal times. I continued communicating with him and stuck to my argument. I told him that I would take full advance before committing. He paid double the amount I was asking for, giving me double the work we had initially talked about.
I have an hourly target. Whether I’m charging an hourly rate, per document, or per word, by the end of the project, I must reach my hourly target. If I exceed my hourly target, well and good, but if I don’t, it no longer remains an attractive proposition for me, and I refuse to work. I don’t hide this fact. I let it be known to the client that although I’m interested in the project, remuneration -wise, it is not feasible for me. Some understand, some don’t.