There comes a time in every freelancers career where they lose a client they wanted to keep forever. This could happen for a number of reasons. Many times, the client themselves might move on, whether they sold their business or are pursuing different marketing strategies. Sometimes a freelancer might raise their rates and the client might not want to pay the new price. Sometimes there is just a personality difference and things just fall apart. Either way, here are three ways to handle it if you have the unfortunate experience of losing an important client.

Ask for Feedback

If you lose an important client, it’s imperative to ask for feedback instead of getting defensive. Ask the client the reasons for parting ways and what you could have done better. Many people like avoiding confrontation but sometimes it’s good to hear it. After all, feedback is very valuable and if it can help you keep your other clients, it’s definitely worth listening.

That said, you might get positive feedback and the issue with your client parting ways might have nothing to do with your abilities. As previously mentioned, it might have to do with a business change or a budget deficit. So, they might have positive feedback for you in which case, you should ask for a testimonial.

Ask for a Testimonial

Testimonials are important for many reasons. You can include them on your hire me page on your website. You can include them on your media kit to show that others have worked with you, and you can use them if you move on to selling products down the line too. Testimonials show that you’re a valuable person to work with who completes work on time and delivers quality results.

Essentially, it’s almost like the modern day version of giving someone a phone number to call one of your references, so don’t be afraid to ask for one. Sometimes you might have to follow up a few times in order to get it, but it’s definitely worth it.

Continue Supporting Them

Lastly, the most important step if you have to part ways with a client is to continue supporting them (that is, if the split was amicable and they didn’t treat you horribly or something like that!) By continuing to support them, what I mean is referring them to your friends. You can also share their business news on social media, check in with them from time to time, and offer to help at different events.

This will enable you to stay at the forefront of their mind, so if their company does get a new round of funding or a donation and they can bring back on contractors, they’ll automatically think of you. That wouldn’t happen if you were upset you lost the client and didn’t take it well. Essentially, always maintain connections and positivity with past clients because you never know when they could become your current clients again.


Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions, earn more, reach their goals, and take on a more active financial role in their families. Named the Best Contributor/Freelancer for Personal Finance in 2014, her writing and expertise have been featured in dozens of notable publications and in national media.

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